student teams at the business plan competition

Student Experience

A unique part of this program is that you are expected to develop and launch your own venture. This venture will form the basis for many of your student projects. In essence, this takes the place of the thesis you would write in other master’s programs. This venture can be based off an idea you come in with, or an idea you develop based on the opportunity discovery frameworks you will learn in the program. This idea can – and should – change over the course of the program as you engage in real-world customer discovery and lean testing of your core assumptions, applying class content and working with expert mentors.


Students in our program will receive direct, hands-on mentoring from leading Seattle entrepreneurs and investors. Your mentors will consist of a core group of Seattle founders, CEOs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and attorneys who have both foundational expertise and startup experience. A few of the mentors involved in our program include Barbara Prowant, Brian Howe, and T.A. McCann. Learn about all our mentors on the mentor page.

Business Plan Competition

At the end of the program, all participants will participate in the UW Business Plan Competition. A premier event in the Seattle startup ecosystem, this provides a forum in which you will present your business concept to local venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Entrepreneurship Resources

Students will have access to a number of entrepreneurial on-campus resources, including:
Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship
UW Startup Job Fair
Startup Hall
CoMotion Makerspace

Seattle – Get Connected

Seattle is at the forefront of innovation. Below are just a few ways students can get involved in Seattle’s dynamic startup scene. More resources are available on the Buerk Center website
Startup Seattle
Seattle Startup Week
Geekwire Calendar
TechFlash Calendar

Diversity Resources

As a whole, the UW is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and staff, and strongly encourages student applications from underrepresented minorities.

  • University of Washington GO-MAP, the Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program is dedicated to graduate excellence through diversity.
  • Rainbow Grads, LGBTQ graduate and professional student network for personal and professional development.
  • The Q Center – We facilitate and enhance a brave, affirming, liberatory, and celebratory environment for students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities, and expressions.
  • UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity provides outreach and academic support services for University of Washington students.
  • Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action whose mission is to ensure University compliance with the law and spirit of equal opportunity and affirmative action.