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.

Fundamentals for Startups lecture series

For anyone interested in startup creation, join us Fridays at noon to hear from experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.

Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship Competitions

College students from across the Cascade Corridor (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia) and Alaska are invited to apply for student innovation and new venture competitions hosted by UW Foster School of Business’ Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

Startup making sensors out of paper unveils eye-tracking sleep mask

Seattle-area sensor company Somalytics showcased a wearable mask that detects eye movement during sleep at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The SomaSleep mask can track the eye movements associated with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a sleep stage associated with dreaming that is key for learning and memory.

UW Entrepreneurship Ranked #1 in West Region

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine ranked the University of Washington as the top college in the West for entrepreneurship in the 2023 undergraduate rankings. UW was also ranked number two overall in the West region in the 2023 rankings of graduate programs.

Historic fusion energy achievement will boost Pacific Northwest’s burgeoning startups

U.S. physicists have accomplished a feat the world has pursued for more than 60 years: producing more energy from fusion than required to create the reaction. Called energy’s “holy grail,” fusion has the potential to provide unlimited carbon-free power.

Startups and spinoffs

Every UW college and school has launched startups and created spinoffs. Since 1991, UW has spun out 271 companies. These spinoffs have raised over $8.6 billion in funding with $5.2 billion secured over the past five years alone.

Startup portfolio

Archived photograph of a Medic One ambulance and EMTs

26 innovations that changed the world

Explore a selection of innovations developed wholly or in part at the University of Washington. We invite you to share in the UW’s rich history through these fundamental and groundbreaking innovations.

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.