Two months ago, a group of academic and industry partners across Seattle joined together for the third annual Seattle Startup Week. This jam-packed week-long event is aimed at anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship. This year, there were over 150 events around the region with topics ranging from learning from failure, funding, and civic and social impact. CoMotion was fortunate enough to lead the University track, which included seven different events geared towards connecting startups with UW resources.
CoMotion Labs, CoMotion’s multi-industry labs system hosting startups inside and outside the UW community (with three locations), partnered with the University of Washington Buerk Center to brainstorm and execute the events within the University track.
On Monday, the panel discussion, “Unlocking UW: UW Resources to Support Inclusive Innovation” kicked off the week. This panel included representatives from CoMotion, the UW Law School, and the Foster School of Business who were each able to share their own insights as to how all entrepreneurs, not just those affiliated with the University, are able to utilize the resources UW has to offer. For example, the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) through the UW School of Law pairs up law students with attorneys to provide early stage legal consulting to entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, CoMotion Labs, apart from offering work space, also hosts several series of events that outline the best practices for startups such as their Fundamentals for Startups Fridays and their Start Something series. These events are open to the entire startup community and frequently tap into the University resources by inviting University employed experts to present.
On Tuesday, the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship hosted another event in their Straight Talk for Entrepreneurs series. In this installment, UW Assistant Professor of Management Ben Hallen shared his research question, Do Accelerators Accelerate? Immediately after, CoMotion Labs invited several of their Virtual Reality startups to speak on a panel about each of their entrepreneurial journeys and the future of VR in Seattle. Ultimately, the panel concluded with Seattle as one of the premiere cities for Virtual Reality development and attributed much of its success thus far to the inclusive nature of the Seattle VR community.
On Wednesday, CoMotion Labs kicked off the day with its monthly Waffle Wednesday series, a breakfast networking event sponsored by UPS. Directly following this event was another enlightening panel discussion led by the Buerk Center. This time, the panel discussed, “Connecting with UW Student Talent” where panelists from the University of Washington were able to discuss what student groups they worked with and the best practices for connecting with their students. The panel recommended fully utilizing the University of Washington’s student jobs page, HuskyJobs, in addition to reaching out to the UW Career Center to keep up-to-date with the various Career Fairs that occur throughout the year.
Finally, on Friday, UW CoMotion’s Amazon Catalyst team partnered with PechaKucha Seattle to put on the very first PechaKucha event on the University of Washington campus. PechaKucha Night is an event format originally designed in Tokyo which has now spread to over 900 cities around the world. Each event is comprised of 10-15 speakers who are tasked with presenting on a certain topic. Each speaker is only allowed 20 slides which display for 20 seconds each and is able to fill that time with their own anecdotes and experiences. Taking place in the brand new UW Intellectual House, this final Seattle Startup Week event focused on the theme, “Innovation and Digital Equity – Creative Visionaries at the Frontlines of Change.” It welcomed a variety of speakers ranging from high schoolers, to professors, to an ex-convict, and including two of our very own Amazon Catalyst fellows. Click here to view the video of all the presentations.
Seattle Startup Week was a huge success this year and CoMotion is excited to take part in it again in 2017.