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Buerk Center Fellowships and Internships

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship offers various internship and fellowship opportunities for graduate students to gain real-world experience while pursuing their degree. Click on each heading to learn more.

Global Innovation Fellows

Seattle is fast becoming one of the largest centers for global health in the world, and the University of Washington is playing a key role. The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the UW Department of Global Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is calling for applications for its Global Innovation Fellows, a small group of MBAs and TECs who will research business problems/technologies of significance in global health alongside graduate students in Global Health and Development.

Each spring the Buerk Center hires 2 – 3 students as our Global Innovation Fellows for the following academic year. This is a year-long commitment (fall through spring), and we anticipate students will work 20 hours a week on between 6 to 8 projects (total) a year. Ideal candidates will have a fundamental interest in the business problems/technology innovations associated with global health and development, an affinity for working with global health and development experts and researchers, and a desire to be part of an interdisciplinary team of creative, dedicated individuals. Our shared goal is to create the next generation of business and science leaders who are focused on global health and innovation. Fellows will work closely with faculty advisor Dr. Ahktar Badshah (Evans School of Public Policy & Governance) and senior project offers from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Timeline Compensation How to Apply
2021-2022 The Global Innovation Fellows will receive tuition waivers each quarter. Fall Quarter will be the “trial” performance period to ensure that the Fellows in the program are performing at the necessary level. We are now accepting applications for 2021-2022 Fellows through Sunday, April 18, 2021. Click here for the online application.

Student Eligibility: MBAs apply in winter/spring quarter of their first year to be a Fellow during their second year of the program. MBAs already receiving tuition waivers (TA, RA, GSAs, etc.) should check with the MBA Program office to determine their eligibility. TECs and other graduate students at UW who have a solid background in master’s-level business courses will be considered on a case by case basis. Graduate students should review their tuition status with their home department to see if they are eligible for a tuition waiver.

For more information on this opportunity, contact [email protected].

ITHS & WRF Summer Commercialization Fellowships

This is an excellent opportunity for graduate-level students to work with UW researchers and inventors to develop a commercialization plan for a UW technology. Graduate students interested in business development, product management, legal, or investment career paths will work directly with experts from ITHS, WRF Capital, CoMotion, and the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship to write a feasibility report for commercialization of a UW innovation. You must be a self-starter, highly analytical, and fearless about talking with potential customers, and networking your way to industry experts and other mentors. You will be supported by Foster faculty, mentors and experts from across campus. There will a week or training, required presentations and milestones every two weeks, to provide the structure for your analysis.

We are hiring four Summer Fellows for 10 weeks in 2021, June 22 – August 28, for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
Deadline to Apply: Friday, April 23 at 11:59 PM PT
Candidate Interviews: May 3 – 7
Notifications: On or Around Monday, May 10

All Foster MBA students (who have taken the core classes), Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate (TEC) students and graduate students with entrepreneurial core coursework in marketing, strategy, and finance in their backgrounds are eligible to apply. These fellowships are competitive, and preference will be given to current students.

Paid: $10,000

As part of the Buerk Center’s work across campus and in the community, these fellowships are made possible in conjunction with Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) and Washington Research Foundation (WRF).

Available Projects/Technologies
View list of 2021 projects/technologies
As a professional courtesy, please do not contact the inventors or tech managers directly about your application.

How to Apply

Please upload your application to the 2021 ITHS & WRF Summer Commercialization Fellows Application page by Friday, April 23 at 11:59 PM PT. Your application should include a single PDF file with 1) a recent resume or CV and 2) a one- to two-page cover letter. The cover letter should describe what you could bring—in terms of background experience and interest—to the projects in which you are most interested.

If you have any questions please contact Jessica Roberto [email protected].

WRF Venture Analysts Program

Washington Research Foundation (WRF) is seeking 2-4 Venture Analysts to assist with reviewing potential grants and investments. WRF is a private foundation based in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle that supports the development of groundbreaking technologies at nonprofit research institutions in Washington state. WRF Capital is the investment vehicle for WRF and invests in startups based in Washington, with a special focus on spinouts from the same nonprofit research institutions that are the focus of WRF grant-making.

Venture Analysts will perform background research on grant-making and investment opportunities currently under consideration by WRF. Analysts will gain a greater understanding of the process of commercialization as they work for a locally focused foundation and venture capital firm.


