The UW offers a wide variety of educational and learning opportunities to build skills in innovation and entrepreneurship at any point in the journey. From undergraduate and master’s degree programs to leading research organizations, from incubators and accelerators to internships and mentorship, the UW has it all.

Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

The Buerk Center serves the entire campus with exceptional academic programs and real-world experiences. Students and faculty who engage with the center make strong connections to the Seattle entrepreneurial community. Early-stage entrepreneurs from all majors and disciplines define their journey — from ideation to launch and everything in between.

Lavin Entrepreneurship Program

Undergraduate students

Lavin Entrepreneurship Program

This extracurricular program is for undergraduate entrepreneurs from all majors and disciplines across campus. By combining curriculum with hands-on learning and a cohort of students all immersed in the startup experience, the UW Buerk Center gives Lavin students the experience, skills and know-how to succeed in their future business ventures.

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Graduate students

Entrepreneurship Certificate

The Buerk Center’s certificate in entrepreneurship prepares UW graduate and PhD students for the world of startups and new technology enterprises. Certificate students, whose disciplines range from engineering and architecture to drama and medicine, take classes, work with UW inventors on their market-ready applications, gain real-world experience, and network with the region’s most innovative entrepreneurs.

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CoMotion, UW's collaborative innovation hub

CoMotion partners with the UW community on their innovation journey, providing tools, connections, and acumen to transform ideas into economic and societal impact.

Innovation training

Innovation Training

Multiple business training programs help grow ideas into impact and innovators into entrepreneurs.

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IP Advising and Protection

Intellectual Property Advising & Protection

Developed with researchers and faculty, customized IP plans support innovators and ideas along their paths to market.

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Funding and mentorship

Funding & Mentorship

Connections to capital and expert advice empower innovators to launch their projects in the marketplace.

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Startups and incubation

Licensing, Startups & Incubation

A world-class infrastructure to license innovations, launch businesses, or incubate startups positions entrepreneurs for success.

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Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), located at the Steve Ballmer Building in Bellevue, Washington, is a university/industry initiative that supports UW’s innovation ecosystem by providing multidisciplinary, project-based education in technology and innovation. Developed in partnership with corporate, government, and non-profit partners, GIX offerings include graduate degrees, professional development programs, and vibrant networking experiences. GIX was launched in 2015 through a groundbreaking collaboration with founding partners Microsoft Corporation and Tsinghua University.

Graduate students working together with instructor

Graduate Programs

UW MS in Technology Innovation (MSTI)

The Master of Science in Technology Innovation (MSTI) from the University of Washington’s Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is an interdisciplinary graduate program for early- and mid-career professionals looking to accelerate their careers in today’s ever-evolving tech sector. This novel program blends in-depth learning about hardware development, software design, user experience, design-thinking, with fundamental principles of technology strategy and entrepreneurship. Delivered by leading faculty and industry experts, the MSTI’s 18-month intensive curriculum culminates in a team-based, six-month Launch Project supported by technology companies from Seattle’s dynamic innovation ecosystem and from others around the world.

Developed in partnership with UW’s College of Engineering and Foster School of Business, the MSTI is offered exclusively at GIX in Bellevue, Washington, outside Seattle. Students in the program have extensive opportunities for professional internships, curated Global Technology Experiences, concentrations in connected devices or robotics, and unlimited access to GIX’s world-class, fully-staffed Prototyping Labs.

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Students working together

Professional Programs

Micro-credentials, short courses, customized offerings

GIX Professional Learning Programs offer professionals, executives, and corporate teams customized opportunities to respond to rapid technological change, solve complex problems, and innovate from within. Participants learn through problem-based, hands-on experiences while working with expert faculty and industry experts. Individuals can network with peers across industries while they earn micro-credentials to enhance their skills and careers. Courses range from short intensives to longer, more immersive experiences.

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Students working together

Networking Programs

GIX serves as a hub of activity within UW’s and Seattle’s vibrant innovation ecosystem, offering dynamic networking programs for diverse audiences throughout the year, including the annual GIX Innovation Competition, the Tech Exploration Summer Program for high school students, and the Access Computing Summer Program, enabling global interns to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.

