Amy Sallin Named Director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship is pleased to officially introduce Amy Sallin as full-time directorThe Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship is pleased to officially introduce Amy Sallin as full-time director. Amy served as interim director during the 2018–2019 academic year following six years at the Buerk Center in assistant and associate director roles. She previously managed the Jones + Foster Accelerator and the UW Business Plan Competition (now Dempsey Startup Competition) and came to UW with a decade of experience in higher education at Portland State University and Whatcom Community College.

In the past year, the Buerk Center celebrated several exciting milestones including the naming gift for the Dempsey Startup competition, an increase in students in the Entrepreneurship Minor, and the expansion of the Buerk Center’s Startup Job Fair—which is now open to students from all programs and disciplines.

“The Buerk Center has never been more collaborative across campus,” said Sallin. “And we’re continuing this effort, both on campus and across the Cascadia Corridor through our competitions. As we grow our offerings in entrepreneurship, we’re acutely aware of the need to bring entrepreneurial learning to students of all backgrounds in new and creative ways. Entrepreneurship (and intrapreneurship) is a skill set transferable to any job students and graduates will have—whether creating a startup or working for one of the local tech companies.”

Frank Hodge, the new Janet & Orin Smith Dean of the Foster School, commended Amy for the vision and stability she has provided the center. “Many of her initiatives—including the focus on innovative learning spaces, inclusion, diversity, and making the Foster School the epicenter of all things entrepreneurial at the UW—align with what I intend to pursue during my first year,” said Hodge.

Sallin was named interim director following the retirement of longtime director Connie Bourassa-Shaw, and the transition of Rob Adams from first-year director to academic instructor. The Buerk Center was founded in 1991 and has helped students launch nearly 800 companies over the past 10 years (2008–2017). Each year, the Buerk Center hosts multiple student startup competitions, including the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge and the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, as well as the six-month milestone-based Jones + Foster Accelerator. All students who engage with the center receive exclusive access to serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, startup legal teams, marketing and public relations firms, and more.

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