Category Archives: Undergraduate

$120,000 awarded to student-led startups

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Z Girls co-presidents Libby Ludlow and Jilyne Higgins present their progress to a panel of judges

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Jones + Foster Accelerator is a TechStars-like program that helps student-led startups get off the ground.

This year, five teams completed the six-month accelerator program, identifying and meeting milestones with the guidance of top entrepreneurs, lawyers and investors from Seattle’s entrepreneurial community.  From July 2013 to February 2014 they worked to build their teams, develop their services or technologies, get their products to market, and raise early-stage funding.

On February 4, the five teams made final presentations to a panel of judges and were awarded up to $25,000 in follow-on funding to pursue their next set of milestones.

  • PolyDropPolyDrop manufactures additives that transform regular coatings (think paint) into conductive coatings that dissipate static electricity and prevent interference caused by electric current flow.  PolyDrop has been awarded a Commercialization Gap Fund grant of $50,000 and a National Science Foundation STTR grant of $225,000, providing the funds necessary for 2014 operations and develop a prototype proving the viability of their product.
  • PureBluePure Blue Technologies, a water treatment technology company that provides visible light photo disinfection and desalination technology, is currently finalizing a license with the UW Center for Commercialization. The company has negotiated lab space with Ondine biomedical and has a term sheet for up to $1.5 million in equity funding, which will give them 18 months of runway to cover additional research and development and get them to the pilot stage.
  • ZGirlsZ Girls educates female athletes ages 11-14 on the mental and emotional skills important in sports and life. The company has received a $100,000 convertible note, raised $50,000 to provide scholarships for girls who demonstrate need, and hired 27 program leaders (all college or pro-level female athletes). In the last six months 182 girls have gone through Z Girls’ Seattle-based programs. (Check out Z Girls’ promotional videos on their website!)
  • StudentRNDStudentRND runs programs aimed at educating students (middle-school through college) about programming and engineering.  The nonprofit has created an advisory board, raised over $135,000 in sponsorships, and put together an operations plan that includes hosting 20 Code Days in Spring 2014.
  • LuckyStepsLuckySteps, a wellness program for companies and their employees, has raised $30,000 in the past six months. The company is working with a UW Human Centered Design and Engineering group on a usability study and has run beta tests with four prospective clients in order to prove its business model and pricing structure. Lucky Steps plans to wow the judges in this year’s UW Business Plan Competition.

YEOC students take on inequity in higher ed and business: The November and December sessions

For one Saturday a month, 145 high school students from across Washington State converge on the UW campus for their monthly YEOC session. YEOC, which stands for Young Executives of Color, is a nine month long college-prep program for sophomore, junior and senior high school students. With an average GPA of 3.47, this group of high-achieving students aims to increase the visibility of an under-served and under-represented population—themselves­— in the college and business worlds. The program provides participants with networking opportunities and a lecture series dubbed YEOC Talks and engages them in business activities.

Each session focuses on a different aspect of business. For the month of November, the session focus was on branding and marketing. YEOC activities consisted of super-hero team skits, a dress for success fashion show and a battle of the brands debate. The sophomore college prep session centered on leadership while the juniors focused on college fit and the seniors reviewed their college applications and essays. The students also heard from YEOC alumna/current mentor Jordan Faralan and Microsoft Product Marketing Manager Leona Locke. Check out some highlights in the student-made video below:

Finance was the well-timed focus for December. YEOC activities included honing their public speaking skills and a financial freedom game with YEOC mentors and community volunteers. The sophomore college prep session was devoted to paying for college while juniors gained insights into scholarships and seniors worked on scholarship essays. Students also attended a mentor lecture on personal finance with UW student Paulos Shiferaw and a YEOC Talk with Wesley Burns, a Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Advisor. Watch some highlights below:

This blog post is first in a series focusing on monthly YEOC student activities. Visit the YEOC page to learn more about the program.

CISB student profile: Robby Ryan

Robby Ryan is a senior at the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business, pursuing an option in finance and a minor in Spanish. He is also taking the Certificate of International Studies in Business, Spanish Track.

Robby began studying Spanish during his freshman year at Juanita High School in Kirkland, Washington, and always had the goal of gaining fluency in the language. Upon arriving at the UW, he decided to combine his passion for language, travel and business by joining the Certificate of International Studies in Business Program. After completing second-year Spanish courses, he studied abroad in Santiago, Chile in 2012 as a participant in the semester-long direct exchange program at the business school of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. His study abroad experience gave him the opportunity to immerse himself in the Spanish language and Latin American culture, make friends from all over the world and gain first-hand international business experience.

