Berkeley SkyDeck announces 16 tech startups from around the globe to participate in its fall 2020 startup cohort
UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), today announced today that it is launching its fall 2020 startup cohort program with 16 tech startups from eight countries and the U.S. The new group of startups specializes in a wide range of industries including AI, life science, robotics, enterprise software, health, and bioscience solutions.
International startups participating are from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Singapore, and Sweden. The 16 tech startups were selected from a record-breaking 1850 applications. The fully-remote program incorporates the full range of workshops and programs. U.C.
Berkeley is a hotbed of entrepreneurship, identified by Pitchbook as the No. 1 public undergraduate program for producing startup founders and the SkyDeck’s accelerator program is thriving, named in 2019 by Forbes as one of the top five university accelerators.
“We are thrilled to have received the largest number of applications to date, spanning five continents. There were so many excellent ideas and technologies. For our Fall remote cohort, we selected the best of the best.” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, Berkeley SkyDeck. “We also will have more international startups participating than ever before. One advantage to remote work is teams can stay where they are, yet take full advantage of the excellent resources, global network, and premier advisory services we offer.”
This is the second remote program for SkyDeck. The first cohort started just at the time of the shutdown in March and the staff quickly adjusted to an all-virtual program that the startup founders judged as being very successful. Derrick Koenig, CEO of Ontopical, participated in the Spring cohort. He said, “The program itself ran amazingly well. I honestly don’t know how they did such an effective program, almost overnight. They worked with Slack for effective day-to-day communications and were able to make all the workshops and programs virtual. We’ve been told that there were even more workshops with the remote program than there had been ever before, in-person.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown period, eight SkyDeck alumni startups successfully raised $32 million.
“It takes a lot of courage and commitment to launch a business right now given the current state of the world,” said Chon Tang, founding partner, SkyDeck Fund. “We were very impressed with the drive and determination of the founders we talked to. In order to be admitted to this new cohort, we were looking particularly carefully at how far along the companies had come, whether they had previously raised any funds, and how their solutions would meet business and consumer needs and grow. It was an extraordinary effort to choose these companies.”
The Cohort (accelerator track) startups receive a $105,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund and access to 300 top advisors and mentors as they prepare to pitch more than 800 investors on Demo Day. The 100 new HotDesk incubator track startups will have access to events, mentors, and pitch opportunities to help them grow their innovative 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.