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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
2020-2021 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 will be accepting applications for 2020-2021 Fellows in Winter 2021

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 2020, June 22 – August 28, for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

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 available projects/technologies
As a professional courtesy, please do not contact the inventors or tech managers directly about your application.

How to Apply

The application deadline is Sunday, March 29, 2020. Interviews with selected candidates will be scheduled for early April and offers extended in mid-April.

Please upload your application on the Technology Commercialization Application page. Your application should include a single .pdf file with a recent resume or CV and 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 Emer Dooley [email protected] or Jessica Roberto [email protected].

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

Application is now closed for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Technology Alliance, a highly-respected, statewide organization of technology leaders, has an opening for its 2020-2021 William H. Gates Sr. Fellow in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The fellowship is an academic year-long opportunity, requiring ~ 15 hours/week of work; the initial commitment from both the Tech Alliance and the Fellow will be for the fall quarter. Based on the organization’s needs, and Fellow’s performance and interest – the fellowship will be extended for the winter and spring quarters.

The Technology Alliance (TA) has spent 20 years supporting Washington’s innovation economy through events, program incubation, and research all focused on shoring up three pillars of innovation – a strong education system, a robust climate for entrepreneurship, and significant investment in R&D. 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.

The TA’s work has included building a continuum of support for entrepreneurs – from a speakers’ series that daylights 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 student 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. The Fellow will work directly with the organization’s CEO on the scope of work – aligning both the student’s interests and the organization’s needs/schedule.

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 2 core classes (8 credits) of entrepreneurship. Interested students from other UW graduate schools may also apply.


The specific scope of work will be co-developed with the Tech Alliance’s CEO and the Fellow, based on
the organization’s workplan and the Fellow’s interests and experience base.

Research & Policy

  • Conduct third-party meta research, synthesizing data on Washington’s job forecast,
    entrepreneurial climate, education system, etc. to tell compelling stories about impact and
    opportunity, demand and supply
  • Track major policy developments at the state and local level, and across key industry partners
    (WART, WTIA, Life Science WA, Council of Presidents, etc)


  • Draft monthly update to the TA board on key issues/developments of interest
  • Work with key companies, non-profits and universities across the state to source stories from
    across tech industries that demonstrate the different stages of innovation (R&D,
    commercialization, measurable impact – societal/economic, etc.)
  • Develop and maintain regular cadence of communicating these stories through the TA website,
    TA’s email newsletter, social channels, etc.


  • Identify key areas of interest for the board and broader sectors, determine what is currently not
    being addressed by others, and plan/execute an appropriate event to address the need (in the
    past this has included day-long ‘workshops’ on big data and virtual reality)
  • Provide support for TA’s other events – annual State of Technology Luncheon, corporate
    venture capital quarterly events, etc.



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) is also critical to this role. Proficiency with MS Office Suite is expected.

Knowledge of startups, venture capital, research methods and/or event management is a plus; willingness to learn is required.

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

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter, expressing interest and explaining relevant experience and related career goals. Compensation will be ~$2,000 per month for ~15
hours/week over about nine months.

Click here to view a copy of the 2020-2021 job description.

Application is now closed for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Alliance of Angels Fellowship

Since 1997, the Alliance of Angels (AoA) has connected a community of over 100 investors with the most promising early-stage companies in the Northwest to invest, mentor and enable their success. The AoA has provided about $70 million early funding for more than 180 Northwest entrepreneurs over the last dozen years with more than 30 successful exits, making the AoA one of the preeminent angel groups. The Angel Capital Association has cited the AoA as the most active group for 2007, 2008 and 2009. 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 members 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 two exceptional students to spend one year learning about angel investing in technology and other high-growth businesses. Learn more about the position.

September-June (one-year)

Please check back for updated information about the 2020-2021 Application
As a professional courtesy, please don’t contact the inventors or tech managers directly about your application. Send a cover letter and resume to AoA.

The Fellowship is open to students who have completed a minimum of 50% of a Master in Business Administration or other graduate program, with preference given to Washington State schools and/or Washington residents.

Fellowship Details
Two fellowship positions have been made possible by the generous sponsorship of our premier sponsor, K&L Gates. The Alliance of Angels Fellows are one year, part-time positions, reporting to the Alliance of Angels Managing Director and working closely with constituents including the greater entrepreneurial community and our angel investor members. Designed for the MBA candidate at least midway through an accredited graduate program, this unique opportunity combines evaluating, coaching, relationship management, program management, and in-depth research in the fast-paced ever-changing world of technology and innovation.

The candidate will also work closely with Alliance of Angels Deal Leads (veteran angel investors) on due diligence, deal analysis, and to provide valuable insight on investment opportunities. In addition to leadership from the Managing Director, Fellows can leverage resources across our broad and experienced membership base.

Responsibilities of the position:

  • Identify high-potential businesses, coach entrepreneurs, and screen investment opportunities on behalf of the organization
  • Perform background market and competitive research on companies that enter into due diligence with the organization
  • Drive the deal selection process, screening committee meeting and member meeting preparation with the support of the Managing Director
  • Manage educational events including entrepreneur panels and networking, investor education, entrepreneur pitch clinics, and forums on industry trends
  • Write articles/blogs on topics of interest to entrepreneurs by interviewing AoA angels investors
  • Represent the AoA in the community to assist with deal flow, membership recruiting and new Fellow recruiting

Requirements: 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 concurrently with the academic year. International students are welcome to apply. Please address cover letters to Yi-Jian Ngo.

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
Apply to: Teddy Johnson and Emer Dooley by February 1st 2021.