2020-2021 Prototype Funding Application
Submission Deadline01/15/2021

Buerk Center Prototype Funding Application 2020-2021

Prototype funding can spur development and help convey your idea to a broader audience. We have funding available to teams that are entering the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge and/or the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge this year to help with creating a physical or virtual model, object, or device.

Student teams are invited to apply for funds that can be used to purchase materials or components, pay fees for accessing a local makerspace or prototyping lab, or rent equipment necessary for demonstrating the team idea. Funds are NOT available to pay team members or consultants or hire short-term workers with high level skills beyond the team’s capacity. 

For the 2020-2021 Competitions: 

Deadline: Monday, December 7, 2020, by 12 noon

We recognize that access to workspaces and materials to create and/or build your prototype may be limited during this time.

Please consider these additional questions as you prepare your application and proposed budget.  

  • How can I represent my prototype (“solution”) during the Virtual Challenge? What format can I use in place of a physical model, if necessary? 
  • How and where will I create my prototype? Will I need access to a makerspace, lab space, or other facility? 
  • If not currently in Seattle, is there a makerspace or resource in my community that I might be able to utilize? If so, what fees might be associated with using it?

Be brief.  There are word limits.  This application should take about 60 minutes to complete. You may start, save, and return. 

Award notifications will go out approximately 1-2 weeks after the deadline.

Applicants will select which competition(s) they are requesting funding for. If you are awarded and accept funds, you must commit to entering one or more of the three Buerk Center Innovation Challenges. Funds are provided in the form of a debit card that is available for teams with students from the state of Washington.

Note: This is not your application to a Buerk Center competition.

Prototype funding may NOT be used for:

Business cards
3-D printers
Paying team members or consultants
Legal or other professional fees 
Third party software app development 

Awards generally are between $500 and $2,500, although other requests will be considered. All expenditures must be accounted for with receipts and the Buerk Center spending log, which will be provided.

Information you will need to complete this application:

  • Current student team member’s information. (We understand this may change.)
  • Description of the problem you are attempting to solve.
  • Description of the solution you are proposing.
  • Description of the prototype you will build to demonstrate your solution.
  • A budget estimate to build your prototype. Changes are expected but any major changes must be approved by the competition manager (contact info below).

Expense Report Deadlines

Teams that are eliminated in the Screening Round don’t need to reimburse money already spent, but your debit account will be closed and no additional funds may be used. Expense logs and original receipts must be delivered to the Buerk Center within 5 business days after having been notified that you have not made it into the final competition. If you have questions or concerns, call or email the competition manager.

Teams that make it into the Final Round of the competition they applied to may not incur expenses past the final day of that competition (see Finalist dates below). Your debit account will be closed at the end of that day. Expense logs and original receipts are due back to the Buerk Center within 5 business days.

From time to time the Buerk Center may have additional funds available.  If you find that you need additional funding to build your prototype before the end of your competition, send the budget info and a short explanation to the competition manager, or call.  Your request will be considered. 

Entry and Final Event Dates for the Competitions 

Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge
Enter by February 1, 2021
Finalists at Challenge on March 3, 2021
Contact Jessica Roberto | jlb42@uw.edu

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge
Enter by February 16, 2021
Finalists at Challenge on April 1, 2021
Contact Lauren Brohawn | brohal@uw.edu

Questions? Contact the competition manager or email uwbuerk@uw.edu.

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