College students from across the state of Washington are invited to apply for student innovation and new venture competitions hosted by University of Washington (UW) Foster School of Business’ Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Competitions take place annually in the spring during the months of March, April and May and offer opportunities for technology development and innovation in healthcare and cleantech (through the Health Innovation Challenge and Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge) as well as any other innovative idea (through the Dempsey Startup Competition). Students can either apply for one or all three. Additionally, the Buerk Center provides support to University of Washington MBA students entering the global Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC).
If you’re a student aspiring to be an entrepreneur seeking members for your HIC, EIC, or Dempsey Startup startup team, or an individual entrepreneur hoping to join a team, check out our Student Entrepreneurship Team Formation site. Create your profile and then check out the Showcase page to browse for a team to join or to find team members.
The Dempsey Startup is a platform specifically designed for student-led ventures. The competition provides several opportunities, such as student teams mentored by entrepreneurs and investors, invitations for aspiring entrepreneurs to tell their stories to the Seattle startup community, and the visibility new entrepreneurs need to get going. Over 3,730 students have participated in this annual new venture competition since its inception in 1998, and the Buerk Center has awarded 139 teams with over $1.2 million in seed funding.
The EIC mobilizes entrepreneurial students to apply their knowledge and ingenuity to solve environmental problems. Since 2009, the Buerk Center has awarded $416K in prototype funding and prize money to teams whose innovations address alternative energy production, clean water, fuel efficiency, etc. This annual challenge is open to students from colleges and universities across the Pacific Northwest.
The new HIC builds on the strengths of the University of Washington to provide a platform for interdisciplinary student teams to work on new solutions to existing health/healthcare problems, new approaches to helping people live healthier lives, new opportunities for care and treatment, and new product or services to bring to market.
The global VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition among top MBA students from 70+ prestigious business schools from 13 countries on 3 continents. Most significantly, at the core of the event is a creative turn of the tables. Unlike business plan competitions in which students pitch their own ideas to investors, at the VCIC the students are the investors, such that real entrepreneurs pitch to them (see Other Business Pitch Competitions by International Competition page).