The deadline to apply for the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) is fast approaching!

Tuesday, February 16 – Deadline to apply for the EIC

Apply for the EIC

Application link:
Questions? Email Lauren, EIC manager,

TONIGHT – EIC Climate Challenge Prize and Application Workshop
Thursday, February 4, 6:30 – 7:30 pm PT
Register hereJoin us Thursday, February 4 for a workshop on sustainable business practices. This will help you prepare your application for the 2021 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge! The Buerk Center has partnered with RyeStrategy, a consultancy offering carbon neutrality services tailored to the software and professional services industry, to host the discussion. Excellent preparation for the climate impact section of the EIC application. Open to all students.

Innovative New Prizes Add to Competition Experience
The new prizes reflect an innovative approach to topics and industries that are relevant in 2021 including the pandemic, health access and disparities, and carbon footprints. Learn more about them on our blog post.

EIC Application Work Parties + Office Hours
Friday, February 5, 9:00 – 11:00 am PT
Tuesday, February 9, 1:30 – 3:30 pm PT
Thursday, February 11, 4:30 – 6:30 pm PT

Register here for one or more

Planning to enter the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge? Join in any time during any or all of our Application Work Parties to start or finish your application with us!
Have a specific question about the climate impact section of the EIC application? In addition to the competition manager, RyeStrategy consultants will be there to answer your questions. Areas of expertise include carbon footprint calculations, sustainable business best-practices, carbon scope identification, and application help.
Open to all students.

WATCH: Competition Application Walkthrough

We uploaded a quick walkthrough of the application for the 2021 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge on the Buerk Center’s YouTube page. Make sure to watch the application walkthrough so you know what to expect when you start your application!

WATCH: Panel of Past Participants

What is it like being a student participant in the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge or the Dempsey Startup Competition? We brought together a panel to share their experiences, tips, and advice, as well as answers to questions from current students across the region. Click here to watch the video!

Panelists included:

  • Mackenzie Andrews of Nanodropper
  • Harrison Sarsito of ElectroSolar Oxygen
  • Nikolas Ioannou of Spira

Topics included: 

00:15​ – Introductions and involvement in competition
02:20​ – How did your team come together?
05:10​ – How did you balance being a student and being a competitor?
11:05​ – How did you prepare for your pitch and what was your experience like?
18:20​ – What advice would you give new competitors?
24:45​ – What would you have done differently?
28:45​ – Is it worth doing the HIC and/or EIC before the Dempsey Startup Competition?

Consumer Product Workshops + Panels

Consumer Product Workshop Series
Saturdays, Feb 13, Feb 20, Feb 27, 10 am – 12 pm PT
Register here for the three-week workshop series

You’ve seen a problem in the world, you’ve experienced a gap in the market, you have a great idea for a product to solve that gap and you totally know that other people would buy it! Sound familiar?

But when it comes to actually getting your idea off the ground and building your business, you may think you’re not ready (you’re wrong) or you may think you are ready (you’re also wrong). Either way, this workshop series can help!

Over the course of this three-week series, you will learn key concepts to help unlock those first pivotal steps in starting a consumer product business.

We’ll form teams and move through taking an idea to the prototyping and product stage, building a business around that product, sharing that company and vision effectively and implement now the ingredients for a long-lasting business. We’ll go through a mini pitch-competition and panels focused on early-stage product and company issues, while still leaving room to discuss your most burning questions.

This is that stuff you won’t learn about in classes. Hosts Dan Sedlacek and Mallory Monahan of Uphill Designs have a different opinion on what makes a business “successful” than what is spread about in pop-entrepreneurship. It’s not a fancy PR release on TechCrunch, it’s not getting seen on Shark Tank, and it’s not even posting a profit year after year. Investing time now will give you confidence in moving forward with your idea, boldly and understanding what version of success you are building towards.

Panel: The Nuts + Bolts of Scaling Up
Wednesday, February 24, 4 – 6 pm PT
Register here

So you’ve developed a physical product, people are buying it and your company is growing… what comes next? This panel will feature the stories of four female business owners in Seattle who will share their real-life examples of how they decided when to hire employees, and how they set annual goals or targets that allowed them to scale their production and grow their businesses. Open to all students.