UW Environmental Innovation Challenge

University of Washington, 2009 - $15,000

In the summer of 2007, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at the University of Washington collaborated to create the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, a contest asking teams of students to come up with working solutions for environmental problems. The first Challenge was held in April 2009, with a total of sixteen teams participating. In all, CIE raised a total of $137,900 through fundraising and donations for the first event; some major sponsors included the Wiancko Family Foundation, Siemens, UW TechTransfer, and Starbucks, among others. Nine teams were funded awards (totaling $25,000) to fund projects ranging from energy efficiency to water purification. The Challenge was created in conjunction with a new course, the Environmental Innovation Practicum, intended to inform students about current environmental challenges, as well as the efforts of researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors.