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Z2Live co-founder David Bluhm poses in front of Sgt. Ramsey, a character in Battle Nations. Photo: Annie Laurie Malarkey

Seattle entrepreneur David Bluhm has joined the University of Washington’s entrepreneur-in-residence program as part of an ongoing effort by the university to match experienced Seattle area business leaders with new innovations emerging from the school.

As part of the appointment, the co-founder of Z2Live, Medio Systems, 2Way and HandsOn Mobile is sifting through a handful of new technologies in a diverse set of arenas.

A University of Washington grad who claims to “bleed purple,” Bluhm said he was attracted to the opportunity because of his love of technology and desire to be surrounded by new innovations.

“I’ve always sought to learn and build something new,” says Bluhm, adding that it’s an “an overcompensation” from his dad working at Boeing for 38 years.

Bluhm, who remains chairman of mobile gaming powerhouse Z2Live and continues to work with Medio, said he was introduced to the entrepreneur-in-residence program by longtime friend and UW Vice Provost of Technology Transfer Linden Rhoads.

Linden Rhoads

Rhoads is highly regarded for her transformation of the UW’s commercialization efforts and for introducing more of an entrepreneurial culture at the state’s largest research institution. She’s also worked closely with newly-appointed University of Washington president Michael Young who has pledged to double the number of startup companies emerging from the university through efforts like the UW Center for Commercialization’s new 23,000 square-foot incubator space.

Other serial entrepreneurs working closely with the university include Visio and Aldus co-founder Jeremy Jaech, who is developing new home automation sensing technologies in partnership with UW professor Shwetak Patel. Bluhm is joined in the entrepreneur-in-residence program by medical device expert Robert Barry and technology veteran Rob Arnold.

“Personally, I have no expectations of finding my next startup at the UW, but that is the desired outcome for the (entrepreneur-in-residence) position,” said Bluhm.

He’s looked at more than a dozen new innovations at the UW, and said he’s formally working on five different projects.

Those include a “big data” project that Bluhm said promises to bring complex customer relationship database management to small business owners; an online customer service solution that crowd sources help; a technology to encrypt enterprise applications so that they can be safely deployed in the cloud; a new way to profile and predict social media marketing efforts; and a technology to deliver bandwidth for the unlicensed 700MHz  “TV Whitespace” spectrum.

“(I’m) hoping to be fully committed to something by year’s end, but, in the meantime, (I’m) really enjoying being back at school,” he says.
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