With CoMotion Labs, UW Casts Wider Net For Innovation and Startups
The University of Washington is expanding its portfolio of startup incubation spaces and inviting in companies even if they don’t yet have an explicit connection to the university.
The new strategy is part of a broader rethinking of how the UW, consistently ranked in the upper echelons of research universities around the world, attempts to transfer the innovations happening inside its walls—be they in electrical engineering or social work—to the community.
The new startup incubation space focuses on virtual and augmented reality technology, and joins Startup Hall and Fluke Hall in the UW’s portfolio of incubators, which it has rebranded as CoMotion Labs. That name, says UW vice president for innovation strategy Vikram Jandhyala, is meant to signal that this is an ongoing experiment.
“We are definitely open to different models of how companies come together,” he says. “The idea of all these three incubators is we want to be open to companies from inside and outside the university.”
M3 Biotechnology, a startup housed at Fluke Hall, is commercializing technology from Washington State University. Mechanical Dreams, one of the first two tenants in the VR/AR space, is not a UW-affiliated startup either. (The other, MultiModal Health, is.)…