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Amazon Catalyst announces new themes for next round

Written by Debra Bouchegnies / April 7, 2019
Amazon Catalyst spring 2019

Amazon Catalyst returns – with a twist!

In 2015 Amazon teamed up with CoMotion at the University of Washington to announce Amazon Catalyst, a program that helps students, faculty, and staff launch truly innovative ideas that aim to solve real-world problems at large scale and make a positive, meaningful social impact. To date, Amazon Catalyst has funded 50 UW teams – Amazon Catalyst Fellows – across a range of disciplines. See examples of Amazon Catalyst Fellows below.


This year, we are trying something different. To tightly focus inspiration on the pressing issues of our time, this round of Catalyst will be based on specific themes: Urban Transportation and Computational Social Science (i.e. using data and computing analysis like machine learning and simulation, to address social problems). Proposals must address one of these themes. Preference will be given to those which leverage machine learning.


  • Open to UW students, faculty, and staff from all campuses
  • Ideas from all disciplines welcome
  • It’s a project fund, not a research fund. Be ready to run with and truly build your idea!
  • Themes: Urban Transportation and Computational Social Science. See example prompts.
  • Solutions should focus on scalability and positive social impact
  • Awards will be up to $10,000
  • Project timeline: six months
  • Application is simple and straightforward: only 20 questions
  • Deadline: May 31, 2019

“Amazon Catalyst funding was instrumental in kickstarting Slightly Robot as a successful, sustainable, socially beneficial company.”

- Matt Toles, Amazon Catalyst Fellow, CEO, Slightly Robot

“What continues to surprise me is how such a simple idea, like ours, can make such a big impact when you have the right support to make it a reality.”

- Greg Newbloom, Amazon Catalyst Fellow, CEO, Membrion

Amazon Catalyst Fellows

Fellows include:

Get Updates

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Ready to go for it?