Berkeley SkyDeck Broadens its Global Participation and Expands its Role as a Hub for Entrepreneurship
Latest Berkeley SkyDeck Cohort Selected from among 800+ Startups from 64 Countries
UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the premier startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), announces that the Fall 2019 program marks the accelerator’s largest number of applications from global startup innovators. SkyDeck received more than 800 applications representing 64 countries and 213 cities and the new program includes 23 accelerator track startups, 105 incubator track startups, plus 17 Global Innovation startups. The startups feature a wide range of industries including AI, biotech/medtech, blockchain, enterprise, consumer, hardware, robotics, and more.
SkyDeck’s applications have jumped from 50 in 2015 to the current 800 plus applications. It’s clear that SkyDeck has quickly become a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting the world’s best startups.
Additionally, a new ranking lists UC Berkeley as the number one public university in the world for funded founders. According to Crunchbase’s recent article for funded founders, Berkeley ranked #3 nationally for the most number of graduated funded founders who had raised at least $1 million.
“We’re on a mission to help entrepreneurs gain access to the capital and expertise they need to rapidly grow their businesses. We are connecting them to our powerful network and in doing so, help build the entrepreneurship ecosystem at UC Berkeley,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of Berkeley SkyDeck. “We support founders from Berkeley, our sister campuses, and global founders by connecting them to the world-class talent and resources at UC Berkeley. This is what sets us apart and is why more and more companies want to be part of the SkyDeck program. SkyDeck is an important part of how Berkeley’s remarkable intellectual creativity gets transformed into benefit for society.”
The 23 Cohort (accelerator track) startups will receive a $100,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, free and discounted services, access to top advisors, and intensive mentorship as they prepare to pitch more than 650 investors on Demo Day. The HotDesk (incubator track) startups will have access to workspace, events, and mentors to help them continue to grow their ideas and business.
Founded in 2012, Berkeley SkyDeck has had more than 300 companies participate in their accelerator program. Noteworthy 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.
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. 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.