Why would Bill Gates launch a new startup at the age of 62? What would compel an innovator like him, with a history like his, to start something anew? The answer to these questions is simpler than it might seem. Gates was 22 years old when he started Microsoft with Paul Allen. His leap into entrepreneurship started even before that. It continues now because entrepreneurship is a path and a skill-base that informs your entire life—beyond your age, or your level of accomplishment.
The new school year is a perfect time for students to take entrepreneurship out for a spin. And the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship has the keys. We call it Entrepreneurship Fest. Dozens of events over the first several weeks of fall quarter (detailed below) that students can drop into, sample, learn from, and decide what their journey will look like.
“These events introduce you to parts of campus you may not have realized are there, opportunities to network with CEOs and students you would not have met,” said Amy Sallin, director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. “It is a fantastic opportunity to expand your University of Washington experience in a way that will benefit you for a lifetime.”
Entrepreneurship Fest ramps up Thursday, October 4 with the first Build Your Own Business (BYOB) of the year. BYOB, which is for undergraduate students only, takes place every other Thursday in fall and winter quarters, and offers students an opportunity to talk about or pitch an idea—and learn where to take it or get involved—from serial entrepreneurs Jana and Andy Kleitsch.
A few days later, the 2018 Seattle Startup Week kicks off. It features more than 150 events focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. UW students can get discounted tickets from the Buerk Center by contacting us by Monday morning, October 8. We highly suggest you attend “University Track” events on legal help for student and early-stage entrepreneurs, tours of the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, connecting with CoMotion, and the UW Startup Career Fair.
The crown jewel for the Buerk Center is the first-ever Student Startup Showcase on Friday, October 12 at 9:30 in the morning. Sixteen student-created startups (list to the left) will be in HUB 250 to tell you about their startups and how they balanced school, relationships, and more while becoming an entrepreneur.
“It’s exciting to see what students are creating while at the University,” said Cassie Maylor, event organizer. “And the startups cannot wait to chat with young entrepreneurs and professionals from the Seattle Startup ecosystem about how they’re operating and expanding their business.”
What if you have an idea, or a whisper of one, and are thinking about the next step? Join us for one or all of our series of workshops this fall quarter. The first one on Design Thinking and Industry Pain Points is Thursday, October 11. Then come back a few weeks later for Customer Discovery and Market Validation on Thursday, November 8 starting at 12:30 in HUB 245 (RSVP at the event links).
Our first Team Formation Night of the year is on Wednesday, October 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Fluke Hall MakerSpace. Each Team Formation Night is an opportunity to come meet other students just like you. This particular session introduces students to some ways to use prototype funding from the Buerk Center (contact us for details) or create innovations on their own with 3D printers, sewing machines, and other tools.
The next Team Formation Night is set for Thursday, November 1 at 5:30 pm in Gould Court and will focus on sustainable innovations. All students, whether environmentally-focused or not, are encouraged to come to this event.
You can also participate in large student gatherings including DUBHACKS on October 21-22 and the annual SEBA Kickoff BBQ on Thursday, October 4. DUBHACKS is a 24-hour collegiate hackathon where students of all backgrounds develop creative tools to help solve society’s biggest issues. SEBA is the premiere student organization at UW for developing science and engineering students into business professionals. Each year, the Buerk Center partners with SEBA to host the Science and Technology Showcase in early January, which kicks off competition season.