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Colleges and schools

UW offers many undergraduate and graduate programs with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. They come from a variety of UW colleges and schools and include Institutes, Labs, courses, capstones, certificates and training programs.

Undergraduate programs

From fields as diverse as clean energy, the environment, engineering, information science, and of course, business, UW undergraduate programs teach innovation and entrepreneurship skills. Learn how capstone projects help students distill the knowledge and skills acquired in academic courses and apply them to real-world projects.

Clean Energy Institute (CEI) at the University of Washington

  • Undergraduate opportunities at CEI: CEI supports the next generation of clean energy leaders and innovators through their unique education, outreach, and research training programs.

College of Engineering

College of the Environment

  • EarthLab: Accelerates and focuses UW expertise to address large-scale environmental challenges, making a positive impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

Foster School of Business

  • Entrepreneurship Minor: Open to all non-business undergraduate students, the Foster School’s competitive Entrepreneurship Minor offers students the opportunity to leverage their unique talents, as well as their new-found business knowledge, to achieve their startup goals.
  • Entrepreneurship Option (for business majors): Prepares students for an entrepreneurial career by offering a combination of coursework and practical experience.

Information School

  •  iSchool Capstone Program: The culmination of students’ learning experience, iSchool capstone projects distill the knowledge and skills acquired in academic courses and apply them to a real-world project.

Graduate and other programs

Find programs here from the Evans School, Clean Energy Institute, College of Engineering, College of the Environment, Foster School of Business, the iSchool and more.

Clean Energy Institute (CEI) at the University of Washington

  • Graduate opportunities at CEI: CEI supports a variety of fellowship and training opportunities that enhance career flexibility for graduate students.

College of Engineering

  • Professional Engineering Degree Programs: In addition to traditional graduate degree programs, these professional degree programs and certificates are offered in several areas of engineering and are developed in partnership with/provide access to regional industry leaders.

College of the Environment

  • EarthLab: Accelerates and focuses UW expertise to address large-scale environmental challenges, making a positive impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

eScience Institute

  • As the hub of data-intensive research and discovery on campus, this program leads a community of innovators in the techniques, technologies, and best practices of data science and the fields that depend on them.

Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

  • Accelerating Social Transformation: A unique, immersive experience for mid-career professionals that will reinvigorate and prepare participants to innovate and create social impact in support of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Foster School of Business

  • Master of Science in Entrepreneurship: This program follows the same path as a startup—with a curriculum designed to guide students through a real-world entrepreneurial process used to develop new companies.
  • Entrepreneurship Certificate: The Buerk Center’s certificate in entrepreneurship prepares University of Washington graduate and PhD students for the world of startups and new technology enterprises.

Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)

  • UW MS in Technology Innovation: In this intensive 15-month program, students learn how to take an innovative idea from concept to development, and on to launch. The project-based curriculum, developed and delivered by leading UW faculty, immerses students in design thinking, technology development, and entrepreneurship.
  • Professional Learning Programs: These courses for executives, teams, or individuals help participants respond to rapid technological change, solve complex problems, and innovate from within. Learn through problem-based, hands-on experiences while working with other leading industry experts.

Information School

  • iSchool Capstone Program: The culmination of students’ learning experience, iSchool capstone projects distill the knowledge and skills acquired in academic courses and apply them to a real-world project.

Institute for Nano-Engineered Systems (NanoES)

  • NanoES: Researchers at NanoES are developing solutions to grand challenges in nano science and engineering: the scalable, high-yield manufacture of nano-engineered systems in information processing, energy, health, and interconnected life.

Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute

  • MolE Ph.D. Program: MolES launched one of the first graduate programs in molecular engineering in 2014, drawing on expertise from across the University of Washington to create a unique education and research opportunity for trainees interested in addressing urgent societal needs in sustainable energy and human health.

