About the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

Buerk Center Programs

Business Plan Competition (March—May)

  About Business Plan Competition

The Business Plan Competition is the UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship's marquee event. Teams who enter this multi-stage new venture competition get valuable training and feedback from 400+ judges and mentors, and come away with the skills and real-world experience they need to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

In the 16 years that the Buerk Center has produced its annual Business Plan Competition, 3,392 students (1,083 teams) have participated in the spring event. We’ve awarded $1.4 million in seed funding to 111 winning teams, many of which have gone on to become successful startups.

Learn more about the Business Plan Competition.

UW Environmental Innovation Challenge (February—April)

 About Environmental Innovation Challenge

Innovative and entrepreneurial students are our best hope for solving the world's most pressing environmental problems. In the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, cross-disciplinary student teams explore an environmental problem, develop a solution, and create a business summary that proves their product, process, or service has market potential.

The Buerk Center awards over $22,500 in prize money to winning teams each year. Many of those teams go on to compete in the Business Plan Competition--and win! UW Environmental Innovation Challenge teams have taken the Grand Prize at the Business Plan Competition three years in a row.

Learn more about the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge.

Jones + Foster Accelerator (August—February)

  Strideline - About Jones Foster Accelerator

Getting a startup up and running is no simple task. The Buerk Center's Jones + Foster Accelerator gives student-led startups the boost they won't get from going it alone: six months of mentoring from a committee of experts, guidance creating measurable milestones, invaluable connections to Seattle's entrepreneurial community, and up to $25,000 per team in follow-on funding.

The Buerk Center's Jones + Foster Accelerator advisors are top entrepreneurs, investors, and lawyers  from Seattle's entrepreneur community.

Learn more about the Jones + Foster Accelerator.

Entrepreneur Week UW (October)

 About Entrepreneurship Week UW

Entrepreneur Week (EntreWeek) is the Buerk Center’s annual window to the world of entrepreneurship. Over the course of a week, the Buerk Center hosts events featuring Seattle’s high-profile thinkers, dreamers, innovators, and doers. Whether you’re a die-hard entrepreneur, interested in working for a start-up, or just entre-curious, this is a great opportunity to meet and learn from venture capitalists, start-up CEOs, and serial entrepreneurs.

Learn more about Entrepreneur Week UW.

MentorConnect (year-round)

 About MentorConnect

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship's MentorConnect program helps students achieve their startup goals and prepare for the Business Plan Competition and UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. Through MentorConnect, students can find and contact mentors for feedback or guidance on everything from financing their startup, to product development, to determining their company's legal structure.

Visit the MentorConnect website (UW netid required. For help contact uwbuerk@uw.edu)

Lavin Entrepreneurship Program (year-round)

Frans Chocolates - About Lavin

Through the Buerk Center's Lavin Entrepreneurship Program, students from diverse disciplines learn first-hand the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship. Lavin students get guidance from high-level mentors, network with top entrepreneurs, and complete paid internships with early-stage companies. Lavin students graduate with the connections, real-world experience, and skill set needed to start their next big thing.

Admission by application only. Lavin is limited to 25 new students each year.

Learn more about the Lavin Entrepreneurship

Buerk Center By the Numbers