  • Work up to 10 hours per week remotely
  • Receive compensation of $30-40/hour
  • Are appointed for up to one year based on performance and mutual agreement


  • Must be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Must confirm with their school and advisor that they are eligible to work up to 10 hours a week outside of their school program
  • Must be enrolled in an MBA program, a graduate health degree (e.g. PharmD), a graduate program in a STEM field such as chemistry, life science, information technology or engineering, or in a postdoctoral fellowship program at a Washington state research university such as UW, WSU, EWU, WWU and CWU. Please contact us with questions about the eligibility of other Washington-based institutions
  • Must have the consent of their Ph.D. supervisor, academic advisor or PI
  • Must display a history of entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Participation in entrepreneurship training (for example, TEC certificate courses in Foster School, Program in Technology Commercialization, SEBA participation, participation in HIC or Business Plan Competition) or prior business experience will strengthen your application but are not required

Qualified candidates may apply at https://www.wrfseattle.org/about-us/venture-analysts/

Closing date: end of the day on June 30, 2021

William H. Gates Sr. Fellow in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Technology Alliance

The Technology Alliance, a highly respected, statewide organization of technology leaders, is accepting applications for its William H. Gates Sr. Fellow in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Fellowship is available for up to the full academic year 2021–22, requiring ~15 hours/week of work; the initial commitment from both the Technology Alliance and the Fellow will be for the fall quarter. Based on the organization’s needs and Fellow’s performance and interest, the Fellowship may be extended for the winter and spring quarters. Depending on COVID restrictions/conditions, the work will be a combination of remote and in person.

The Technology Alliance (TA) has spent more than 20 years supporting Washington’s innovation economy through events, program incubation, and research all focused on shoring up three pillars of innovation—a world-class education system, a vibrant research community, and a strong entrepreneurial climate. The TA represents companies and organizations that span Washington’s diverse economy—aerospace, energy, IT, and life sciences—and position R&D as core to their growth and impact model.

Historically, the TA’s work has included building a continuum of support for entrepreneurs—from a speakers’ series that highlights emergent research (Discovery Series), to a training “bootcamp” for very early stage concepts poised for commercialization (Innovation Showcase), to launching the largest and most active angel investing group in the region (Alliance of Angels). As the Technology Alliance looks forward to its next five years, it is committed to building on this history of both reporting on the state’s innovation economy and demonstrating creative approaches to strengthening it.

This Fellowship provides an opportunity for an exceptional graduate student from the University of Washington to learn about the drivers of Washington’s innovation economy—from the talent pipeline (K‐12 education, degrees, entrepreneurs), to research capacity in universities, to the impact that results when R&D is commercialized for public good. At the start of the Fellowship, the Fellow and the Technology Alliance’s CEO will develop learning objectives and goals that relate to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.

The Fellowship is open to full‐time MBAs, evening MBAs who have completed their core requirements, or Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate (TEC) students who have taken at least two core classes (8 credits) of entrepreneurship. Interested students from other UW graduate schools may also apply. This Fellowship is provided through an endowment from William H. Gates Sr. to the UW Foster School of Business, and stipend amount and terms are awarded by the Director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship in consultation with the CEO of the Technology Alliance.

25 years ago, the Technology Alliance wrote its first economic impact report. Back in 1997, the Washington state economy was driven by airplanes and agriculture. Google wasn’t yet a company, Amazon had only just started selling books online, Mark Zuckerberg was in middle school and Boeing dwarfed Microsoft’s employment. There was a robust life sciences community, but if Washington state was truly going to become a hub of the innovation economy, we needed three things: an educated workforce, increased research capacity, and a strong entrepreneurial climate. And to achieve all of that was going to require the support of the legislature (and by extension the people of the state of Washington). That required proof that this new sector was worth supporting. Hence, the economic impact report, demonstrating that the innovation sector provided high-paying, high-quality jobs, and suggesting ways that the legislature could build and support the sector.

In celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary, we’d like to revisit that report and understand what’s happened to the sector and the state in the intervening time; providing refreshed insights around both continuing to support the sector and how to make sure that the benefits accrue to all of Washington’s residents, regardless of occupation, geography or other demographics.

Join the Technology Alliance for a unique opportunity to take a look back at the last 25 years of innovation in Washington and shape the next 25.

You’ll be working directly with UW professors as well as experienced consultants from one of the world’s largest consulting firms, and senior executives from the region’s biggest companies. This is an amazing opportunity to use and extend your expertise in analytics, policy, and innovation.


Candidate must be highly motivated, well organized, and possess excellent communication (both writing and verbal) and analytical skills. Writing skills are especially important in this role and a writing assessment will be given as part of the interview process. Great data analytic and storytelling skills (with numbers, pictures, and words) are also critical to this role. Proficiency with MS Office Suite is expected.

During the Fellowship the Fellow will maintain adequate academic progress as defined by the University of Washington.

The TA is a very small organization so candidates must be nimble and able to both participate in and provide leadership across a variety of areas, with a sense of humor and congeniality.

Interested candidates should submit a résumé and cover letter, expressing interest and explaining relevant experience and related career goals. Stipend will be ~$2,000 per month for ~15 hours/week over about nine months, with a start date aligned with fall quarter 2021.

Please apply to [email protected]‐alliance.com; add CC [email protected]. Applications open immediately and will be accepted until June 1st.

Alliance of Angels Fellowship

Since 1997, the Alliance of Angels (AoA) has connected a community of over 140 angel investors with the most promising early-stage companies in the Pacific Northwest to invest, mentor and enable their success. The AoA has provided over $125 million of funding for 200+ Pacific Northwest startups, making the AoA one of the most active angel groups in the US. With an unsurpassed flow of excellent deals, a top-notch screening process, and the experience to help entrepreneurs understand appropriate market-based valuation and terms, our investors are well positioned to work as a team to not only find great companies, but also to help them achieve remarkable success.

