One of CoMotion’s most impactful programs targets entrepreneurial UW grad students and postdocs who want to further explore the commercialization potential of the innovations they helped create. Called the CoMotion Commercialization Fellows Program (CFP), this one-year fellowship gives them time to focus on the next steps in their commercialization journey without the obligation of academic grants or the pressure of having to find a job upon graduation.
Fellows work with CoMotion innovation managers to delve into important commercialization issues, take advantage of additional resources, and work with mentors who have expertise and connections in every field. The innovation managers help teams with assessing marketing opportunity, preparing proposals, pursuing business development funds, customer discovery, engaging with potential customers and partners, filing patents, advising on IP strategy as well as offering advice that will help them move closer to reaching their commercialization goals.
Fellows are also required to attend monthly luncheon meetings with other CFP teams and mentors. At the meetings, managers share insights and offer feedback, and Fellows benefit from hearing others’ experiences as well. Each luncheon also features a subject matter expert guest speaker who imparts their knowledge. Past Fellows have shared that the CFP was very helpful in building their team, improving technology, developing the business, and providing outreach to potential customers and investors.
CFP has had over 45 Fellows from 17 departments, supporting students from the bachelor’s to the postdoc level. To date, CoMotion Commercialization Fellows have helped launch over 20 startups based on University of Washington technology.
Read on to learn more about our past Fellows and their experience in the program.