Starting up in Spokane


To support startups in Eastern Washington, the UW will expand its innovation lab system to Spokane this spring. The new CoMotion Labs @ Spokane will bring programming and mentoring to budding startup ventures. It will also host an entrepreneurial speaker series and live-stream workshops with its counterparts in Seattle.

CoMotion, which was formerly known as the UW Center for Commercialization, helps students and faculty connect with the community, investors and alumni to bring their innovative ideas to life. Headed by director Brady Ryan, the newest lab will be housed at UW’s Spokane Center downtown. It will likely focus on manufacturing, health care, agriculture and robotics.

The three other CoMotion labs in Seattle include the headquarters on Roosevelt Way N.E.; an incubator on the Seattle campus in Fluke Hall; and Startup Hall, a 20,000-square-foot tech space in Condon Hall, the former law school building. The labs offer office space, laboratories, educational services, and access to investors and advisers.

CoMotion has helped startups commercialize and navigate challenges such as intellectual property, licensing and patenting, marketing and finance. Last year, CoMotion helped spin out 21 new businesses. In the past decade, the UW has helped generate 126 new companies in such areas as health care, machine learning, design and gaming.