The AoA provides the opportunity for one exceptional student to spend one year learning about angel investing in technology and other high-growth businesses.

The Fellowship is open to students who have completed a minimum of 50% of a Masters in Business Administration or other graduate program. International students are welcome to apply.

Fellowship Details
One fellowship position has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of our premier sponsor, K&L Gates. The AoA Fellowship is a one year, part-time position, reporting to the AoA Managing Director and working closely with constituents including the greater entrepreneurial community and our angel investors. Designed for the MBA candidate at least midway through an accredited graduate program, this unique opportunity combines evaluating, coaching, relationship management, and in-depth analysis & research in the fast-paced ever-changing world of technology and innovation. In addition to leadership from the Managing Director, Fellows can leverage resources across our broad and experienced investor base.


  • Perform due diligence on companies being evaluated by AoA for investment, including market research, competitive analysis and financial analysis
  • Write Investment Memos that summarize due diligence findings and drive investment decisions
  • Collaborate with the Due Diligence Director to execute the due diligence workflow, which includes info collection, data room organization, and investor/entrepreneur communication
  • Conduct or co-host startup community events including entrepreneur office hours and pitch clinics, investor education, and workshops on industry trends
  • Write articles on topics of interest to entrepreneurs by interviewing angel investors
  • Represent the AoA in the community to assist with deal flow, membership recruiting and new Fellow recruiting

Candidate must be highly motivated; well organized; and possess excellent communication and analytical skills. Knowledge of startups and early stage investing is a plus. Candidates can be second year MBA students or graduate students at least halfway through their curricular requirements. Interested candidates should be prepared to commit to a one-year part-time position and a 20 hour minimum/week commitment is expected. Start and end dates are negotiable, and typically run concurrent with the academic year. International students are welcome to apply.

How to Apply
Please contact the Foster MBA Career Management Office for more information on current openings. Like most MBA internships, applications open in the fall and interviews are conducted in the spring of each year.

Innovation Development Intern Program

UW CoMotion offers a unique opportunity for University of Washington PhD candidates and postdocs from various technical programs to gain in-depth understanding about university technology transfer and technology commercialization. Interns assist UW CoMotion in the technical and commercial evaluation of University of Washington inventions. The program also provides valuable educational opportunity for the interns and exposes them to the greater UW innovation ecosystem. Many of our alumni have gotten the breadth of experience they needed to obtain positions at the interface of science and business.

Innovation Development Interns:

  • Work on various projects including: scientific, market, prior art, and patent research analysis of new disclosures; assessment of commercial viability of early-stage technologies; generation of non-confidential marketing materials; and identification of potential licensees.
  • Work up to 10 hours per week remotely with stipend provided.
  • Must be available to work for at least 6 months. Appointments can be extended based on performance and mutual agreement.

Selection Criteria:

  • Degree – MBA, MS, PhD or currently in a graduate program. If currently enrolled in a graduate program, consent of PhD supervisor is also required.
  • All Areas of Study – Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Computer Sciences, Engineering.
  • Strong scientific/technical background, gained formally or informally, with the ability to understand and communicate scientific and technical concepts.
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to tackle new challenges.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Application Process:
Applications are considered on a rolling basis. If you are interested in applying, please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the program to [email protected].

Winter or Spring 2021 Technology Commercialization Fellowship

To develop a recommendation on the optimal commercialization path for a technology to reverse the demineralization of teeth. Peptide Guided Biomimetic Tooth Repair (Mehmet Sarikaya, Materials Science & Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Oral Health Sciences).

The loss of mineral in teeth, demineralization, is a natural process that worsens with age and triggers major dental ailments including tooth sensitivity, caries formation, and even tooth loss affecting ~90% of population. The process is further exacerbated by poor oral hygiene, diet, use of wrong dental products, and genetics. There is no technology in the market that effectively reverse the demineralization process. Using biology as the guide, we developed a biomimetic technology that utilizes peptides to reverses the demineralization process. The interdisciplinary UW-Dental Team has developed several peptide-based product formulations for dental care applications. To bring this technology platform to market, we focus on an introductory product that will address a specific market need and will serve as a steppingstone to address broader oral health care needs. A student fellow will perform an in-depth analysis on product readiness, market opportunities/risks, and regulatory implications for our pipeline of formulations. The outcome will inform the team the best commercialization pathway.

$30-$35/hour depending on the number of hours required. It is assumed an MBA or grad student could spend 10-20 hours per week for 10 weeks. This can also be structured as an independent study if needed.

Reporting to
Teddy Johnson, Associate Director of Technology Development at University of Washington – WE-REACH & ITHS and Emer Dooley, Buerk Faculty Fellow, Foster.

Questions? Teddy Johnson and Emer Dooley
Application is now closed.