Berkeley SkyDeck announces biggest cohort from 11 countries, startups will collaborate remotely
UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), today announces it has enrolled its largest startup cohort ever with 24 companies from the U.S. and 10 other countries. The new spring group of startups specialize in a wide range of industries including AI, enterprise software, robotics, health, bioscience, and consumer solutions. SkyDeck selected the new group from among more than 1600 applications, the largest number of applicants ever.
Founders from the new cohort come from UC Berkeley and other University of California campuses. International startups come from Armenia, Canada, Chile, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, and Taiwan. In addition to the 24 accelerator track startups, there are 100 incubator track startups plus two Global Innovation startups.
With the coronavirus impacting all aspects of work, SkyDeck plans to operate completely remotely for the next few months while the state of California has a shelter-in-place policy. All startups will be taking instruction and working with advisors, investors, and other collaborators via online technologies.
“We are extremely pleased with the number and extraordinary quality of the 2020 spring applicant companies who competed to participate in our accelerator program,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, Berkeley SkyDeck. “We are proud to support startups that will help us face the world’s biggest challenges, including some that will address the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.”
New technology coming out of SkyDeck companies includes: robotics for delivery and remote cleaning; supply chain for locating and managing medical testing, equipment and other supplies; and healthcare management, as well as solutions in the broader categories of AI and govtech. During this COVID-19 public health crisis, SkyDeck’s mission is particularly appropriate: supporting startups serving the greater good by developing solutions to current global challenges.
“Entrepreneurship and innovation are priorities at UC Berkeley and I’m excited and proud to be working with the outstanding founders joining SkyDeck this spring,” said Rich Lyons, UC Berkeley’s Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer. “This new cohort will engage with the remarkable culture of innovation at Berkeley, continuing in a tradition that defines the university and our community.”
The Cohort (accelerator track) startups will receive a $105,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, free and discounted services, access to top advisors, and intensive mentorship as they prepare to pitch more than 750 investors on Demo Day. The HotDesk (incubator track) startups will have access to workspace, events, and advisors to help them continue to grow their ideas and businesses.
ABOUT BERKELEY SKYDECK
Berkeley SkyDeck is a top global accelerator. Named by Forbes in 2019 as one of the top five university accelerators, SkyDeck is UC Berkeley’s premier startup accelerator and a joint program of Berkeley, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. SkyDeck combines the hands-on mentorship of startup accelerators with the vast resources of its world-class research university. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 240 advisors, 50 industry partners and a network of more than 500,000 Berkeley alumni. SkyDeck also stands alone as the only accelerator that provides funding for its startups via a public-private partnership, bringing funds back to Berkeley with the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a dedicated investment fund. For more information, see skydeck.berkeley.edu.