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.

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.

CoMotion's Spring 2021 DubPitch brings together UW startups and investors

The power of innovation was on full display at the Spring ‘21 CoMotion DubPitch event last month. Nine startups from the University of Washington gathered online to pitch their companies to a worldwide audience of investors and venture capitalists.

2021 Dempsey Startup Competition Prizes Awarded

When planning for an end, you’ve got to know where to start. Just ask the winners of the $25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Grand Prize at the 2021 Dempsey Startup Competition at the University of Washington.

Ultrapotent, nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine with Univ. of Wash. roots gets $173M for human trials

A project to test what’s being called an ultrapotent, second-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate will receive up to $173.4 million to conduct phase 3 clinical trials. The vaccine was developed in partnership between UW Medicine Institute for Protein Design and SK bioscience, which is based in South Korea.

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.