Last summer, Robby worked as a bilingual intern in the Regulatory Affairs Department at Starbucks Coffee Company, where he focused on product registration and labeling in Latin America. Robby credits the CISB program with giving him the language skills and cross-cultural experience he needed to be successful in his internship.

Robby will graduate in the spring of 2014. After graduation, he plans to return to South America to see the World Cup, visit friends and travel as much as he can. In August, he will return to Starbucks, where he has been hired as a quality assurance specialist.

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Vanessa Garcia

Vanessa GarciaName: Vanessa Garcia

Major: Finance and American Ethnic Studies

Hometown: Everett, WA

Activities: I am currently VP of Operations of the Association of Black Business Students, a mentor for the Young Executives of Color program, and an intern for La Raza Commission. I love traveling! So far I’ve been to Europe, Mexico, India and Brazil. My next stop is the Dominican Republic.

Why Foster?: Foster provides amazing resources, support and opportunities for growth as professionals and individuals.

Over Summer Break I… will be taking summer classes and interning with a local company.

After graduation,  I plan on… traveling and then beginning my career in the Seattle area.

Advice to future students: Get organized! Buy an agenda or use Google calendars to plan out your study schedule ahead of time. Trust me, it helps.

Favorite place to study: Any study room in the Michael G Foster School of Business

Favorite place to eat on the Ave: Yummy Bites! They have the best teriyaki.

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Tina Moore

Tina MooreName: Tina Moore

Major: Accounting

Minor: Diversity

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

Activities: VP of Alumni Relations for the Association of Black Business Students (ABBS), PwC Intern

Why Foster?: Being a part of Foster means being a part of a close knit community of professors, advisers, and students who are nothing short of inspirational. Both inside and outside the classroom, there are ample opportunities for personal and professional development and, with all the amazing people you’ll meet, you’re bound to make great friends along the way.

Over Summer Break I… completed my second internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers in downtown Seattle and they flew me out to New York for the final round of a case competition!

After graduation,  I plan to… start preparations for the CPA exam.

Advice to future students: Step out of your comfort zone—you may dislike the idea now, but you will thank yourself later!

Favorite place to study: The Foster Library

Favorite place to eat on the Ave: Ruzhen Grill

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Tasha Tieu

Tasha TieuName: Tasha Tieu

Major:  Accounting

Hometown:  Shoreline, WA

Activities:  Undergraduate Business Council, Beta Alpha Psi, Foster Mentorship Program, Becker Campus Ambassador, Foster UCS Peer Coach, case competitions (PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte)

Why Foster?:   Foster runs in the family – both my mom and cousin graduated from the accounting program here. I love the Pacific Northwest, and Foster has a very distinct presence in this area. Employers that I’ve met all agree that Foster graduates stand out because the programs that this school offers develops such high quality, innovative, and cooperative students. The resources that Foster offers to its students, both through the knowledge of our faculty and the opportunities available to network with professionals, are unparalleled in this area.

Over summer break I…  interned at a private investment manager and attended summer leadership conferences with the Big 4. I also traveled to Anaheim for the National Beta Alpha Psi conference, and to eastern Canada for vacation.

After graduation, I plan to…
go back to school! I plan on getting my Masters of Public Accounting (MPAcc) at Foster. I would also love to travel more before starting full-time with an accounting firm.

Advice to future students:  There is so much more to college than just academic success. Explore different clubs, whether it’s within Foster or not. Be responsible, but don’t forget that your freshman year is about having fun and new experiences. College years fly by much more quickly than you may know. Live in the moment because you will never get these years back.

Favorite place to study:  Orin’s on Sundays – it’s surprisingly quiet. Otherwise, Foster Library.

Favorite place to eat on the Ave:   You can never go wrong with Chipotle.​

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Ryan Cranke

Ryan CrankeName: Ryan Cranke

Major: Accounting and Finance

Minor: Mathematics

Hometown: Battle Ground, WA

Activities: Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) Vice President of Service, Foster Mentorship Program, Past Vice President of Business Ethics Association (BEA), Student Assistant at the University of Washington Department of Neurological Surgery

Why Foster?: UW was the first campus I ever toured, and after that I never found another school that compared. I felt like this was where I belonged. When I came up in the spring to tour Foster, I just knew deep down that this was the right place for me. While I can’t really describe what made me choose Foster, I can say with certainty that I’ve never regretted my decision to come here!

