Amazon Catalyst – Launch Your Next Big Idea

In 2015, Amazon teamed up with CoMotion at the University of Washington to announce Amazon Catalyst, a program that helps students, faculty, and staff launch truly innovative ideas. To date, Amazon Catalyst has funded 50 UW teams –  Amazon Catalyst Fellows – across a range of disciplines.  

This year, they’re re trying something different by specifying themes for this year’s awards. To tightly focus inspiration on the pressing issues of our time, this round of Catalyst will be based on specific themes: Computational Social Science (i.e. using data and computing analysis, like machine learning and simulation, to address social problems) and Urban Transportation. Proposals must address one of these themes. Preference will be given to those which leverage machine learning.

Computational Social Science

We’re living in a society facing serious economic, social, and political divisions. We seek big ideas drawing scholarly and entrepreneurial attention to social divides, polarization, and social conflict. Proposals which combine methods from a diverse range of disciplines are encouraged. Examples include the humanities, statistics, social sciences, economics, sociology, demography, anthropology, and history. Read more about current themes and example prompts.

Urban Transportation

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. With more and more people living closer together, there is a need to find new ways to transport people and objects from point A to point B efficiently in urban areas. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how to improve urban transportation. Read more about current themes and example prompts.


  • Open to UW students, faculty, and staff from all campuses.
  • Ideas from all disciplines welcome.
  • It’s a project fund, not a research fund. Be ready to run with and truly build your idea!
  • Themes: Urban Transportation and Computational Social Science.
  • Solutions should focus on scalability and positive social impact.
  • Awards will be up to $10,000.
  • Project timeline: six months.
  • Application is simple and straightforward: only 20 questions.
  • Deadline: May 31, 2019.

Earn Up to $10K to launch your big idea! The deadline to apply is 31 May 2019.

For more information, visit the Amazon Catalyst website.

This entry was posted in Awards, Career Development, Data Science, Fellowships. Bookmark the permalink.

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