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UC Berkeley SkyDeck Takes Its Moonshot and Aims to Become Global Hub for Entrepreneurship

August 15, 2018 GMT
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The UC Berkeley Accelerator Has Doubled In Size, Expanded Its Global Reach, Launched A Fund, And Focuses On Accelerating Entrepreneurship For The Greater Good BERKELEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 15, 2018 / UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the largest ...
1 of 2
The UC Berkeley Accelerator Has Doubled In Size, Expanded Its Global Reach, Launched A Fund, And Focuses On Accelerating Entrepreneurship For The Greater Good BERKELEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 15, 2018 / UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the largest ...

The UC Berkeley Accelerator Has Doubled In Size, Expanded Its Global Reach, Launched A Fund, And Focuses On Accelerating Entrepreneurship For The Greater Good

BERKELEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 15, 2018 / UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the largest official startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), is where game-changing ideas, global resources, and research excellence come together to develop businesses which positively impact the world. Growing extremely rapidly over the last four years, SkyDeck recently has doubled in size with an additional floor of office space, has closed a $24 million venture fund, tripled the size of its advisor group, and broadened its global reach so half of its startup cohort comes from outside the U.S. Berkeley SkyDeck also stands alone as the only accelerator which provides funding for its startups via a public-private partnership, bringing funds back to UC Berkeley with the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a dedicated investment fund.

“We’re on a mission to be a globally influential center of innovation. SkyDeck operates at the incredibly exciting intersection of higher education and entrepreneurship to help brilliant businesses make a lasting, positive impact on lives around the world,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, Berkeley SkyDeck. “With our new investment fund, we are on a fast-growth trajectory to build a community that supports innovative new businesses while supporting UC Berkeley’s public education mission. We are very proud of the more than 300 startups we have already helped to grow and develop right here.”

Noteworthy SkyDeck startups include Lime, a scooter and bike rental company recently valued at $1B; Kiwi Campus, building robots for last-mile delivery; and Chirp Microsystems, which was recently acquired by TDK.

SkyDeck, true to its name, sits atop the tallest building in Berkeley in a penthouse overlooking the UC Berkeley campus. Launched in 2012 as a workspace for startups, the accelerator has just taken over an additional floor of the building to provide office space for its growing community of startups as well as room for mentors, other advisors, and visiting investors. The newest startup cohort is the largest to date, with 22 Accelerator Cohort teams and 80 HotDesk teams. With the two floors, SkyDeck now occupies 22,000 square feet of space.

Berkeley SkyDeck, the official accelerator of UC Berkeley, connects top startups with the outstanding talent and world-class research at the university, as well as providing the companies with an investment of $100,000 from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund

Also new and especially valuable for SkyDeck cohort teams is the unprecedented, dedicated Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a venture capital fund which invests $100,000 in each startup participating in the accelerator program. The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund will share 50 percent of profits with the university. The venture fund closed at an oversubscribed $24 million earlier this year, and Winnett is aiming to build a $100 million fund in the coming years. “UC Berkeley is a world-renowned center for talent, technology, and science where entrepreneurs flourish,” says Berkeley SkyDeck Fund Founding Partner, Chon Tang. “I’m proud to be investing in this global hub for entrepreneurship where startups launch and thrive.”

As the premier accelerator at UC Berkeley, SkyDeck provides resources unavailable to any other accelerators, such as connections with top advisors from the research and business communities of UC Berkeley, and access to the university’s fabrication facilities, computing resources, lab space, etc. SkyDeck’s Faculty-in-Residence are world-renowned professors who bring cutting-edge expertise in their fields of research to SkyDeck.

“This is a unique partnership that benefits the university, SkyDeck and the public. SkyDeck plays an important role in connecting the world-class research and entrepreneurial talent at UC Berkeley with the private sector, making it possible to bring more innovations to market in support of the greater public good,” said Vice Chancellor, Research, Randy Katz. “We are thrilled with what has been built to date and anticipate even better things to come.”

For more information visit Berkeley SkyDeck at http://skydeck.berkeley.edu/.

Media files, images here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/186FB36-stQZRSVIaUhtzoeNXaR0-hnS4

ABOUT BERKELEY SKYDECK

As UC Berkeley’s startup accelerator and incubator, Berkeley SkyDeck is a joint program of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. SkyDeck combines the hands-on mentorship of traditional accelerators with the vast resources of its research university. This holistic partnership is coupled with SkyDeck’s unique accelerator program to create a powerful environment for startups. Participating startups have access to over 130 advisers, 30 industry partners, and a large network of accredited investors who connect SkyTeams to the expertise and capital they need to launch and grow their world-changing innovations. For more information, see http://skydeck.berkeley.edu/.

Media Contact:

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SOURCE: UC Berkeley SkyDeck