Third “CoMotion Labs” Incubator Set to Focus on VR/AR
SEATTLE, Washington, June 30, 2016—CoMotion, the collaborative innovation hub at the University of Washington, will move to a new headquarters (HQ) in mid-August. The CoMotion HQ building will also house CoMotion’s third and newest incubator space which will cater to early-stage virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) startups. Together, these two developments will situate CoMotion at the heart of Seattle’s growing Innovation District.
The opening of the CoMotion HQ lab space will coincide with a thematic consolidation of the CoMotion incubators in Fluke Hall and Startup Hall, CoMotion’s existing startup programs. Now, the three will be known collectively as “CoMotion Labs.” This change comes for several reasons. As terms, Incubator, CoWorking Space, and Accelerator are used interchangeably in the external marketplace, and while each has characteristics unique to type, the public generally doesn’t distinguish between them. “The ‘CoMotion Labs’ name allows us to encompass all three of them and more,” says Vikram Jandhyala, UW’s Vice President for Innovation Strategy and Executive Director of UW CoMotion. “‘Labs’ also evokes the experimenting, lean thinking, and innovation that are core to CoMotion.”
The new CoMotion HQ lab space will have 34 desks, with two immersive VR lab areas, as well as conference rooms, event rooms, lunch rooms, and other common spaces. The costs for a desk and programs will be $350 per month. Startup clients enjoy not only physical work space but also unique benefits including wrap around support services, networks of leading experts, access to funding sources, and peer-to-peer and general networking events, all of which are geared towards startups and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Innovation Ecosystem.
Already, two VR startups have committed to join: Mechanical Dreams and MultiModal Health. Mechanical Dreams is a VR, film, and television content production startup that champions original, diverse voices in storytelling. MultiModal Health designs VR games to help patients with neurological damage recover from injuries.
“We're looking forward to the sense of community that will come with being surrounded by other socially-minded startups in our industry,” says Lacey Leavitt, co-founder of Mechanical Dreams. “It’s an ideal home for our new company.”
The new CoMotion HQ will further CoMotion’s commitment to and successful history of nurturing UW startups, all while contributing to the growth of an inclusive Innovation District between UW and the broader community. The CoMotion Incubator at Fluke Hall, for example, currently houses twenty startup clients, and has graduated eight more. It has helped its clients raise more than $20 million in equity, and received more than $11 million in grants.
“CoMotion Labs is seeding the Innovation District with innovators, entrepreneurs and startups that are challenging the status quo with real-world solutions,” says Elizabeth Scallon, the Labs’ Associate Director. “Having them here not only allows for collaboration and partnerships with the most innovative public university in the world, but also creates jobs and economic opportunity for the citizens in Washington State.”
The new CoMotion HQ building is located at 4545 Roosevelt Way NE, next to Trader Joe’s.
About the University of Washington and CoMotion
Recently ranked by Reuters as the #1 most innovative public university in the world, UW is a leading recipient of federal funding research, producing innovations that have the power to change the world—from biofuel alternatives, to more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer, to purification technology for drinking water in the developing world. CoMotion at the UW is the collaborative innovation hub to expand the societal impact of the UW community by developing and connecting local and global innovation ecosystems.
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