A focus on empowering student innovators at all levels earned the University of Washington high marks in both graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurship offerings by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. The achievements of the past year show momentum for a student body that embraced—and thrived during a complicated 12 months of mostly virtual programming, academics, and competitions.
UW ranked #8 for graduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation and #5 in the West Region for 2022. The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine reporting includes some metrics in support of the placement of each school. In each case, UW showed tremendous growth. Over the previous year, the University offered more courses in entrepreneurship than five of the schools ranked ahead of it. UW graduate alumni who studied entrepreneurship or took part in programming also launched 357 companies over the last five years. That is more than double the numbers reported for five of the top-10 ranked schools for 2022. Those UW alumni created startups have brought in over $72 million in fundraising alone to propel their businesses forward and impact the communities around them.
In terms of undergraduate offerings, the Princeton Review ranked UW #26 overall and #9 in the West Region for 2022. Over the previous year, the University offered more courses in entrepreneurship for undergrads than six of the schools ranked above it. UW undergraduate alumni also launched 319 companies over the last five years—more than 16 of the 25 schools ranked ahead of UW and more than double of seven of them. UW undergrad alumni created startups also raised more than $40 million in funding rounds over that same period.
The rankings are based on considerations by Princeton Review to the responses from 50+ question surveys sent to more than 300 schools offering entrepreneurship studies.
“We’re proud of all the UW entrepreneurial students and alumni for their ingenuity, creativity, and dedication to create businesses that will impact communities and change lives all over the world,” said Amy Sallin, director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship in the Foster School of Business. “Together with our partners across campus, we deliver world-class entrepreneurship experiences inside and out of the classroom. It’s not just part of our mission, but in tune with the commitment by the Foster School to foster leaders, insights, and progress to better humanity today and into the future.”
New Entrepreneurship Programs Strengthen Existing Ecosystem
The Center and UW CoMotion operate as hubs for community, faculty, and student collaboration—working with colleges and department across the UW-Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses (as well as the Global Innovation Exchange which operates in partnership with China’s Tsinghua University and Microsoft) to connect students to major VC firms, angel investing groups, and entrepreneurs in every industry in the region.
Adding to the opportunities across campus for students to start or continue their journey with entrepreneurship, the 2021-22 academic year brought with it a brand-new partnership between Creative Destruction Lab and the Foster School. The Buerk Center recently held the first-ever Sacia Digital Health Innovation Workshop. Student groups like DubHacks also recently launched the first-ever student-run incubator for technology startups, while the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program and the student organization StartupUW both created and embraced one-week innovation studios to promote and reward ideation efforts across campus.
The Buerk Center also hosts three student innovation and startup competitions open to colleges and universities across the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Alaska—as well as the non-academic Jones + Foster Accelerator program. Since 2010, more than 85% of those who received seed funding from the Accelerator are still in business today.
Entrepreneurship students are also given the access and opportunity to participate in programs in partnership with global leaders such as Amazon Catalyst, CoMotion Labs, the Institute for Protein Design, the Clean Energy Institute, as well as fellowships in technology commercialization and social entrepreneurship.
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Follow the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship on Twitter @uwbuerk
Follow UW CoMotion on Twitter @UWComotion
Visit the Buerk Centers’ website at startup.uw.edu
Visit the CoMotion website at comotion.uw.edu
Visit the UW Innovation Imperative website