Established in 2008 with a gift of $400,000 from the Washington Research Foundation, complemented by $150,000 derived from the sale of Farecast to Microsoft
The Washington Research Foundation (WRF) incorporated as a private not-for profit organization in 1981 to help Washington state research institutions capture value from their emerging technologies. WRF initially focused on patenting inventions and licensing them to companies. From licensing proceeds, WRF Capital and the WRF Venture Center have been established.
The WRF mission is to capture and enhance the value of intellectual property created in Washington's universities and other research institutions, and to support their scholarship and research. WRF does this in many ways, including finding smart and strategic ways to make gifts in support of scholarship and research. WRF has a long history of engagement with UW Computer Science & Engineering (CSE): WRF has incubated and invested in a number of CSE startup companies, and WRF has invested in CSE directly through a number of philanthropic initiatives. The sale of Farecast, a company created by UW CSE Professor Oren Etzioni, stimulates this current gift. The donor's goal with this professorship is to provide support to faculty members who, like Oren Etzioni and in the best tradition of academia, combine visionary scholarship with active entrepreneurship.
Holders of the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Professorship
Oren Etzioni, 2009-2014
Shwetak Patel, 2014-present