Innovation classes and clubs


Explore UW’s innovation and entrepreneurship classes and clubs to start or accelerate your innovation journey.

Innovation and entrepreneurship classes

UW offers innovation and entrepreneurship classes through the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship as well as a number of its colleges and schools including Art, Environment, Computer Science, Engineering, Business, Medicine and Law.

Students take notes in class

Browse featured classes

Arts & Sciences

School of Art + Art History + Design

Course: Design Entrepreneurship

Focuses on the design of products, services, and new business models as a simultaneous exercise. Bridges the skills of design and business planning by combining proven fundamentals of product design with a newly emerging paradigm for business planning and development.


Foster School of Business

Course: Intro to Entrepreneurship

Introduction to entrepreneurial practices with an emphasis on learning how to find business ideas, how to evaluate their potential, and how to recognize the barriers to success. Exposure to the stresses of a start-up business, the uncertainties that exist, and the behavior of entrepreneurs.

Course: Creating a Company

In this two-quarter series, students pitch ideas, form teams, and develop a business plan for a new venture. At the end of the first quarter, the teams present their plans to a panel of investors to obtain funding. In the second quarter the student companies run the business, and exit (with the goal of making a profit!) at the end of the second quarter.

Course: Environmental Innovation Practicum

Unique interdisciplinary course focuses on what it takes to develop innovative clean tech solutions to environmental challenges and creating exciting new business opportunities along the way. Speakers include top experts in science, engineering, social science, business, entrepreneurial finance, policy and law. Topics include alternative energy, energy efficiencies, green building, and transportation. Students form teams, identify an environmental problem and possible solutions. Interested teams are invited to enter their solutions in the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge.

Course: Software Entrepreneurship

A case- and project-based course, focusing on starting a software or hardware company. Guest entrepreneurs, lawyers, and financiers discuss market identification & analysis, planning the business, financing, and typical operating/administrative problems.

Course: Angel Investing

Entrepreneur and angel investor John Hansen instructs a select group of MBA and Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate students from across campus  as they get a chance to work alongside angel groups in Seattle, perform actual due diligence on local startups in order to determine an actual $50K investment for the class’ investment portfolio.

Course: Venture Capital Investment Practicum

This course provides an overview of the venture capital world. Guest speakers include entrepreneurs, VCs, early‐stage attorneys and prior VCIC (Venture Capital Investment Competition) competitors; and, students will engage with them on a weekly basis. Through team‐based exercises, Q&A and role play, you’ll get into character as a venture capitalist. The class covers basics such as business planning, valuation, term sheets, the investment life cycle and negotiations. At the end of the quarter class teams compete for the opportunity to represent UW at regional and international VCIC finals.


Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

Course: Entrepreneurship: Company-Building from Formation to Successful Exit

  • Time schedule Link
  • Undergraduate + Graduate level
  • Instructors: Greg Gottesman (Pioneer Square Labs) and Ed Lazowska

The course sessions will follow the natural order of starting a new business: choosing your idea and your team, validating that idea with customers, honing your initial pitch, dealing with the legal issues of starting a business, building a great product, deciding among financing strategies, developing a go-to-market and operating plan, and exiting successfully. Open to Allen School undergraduates, combined BS/MS students, Masters Program students, and Ph.D. students, as well as Foster school MBA and EMBA students, Interaction Design, and HDCE.

College of Engineering

Course: Engineering Innovation in Health

Engineering Innovation in Health brings together students across engineering disciplines with health professionals to develop solutions to pressing challenges in medicine. This interdisciplinary program accepts students at all levels and from a wide range of majors. Many teams also successfully compete in the UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Health Innovation Challenge and Business Plan Competition. The primary focus of the EIH program is the three-quarter design sequence (autumn–spring).

College of Engineering

Course: HCDE Capstone Project

UW students and industry partners to work together to address real-world issues using human-centered design and engineering. Capstone projects are student-run, large-scale projects that encompass two quarters of student work. Projects should touch on at least two components of the human-centered design process: user research, ideation, prototyping, implementation, and evaluation. Please note, the work produced by the students is their own and cannot be considered work hired by the sponsor

College of Engineering (Industrial Engineering)

Course: Technology-Based Entrepreneurship

Concentrates on hands-on aspects of innovation and entrepreneurial enterprise development. Examines relationships between innovation, iterative prototyping, and marketing testing. Students identify market opportunities, create new technology-based products and services to satisfy customer needs, and construct and test prototypes.

College of Engineering & UW Medicine | Department of Bioengineering

Course: Introduction to Technology Commercialization

Explores essential business, legal, engineering, and other skills necessary to take new technology from research to market. Covers intellectual property, market analysis, licensing, funding mechanisms such as venture capital, and product marketing. Presenters are entrepreneurs and successful business-people representing a broad range of areas relating to the commercialization process.


College of the Environment – School of Environmental & Forest Science | Bioresource Science & Engineering

Course: Creativity and Innovation

Understanding creativity and creative thinking; its challenges and dynamics through knowledge, judgment, planning, and observation. Techniques of creative thinking. Design and development of creative games. Computer-aided creative thinking. Creation, protection, and exploitation of a useful idea, including bargaining and negotiations.


Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)

Course: Essentials of Entrepreneurship

This course introduces business strategy fundamentals, an exploration of key issues and strategies involved in the process of starting up a new enterprise as well as practice in organizational strategy analysis and development for startup organizations. 

Course: Design Thinking for Technology Innovation

This course introduces students to the core concepts of design thinking as applied to the design of innovations in hardware and software technology and employs a workshop model where student groups investigate and brainstorm potential solution directions for problems pitched by industry sponsors.

Course: Introduction to Finance & Accounting for Entrepreneurs

Students learn the basics of finance and accounting for startup businesses, including reading and understanding a profit-and-loss statement, managing cash flow and margins, and making investments in high-growth businesses.

Course: Corporate & IP Law for Technology Innovators

This course introduces key areas of business law, including common organizational structures such as corporations, LLCs, and nonprofit/low-profit entities. It also covers the roles of founders, directors and shareholders in each structure, as well as the basics of intellectual property and copyright law.


School of Law

Course: Entrepreneurial Law Clinic

Providing free legal services for small businesses and start up companies that face significant economic barriers to success. The Clinic teams law and business students with local attorneys to provide free legal and business advice to low-income micro-entrepreneurs and early stage high-tech companies on business matters unrelated to current or expected litigation. Students will enroll in one of three specialty areas within the Clinic: Business Law; Intellectual Property (IP); or Tax.

Innovation and entrepreneurship clubs

Joining clubs gives students the opportunity to meet a diverse set of people, expand their thinking and interests, and develop leadership skills among their peers.