Population Health

UW Medicine

UW Medicine is a premier healthcare system that integrates comprehensive patient care and nationally ranked research for over 300 medical clinics. Unlike other local health systems, UW Medicine provides the highest caliber clinical care because they directly connect that care with a top-rated medical school and an internationally recognized research organization.

Brotman Baty Institute

The mission of the Brotman Baty Institute is to take advantage of Seattle’s unique ecosystem and collaborative culture to have a transformative impact on biomedical research and patient outcomes through the development and application of precision approaches to healthcare.

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Institute for Protein Design logo

Natural proteins evolved over millions of years to solve the most complex challenges on Earth. But we face new and pressing challenges today. The Institute for Protein Design is designing a new world of proteins to address 21st century challenges in medicine, energy, and technology.

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Center for Dialysis Innovation

The mission of the Center for Dialysis Innovation is to improve the health and well-being of people receiving dialysis treatment. The vision is that future dialysis therapy will be complication free, and restorative of kidney health.

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Incubators and accelerators

Helping early-stage startups grow their business. Incubators support startups in the beginning stages of building their company by providing resources, access to mentors, and interactions with other entrepreneurs while accelerators focus on scaling existing businesses. UW has offerings in both types of programs.

Business meeting in a conference room

Jones + Foster Accelerator

The startup process is messy and unpredictable—licensing intellectual property, producing a manufacture-ready prototype, lining up customers, raising money—all are critical and daunting. The Jones + Foster Accelerator program helps early-stage, student-led companies through those decisive first six months.

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Creative Destruction Lab – Seattle

A nonprofit organization for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies, Creative Destruction Lab launches its third U.S.-based location, CDL-Seattle, in fall 2021. Based at the UW’s Foster School of Business, CDL-Seattle is a partnership with Microsoft Corporation, the UW College of Engineering, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and CoMotion. The initial area of focus for CDL-Seattle is computational health.

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CoMotion Labs interior shot with whiteboard

CoMotion Labs

CoMotion Labs provides a multi-industry incubation environment for early-stage startups with a focus on UW spinoffs. From critical infrastructure to just-in-time learning, mentoring, and networking, CoMotion Labs nurtures company growth and enables success.

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Internships and fellowships

Enabling students to apply knowledge from the classroom to real-world experience makes them more competitive in the job market. UW offers a variety of innovation- and entrepreneur-focused internships and fellowships to both undergrads and grads.

CoMotion Internships & Fellowships

Student Hayden Campbell downtown Seattle for a College of Built Environments story on the use of public spaces

Undergraduate students

CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholars: This program funds full-time summer internships in faculty-led startup initiatives. Selected scholars contribute to the development of these companies, gaining experience in and exposure to various aspects of building a new product or business.

Postdoctoral students

CoMotion Postdoctoral Entrepreneurship Program:
This one-year fellowship funds talented commercially-focused UW postdocs to work in UW labs on key translational experiments to identify and obtain company funding and to further develop the business model.

All Students

Summer Associate Venture Capital Program:
This program works to create more equitable environments in the VC and startup fields. Addressing the persistently low numbers of Black and women founders and their poor representation in venture capital firms, the Summer Associate program creates opportunities for participation for those who have been historically underrepresented.

Other programs

WRF/ITHS Summer Commercialization Fellowship | Legal Interns & Externs

Buerk Center Internships & Fellowships for Graduate Students

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship offers various internship and fellowship opportunities for graduate students to gain real-world experience while pursuing their degree.

Find a mentor

Mentors can mean the difference between success and failure for early-stage entrepreneurs. They offer business development knowledge, pitch coaching, networking connections, and subject matter expertise. UW offers these connections to its students and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial Law Clinic

People in business attire analyze documents at a table.

The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) is an innovative clinic serving entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. It teams law and business students with pro bono attorneys and business advisors to provide critical early-stage legal and business counseling.

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UW StartupTree Community

Three people hold up a grand prize check.

UW student entrepreneurs use StartupTree to access the resources they need and to discover, connect, and collaborate with co-founders, team members, and mentors on their journey.

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Interested in networking events, competitions & hackathons, and symposiums? Learn more about our events