The Innovation Imperative

The impact of innovation at the UW

Throughout more than 150 years of history, the UW has demonstrated an extraordinary track record of inventions and discoveries with impact across the globe. Consistently ranked the most innovative public university in the world, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

University of Washington AI protein folding discovery wins ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award from Science

Science magazine has revealed its breakthrough of the year: Artificial intelligence discoveries that predict how proteins fold, forged by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design and Alphabet’s DeepMind.

University of Washington spinout aims to detect eye and body movement using sensors embedded in paper

A new company out of the University of Washington launched with technology to sense human gestures, body functions and eye movement. Somalytics has developed ultrathin, flexible sensors that are built from tiny carbon nanotubes embedded in paper. Barbara Barclay announced as CEO.

UW’s Shyam Gollakota named 2021 Moore Inventor Fellow

Shyam Gollakota, a professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, is being recognized as a Moore Inventor Fellow for his work on the Internet of Biological Things and the Internet of Bio-Inspired Things.

University of Washington spinout A-Alpha Bio snags $20M for protein-discovery platform

A-Alpha Bio will build lab space in downtown Seattle and beef up its machine learning team with $20 million in new venture funding for its operation to identify therapeutic proteins.

Startups and spinoffs

Every UW college and school has launched startups and created spinoffs. Since 1990, UW has spun out 258 companies. These spinoffs have raised over $7.9 billion in funding with $4.7 billion secured over the past five years alone.

Startup portfolio

Proprio employees, led by CEO Gabriel Jones, pose for a team photo. (Proprio photo)

Success stories

Startup success takes many forms – from standalone UW spinoffs and startups, to acquisitions of UW startups by leading companies, to licensing of UW IP to industry leaders for further development.

Learn more

Innovation happens everywhere at the UW

Getting started: Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, investor, or other community member, these Frequently Asked Questions will guide you in the right direction.


“Insights I developed at UW are what carried me forward towards running my own businesses.”
– Keisha Credit, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship ’18

Keisha Forbes

The innovation ecosystem

The UW Innovation Imperative empowers students and researchers to learn, discover and build solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. It encourages innovation by providing the space and opportunity for people from all backgrounds — from the humanities to the sciences, the poetic and the pragmatic — to connect, imagine and discover.

UW student Ewurama Karikari helps fellow students

Learn the skills

The UW offers a wide variety of educational and learning opportunities to build students’ skills in innovation and entrepreneurship.

University of Washington Foundation Board (UWFB) members attending the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) deep dive at the CoMotion's Makerspace in Fluke Hall

Get hands-on experience

Innovation happens in every corner of the UW — and there’s no better way to expand your skill set than to participate in a hands-on kind of way.

Students learn in their classrooms on UW Bothell campus in October 2019.

Bring ideas to life

A strong community is critical for entrepreneurs to bring new ideas to life. Important milestones along the journey include mentorship, lessons from industry leaders and alumni, and pursuing funding opportunities.

Nueroscience Hackathon

Build your network

Join us for events that will open your eyes, push your boundaries, and grow your network. Some are open to the public.