Over Summer Break I… worked and took a few classes. I also had the opportunity to travel a bit, including to Boston when the Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs were ending there. I’m a huge hockey fan, so being in the city where the final game of the playoffs was being played was an amazing experience!

After graduation,  I plan to… get my CPA and then pursue a career in public accounting. I’ll also be getting a Golden Retriever as soon as my living arrangements will allow it.

Advice to future students: Explore. Go to different club events, info sessions, or events. That is the best way to find what interests you and to meet people who share those same interests. UW and particularly Foster have so many great opportunities, but only if you are willing to go after them. Step outside of your comfort zone. We only grow when we push ourselves; take a leadership role, do a case competition, or start a brand new club about whatever you’re passionate about.

Favorite place to study: Foster Student Organization Room

Favorite place to eat on the Ave: Wing Central

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Rachel Varkey

Rachel VarkeyName:  Rachel Varkey

Major:  Finance and Marketing

Hometown: Federal Way, WA

Activities:  TedXUofW Curator, Translate Change

Why Foster?:  I love the energy in Foster. Every day I am inspired by people who are constantly pushing me to be the best businesswoman I can be. I am grateful to be surrounded by excellence.

Over Summer Break…  I was in Israel witnessing first-hand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

After graduation, I plan to…  I will be working in fashion public relations, marketing, and merchandising.

Advice to future students:  Get involved! Do the best you can to meet people and develop unique networks. My success is all due to the loving, thoughtful, and passionate mentors who have always guided me in the right direction.

Favorite place to study:  Paccar study rooms

Favorite place to eat on the Ave:  Hawaiian BBQ

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Nabil Manji

Name: Nabil Manji

Major:  Accounting and English

Hometown:  Sammamish, WA

Activities:  University of Washington’s Pre-Law Society, Beta Alpha Psi, Foster School of Business Advisory Council, teaching assistant in various business departments, Business Honors

Why Foster?:  In the Pacific Northwest, you really can’t beat Foster. It’s a fantastic school with phenomenal faculty, great students, and a close-knit community. Besides the great people, the new facilities are unrivaled and there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and meet other students with similar interests, no matter what those may be. Not to mention that Foster offers tremendous value, especially if you qualify for in-state tuition.

Over Summer Break I… will be a Summer Analyst in Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy & Operations (S&O) practice, based out of the Seattle office. Additionally, I will be taking the LSAT, GMAT, and hopefully be going on vacation sometime in September before school starts again.

After graduation, I plan to…  work for a few years and then pursue a JD, MBA, or JD/MBA from a top-tier institution.

Advice to future students:  Get involved and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Foster and college in general is what you make of it. Going to class will get you your basic education, but taking advantage of all the student organizations, competitions, and events that Foster has to offer is what is going to enrich your business school experience and set you apart from the rest of your classmates. Your coursework is only one aspect of your entire university experience – don’t let everything else pass you by.

Favorite place to study:
  Gallagher Law Library. It’s the quietest library on campus and  you get an entire table to yourself. As an added bonus, it’s right across the street from Foster.

Favorite place to eat on the Ave:  Tough question, but I have to go with Thai Tom.

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Midori Ng

Midori NgName: Midori Ng

Major: Marketing and Information Systems

Minor: Diversity

Hometown: Sammamish, WA

Activities: Husky Sales Club, UW Relay For Life, UW Campus Tour Guide, TEDxUofW, Case Competitions, Intramural Volleyball.

Why Foster?: The Foster School of Business provides the perfect environment for students to work together, solve real-world business problems, and create innovative solutions. I love the networking opportunities, extracurricular activities, and variety of coursework this school has to offer.

Over Summer Break I… studied abroad in Tahiti! I became immersed in the rich Polynesian culture of Heiva dance, voyage canoeing, art history, and traditional Tahitian language.

After graduation,  I plan to… work for an innovative, global company in the field of marketing and public relations.

Advice to future students: Take advantage of all the opportunity, resources, and live with a positive outlook, big heart, and open mind.

Favorite place to study: I love to study at the HUB! Or when it’s sunny, outside on the terrace of Paccar or Suzzallo Library.

Favorite place to eat on the Ave: HAWAIIAN BBQ WITHOUT A DOUBT!