Startups are back on campus: YOUR job fair attracts a large audience for internships and vacancies

YOUR Startup Career & Internship Scholarship. (GeekWire Photo / Julie Emory)

The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and CoMotion hosted the University of Washington Startup Career & Internship Fair this week for interested students seeking opportunities at emerging startups.

More than 20 startups and organizations were represented at the event in the Hub Ballroom on Wednesday afternoon, one of the first in-person career fairs since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. This job fair was canceled in 2020 due to COVID and took place virtually last year.

Many of the more than 500 students in attendance made copies of their resumes and donned costumes. Some students even missed class to look for vacancies.

The potential revenues in startups — with more than 900 valued at at least $1 billion in 2021 — added to the broad appeal of students across all educations ranging from information management to marketing.

Sam Halabiya, a volunteer at SoundBio Labs. (GeekWire Photo / Julie Emory)

Many of the startups at the event were biotech companies, indicative of the larger biotech boom in the Seattle area. Washington state biotech companies and research centers received $1.4 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2021. About 94% of this funding went to Seattle-based biotech companies and research centers.

Some of the startups present were founded by current UW students, such as Proxi, which aims to create accessible maps that can be used for free and integrated into blogs and other websites.

A student just sent me a picture of the tall one @Proxi_Co queue at the @UWBerk career Scholarship. She confirmed that the line is long because we’re cool and not because we’re the only ones. †

It’s hard to describe the feeling when you see your dreams come true right in front of you.

— Melinda McClure Haughey (@MelindaMcClure) Apr 6, 2022
Atweet from Melinda Haughey, one of the co-founders of Proxi, about the event.

Recruiters at the startup fair shared key insights about their organizations and what they look for in candidates:

CoMotion Labs: Ashlee Esteban, associate director at CoMotion Labs, said CoMotion can support startups with its hardware, life sciences and software incubators. Proteios Technology: Bob Synder, co-founder of Proteios Technology, said the company is looking for candidates with previous lab experience outside of the classroom environment. SoundBio Labs: Sam Halabiya, a SoundBio Labs volunteer, said the organization is currently looking for a full-time lab manager. There are several options for volunteers to get involved. The Community Engagement Committee focuses in particular on involving people from different backgrounds in science.

Cameron Cordray, senior research associate at A-Alpha Bio. (GeekWire Photo / Julie Emory) Parse Biosciences: Emily O’Connor, production manager at Parse Biosciences, said the startup is looking for individuals in nearly all positions (from manufacturing to sales) at nearly all levels. A-Alpha Bio: Cameron Cordray, senior research associate at A-Alpha Bio, said the startup is hiring data scientists and entry-level lab positions.

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