The MSTI launch project is designed to immerse you in the entrepreneurial process.
Working in small teams, you’ll take an idea from concept to prototype and get a product ready for market. You can either work on an idea developed by you and your team, or tackle a challenge facing a top company or nonprofit.
Leading industry professionals from Seattle-area tech companies and start-ups will be on hand to support and mentor students during their launch projects, offering valuable technical and business expertise, as well as exposure to emerging tech trends.
Pitching Ideas and Forming Teams
Although the launch project starts in the fourth quarter, you’ll start preparing for it at early on. In the first quarter, you'll brainstorm and pitch ideas for connected device solutions that address a global challenge or solve a business need. You can explore your own ideas or collaborate with faculty and mentors to come up viable product concepts. Immersed in a culture of rapid prototyping, critique and iteration, you’ll continue to pitch and refine your ideas over the next two quarters, under the guidance of faculty and mentors.
In the fourth quarter, in the Planning and Managing Hardware/Software Development class, students form teams around the best ideas, and each team begins developing a product roadmap and product development plan for their innovation. At the same time, you’ll take a course on Building Effective Teams to prepare your team for success. All launch projects must be approved by the MSTI faculty.
“Innovation often requires you to experience successes and failures firsthand, but the MSTI program lets students do that in the safety of the University. This is their playground.”
— SHWETAK PATEL
Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor,
Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering,
Chief Technology Officer, GIX
In the fifth quarter, you’ll engage in rapid prototyping and get feedback from target users, mentors and faculty to refine your ideas. GIX houses a staffed, state-of-the-art fabrication and makerspace that allows students to build almost anything.
Presentation and Launch
At the end of the program, you and your team will give a final demo and demonstration. You’ll also assemble a digital portfolio that will help demonstrate the quality and creativity of your work for potential employers.
As needed, GIX will provide support in the form of legal services, including IP and corporate law (through UW’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic or local law firms engaged by GIX); technical advice; and connection to the larger investment and technology community.
After the MSTI Program
Eager to take the next steps and launch your own start-up after graduation? Students who choose to pursue an idea of their own are the sole owners of the IP they create. If you work on a challenge supplied by a company or nonprofit, you may have the opportunity to take your innovation forward with that organization.