About the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

The Buerk Center integrates entrepreneurship into the fabric of the University of Washington and empowers students to shape the future.

Founded in 1991, the Buerk Center offers an exceptional curriculum, real-world experiences, and connections to the Seattle entrepreneurial community to inspire students from all majors and disciplines across campus to pursue their entrepreneurial passions.

While our core curriculum focuses on entrepreneurial strategy, finance, and marketing, our electives run the gamut from Venture Investing to Software Entrepreneurship, from Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurs to NeuroVentures. The Buerk Center focuses on the strengths of the University of Washington and Seattle, and creates new courses that capitalize on those strengths.

     Learn more: Undergraduate curriculum
     Learn more: Graduate curriculum

Real-World Experiences
How do we make entrepreneurship real? We get our students out of the classroom and into VC firms and startup companies. Learning from faculty who’ve been there and done that is key, but it’s firsthand experiences—being the only intern at an early-stage startup, working side-by-side with Seattle founders—that teach students what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Only a handful of U.S. cities excel at startups. Seattle is one of them. The Buerk Center is your connection to the city’s hottest startup founders. Each year more than 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts participate in the Buerk Center’s programs as mentors and judges—and our students have access to them all.

     Learn more: Meet the Buerk Center Advisory Board

Program Highlights

UW Business Plan Competition
Business Plan Competition The BPC is a platform for student-led ventures. The competition provides student teams with mentoring from entrepreneurs and investors, the opportunity to tell their stories to the Seattle startup community, and the visibility they need to get going.

More than 3,730 students have participated in this annual new venture competition since its inception in 1998, and the Buerk Center has awarded 128 teams with over $1.13 million in seed funding.

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge
About Environmental Innovation Challenge The EIC mobilizes students to apply their knowledge and ingenuity to solve environmental problems.

Since 1669 the Buerk Center has awarded $270K in prototype funding and prize money to teams whose innovations address alternative energy production, clean water, fuel efficiency, etc. This annual challenge is open to students from colleges and universities across the Pacific Northwest.

Jones + Foster Accelerator
J + F Accelerator In the J + F Accelerator, student teams become startup companies.

The J+F Accelerator works with student-led startups to make the transition from version 1.0 to reality. Companies accepted into this six-month program receive mentoring from Seattle entrepreneurs and investors, a framework for defining measurable milestones, guidance in achieving those milestones, and the opportunity to earn up to $25,000 in follow-on funding. Twenty-one student-led startups have received a total of $502K in seed funding since the J+F Accelerator began in 2010. Eighteen of those startups are still in business today.