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.

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.

Icosavax stock skyrockets 200% on first day of trading for newly public Seattle biotech company

Icosavax is having quite the debut as Washington state’s newest public company. Shares of the Seattle-based biotech firm surged more than 200% on its first day of trading.

Meet the four new startups joining a fintech incubator run by BECU and UW in Seattle

Four startups have won a slot in a financial technology incubator run by banking company BECU and CoMotion, the innovation arm of the University of Washington.

New accelerator in Seattle: Creative Destruction Lab to launch ‘deep tech’ startup hub with Microsoft, UW

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a nonprofit that runs nine startup accelerators across the world, is coming to Seattle. It will host a 9-month program this November for 20-to-25 companies in partnership with Microsoft and the University of Washington’s business, engineering, and computer science schools.

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.