/  June 2, 2017

A Year in Review for the Amazon Catalyst Program

Cluster Team Photo

November 2015, UW CoMotion and Amazon came together to form the Amazon Catalyst program to help bring big ideas to life. Open to all three UW campuses and all disciplines, the program provides the winners with mentorship, community through the Amazon Catalyst Fellows, and funding between $10,000 and $100,000 per project. Amazon Catalyst is not a traditional research fund; it is a different kind of funding model aimed to stimulate big, bold ideas with immediate impact.

The Amazon Catalyst program has experienced change and growth over this past academic school year. First, the program switched to a quarterly application cycle as opposed to the rolling deadline of last year. The final Amazon Catalyst deadline for this academic quarter is June 9, 11:59PM PST. Second, the intellectual property terms were revised and are more favorable to applicants.

This past fall, Amazon Catalyst funded 10 additional projects. These teams joined the 18 previously funded projects and the ever-growing community of Amazon Catalyst Fellows.

KNKX recently did a profile on Robert Winglee’s project where he and a group of UW students are working to develop new drone technology that enables them to fly at higher-altitudes and for longer amounts of time. 

Additionally, the UW Graduate School did a profile on Jumana Kawar, the co-founder of FaceCrop. FaceCrop was funded by Amazon Catalyst to continue designing their powerful compression algorithm that trims the unnecessary content from videos, enabling even the most rural communities to stream educational videos without concern for limited bandwidth. 

We are excited about the success of this program and hope it continues to inspire innovation within the UW community and bring more dream projects to life. We have been so impressed with the caliber of projects we have received and are eager to see more submissions that address big, pressing problems that we see in the world.

 For more information and to apply, visit the Amazon Catalyst website here. The final deadline for this academic calendar is June 9. The next application deadline will resume at the end of next fall.