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.

Celebrating UW women innovators

At CoMotion, we are proud to have helped extraordinary women launch extraordinary ventures. And yet, too few women and too few members of the BIPOC community follow this path for reasons that range from lack of awareness and socio-cultural restrictions to lack of training and financial or fundraising challenges.

Prizes awarded at 2021 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge

Student teams at the 6th annual Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) set a new standard for virtual competitions in 2021. Judges awarded $41,000 in prizes after seamlessly experiencing a combination of live pitches, prototype demo videos, and student-created team rooms at the event hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

List of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists includes seven from UW

Seven University of Washington scientists are included in Cell Mentor’s list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists, published in December 2020. The list was compiled to honor the Black scientists for their efforts in research, diversity and inclusion initiatives, advocacy, social justice outreach, teaching and mentorship.

Sana, acquirer of UW startup Cytocardia, joins Nasdaq with blockbuster $587M IPO

Sana Biotechnology raised $587.5 million in an initial public offering, a significant cash haul that the 3-year-old Seattle company will use to continue a quest to treat disease using cutting-edge gene engineering.

UW rolls out new licensing process to streamline negotiations with spinouts

The University of Washington is aiming to make it easier for spinouts to get out of the research lab and into the market. The UW unveiled Husky FAST Start, a new licensing process meant to speed up startup license discussions. The launch coincides with the 40th anniversary of the landmark Bayh-Dole Act, which gave federally-funded U.S. universities more control over technology licensing.

Startups-and-Spinoffs

Startups and spinoffs

Every UW college and school has launched startups and created spinoffs. Since 2016, CoMotion facilitated 1,950 licenses and 73 spinoffs which have gone on to raise over $4.4B in funding.

Startup portfolio

African American boy pointing_at_computer_monitor Helping One Student to Succeed HOSTS Corporation Vancouver Washington 1985

Innovations that changed the world

The University of Washington has an extraordinary track record of scholarly endeavor, yielding inventions, discoveries and other innovations that have had a profound impact on lives all over the globe.

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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. FAQ

“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.