Getting started for UW Researchers
1. Request a consultation
If it’s your first time working with us, the first step is to request a consultation so we can match you with an Innovation Manager knowledgeable about your area of research.
2. Submit a Record of Innovation (ROI) form
Submit a Record of Innovation (ROI) form to disclose innovations to CoMotion, including mechanical devices, materials, software, digital media, and copyrighted works.
3. Learn about managing dual roles
If you’re considering moving your innovation forward as a startup, there will be unavoidable but manageable conflicts of interest that arise. CoMotion and the Office of Research will help you understand how to stay in an ethics safe harbor.
Steps in the commercialization journey
CoMotion’s interconnected programs and resources are designed to support researchers and entrepreneurs throughout their innovation journey. Whether licensing to industry, spinning out a startup, or licensing direct to the user, UW researchers can tap into CoMotion’s many resources, programs, and services to support them along the way.
In addition to all the resources below, we recently published the CoMotion Startup Handbook that further explains the key steps that go into creating a successful startup. Not only does it share practical information, it will also help inspire and empower your journey ahead.
Validate your idea
Validating your idea—that is, looking beyond the details of your innovation toward building it into a successful business—is an important part of the process.
CoMotion Innovation Training and other learning opportunities can help. We offer early entrepreneurs a range of programs to help move their idea from the lab to the real world. Online training events (and in-person events when possible) are scheduled throughout the year.
We deliver just-in-time learning opportunities for all types of innovation, across all stages of the journey, to help grow ideas into impact and innovators into entrepreneurs.
Protect your innovation
At CoMotion, we have deep expertise in IP protection spanning sciences, engineering, social innovations, and more.
We align with innovators to create, maximize, and sustain commercial value from IP assets. We also have experience managing IP with external law firms, helping establish strategies to increase and protect the commercial value of IP.
Intellectual property advising & protection
Customized IP plans, developed with researchers and faculty, support innovators and ideas along their paths to market. Learn about IP definitions and types of IP protection; facts about copyrights, trademarks, and patents; important dates, and more.
Form your startup
For UW Researchers who choose the startup path
When starting a new business venture, entrepreneurs need to make sure they comply with all the legal obligations. There are a range of legal requirements including financial regulations, tax obligations, and employment laws. Make sure your new company complies with all its legal responsibilities so you can get back to focusing on growing your business. View our list of resources for forming your startup.
Build your team
One of the most important factors in the success of any startup is the team doing the work. Building the right team for your startup is about more than just required skills and competencies. It’s also about diversity. We’re not just talking about racial, national, age, or gender diversity—we’re also including the ideas, perspectives, and expertise that come from people whose life experience is different than your own.
Market conditions will change and technology will evolve, but a great team will be able to work together to adapt to new challenges. Your CoMotion Innovation Manager can help you source the right people for your startup.
When startups are just starting out, identifying and recruiting the right mix of talent and expertise can be daunting. Fortunately, the UW and broader Seattle community provide vast networking opportunities and a deep pool of educated, motivated candidates. Stay tuned for our fall lineup of events. View past events, such as Fundamentals for Startups.
Connecting and then partnering with business experts who are appropriate for your startup success is essential. Your Innovation Manager can help you find the right points of contact and increase your networking capabilities. The CoMotion mentor community is a great place to start.
The CoMotion Innovation Investments team can help you identify and apply for a wide range of funding available for commercialization of your idea. We also offer the Innovation Gap Fund, which helps UW technologies transition between the conclusion of academic research grants and the level of development at which they can attract seed stage investment.
In addition, we provide guidance on funding applications and connect you with experienced mentors who can help you develop a business model that will be of interest to a variety of funding sources.
Funding & competitions
We offer connections to funding, networks, and competitions to improve commercialization success.
License intellectual property (IP)
University licensing is an important channel for creating impact from university research that serves the public good.
Licensing & Agreements
CoMotion distributes UW technologies under five different licensing products.
Incubate your startup
For UW Researchers who choose the startup path
We help entrepreneurs reach the next level with resources to launch a business or incubate a startup.
CoMotion Labs is a multi-industry labs program hosting startups from inside and outside the UW community, with preference given to UW startups. With three locations on the UW Seattle campus — two in Fluke Hall and one in Startup Hall — each lab focuses on a particular industry sector: life sciences and hardware in Fluke Hall, and information technology/software in Startup Hall.
CoMotion Labs accepts startups in their early stages of development and helps them grow without taking equity or IP when they join. From critical infrastructure (benches, wet lab space, shared equipment, and prototyping capabilities) to learning, mentoring, and networking, CoMotion Labs nurtures and enables success.
CoMotion supports an infrastructure of invention at UW, helping transfer innovation from the lab to the world. And just as there are countless discoveries moving through the UW pipeline, we offer multiple paths to push those creations onward.
Build a startup
If a startup is found to be the most viable route to commercializing an innovation, CoMotion supports startup success with training, IP advising and protection, access to funding and mentoring, licensing, as well as infrastructure, space, and programs for incubation.
License to an existing company
Licensing technology to an existing company is another common path to commercialization. CoMotion will negotiate a license that suits the needs of the licensee, the University, and creators. In such arrangements, CoMotion works to maximize public benefit through broad dissemination of UW innovations.
License direct to user
Through direct-to-user licensing, CoMotion provides useful products and services directly to end users—rather than licensing to others the rights to develop and sell those products.