Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator expands into Italy with new SkyDeck Europe
UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the global startup accelerator of the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), along with Cariplo Factory, an innovation hub specializing in entrepreneurship programs, and Lendlease, a global real estate and investment group, today announced the launch of SkyDeck Europe, based in Milan, Italy. Startups will be able to leverage the expertise and resources of SkyDeck’s extensive network of advisors, mentors, VCs, and corporations as they grow their businesses in the European startup ecosystem.
SkyDeck Europe, Milano will set up its program at the newly developed Milano Innovation District (MIND), a $4 billion innovation district in the northern Italian city of Milan, which is considered to have the biggest startup ecosystem in the country. SkyDeck Europe was created with the support of two Italian stakeholders: the philanthropic organization Fondazione Cariplo and the Government of the Lombardy Region.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to bring SkyDeck to Europe. We’ve seen tremendous growth in the quality and quantity of European startups that work with SkyDeck to plug into Silicon Valley each year, and we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now, we can offer part of the SkyDeck program a little closer to their homes,” said Caroline Winnett, SkyDeck’s executive director. “It’s the best of both worlds as teams get the opportunity to learn from the programming available from our top accelerator, without necessarily committing to picking up and moving across the world.”
As an international hub for innovation, Berkeley SkyDeck helps startups from around the world to build their businesses in Silicon Valley, and bring their cutting-edge ideas to life. Now, with an established presence in Milan, SkyDeck can expand its mission by helping European-focused startups grow and succeed, providing them access to the content and programming for which Berkeley SkyDeck is world-renowned.
“SkyDeck Europe, Milano aims to become the hub for startups across Europe,” said Enrico Noseda, Chief Innovation Advisor, Cariplo Factory. “Thanks to top tier advisors, a strong network of academic and corporate partners, and a dedicated fund, the accelerator will represent a game-changer for the European ecosystem.”
“Today we see the launch of a program in which we truly believe. SkyDeck brings international best practices to push innovation in Italy and Europe,” said Andrea Ruckstuhl, Head of Continental Europe, Lendlease. “This is a fundamental piece in the MIND ecosystem. We will first launch the first venture capital fund that will be part of this ecosystem, involving national and foreign institutional capital.”
SkyDeck Europe applications are open now, with the Batch 14 program starting May 2, 2022. European startups may submit an application for both the SkyDeck Europe and the Berkeley SkyDeck cohorts. Accepted startups will receive funding from the SkyDeck Europe Fund to get their ideas off the ground as well as access to top advisors and mentors. Cohort participants will have the opportunity to pitch investors on Demo Day in Europe, as well as participate in the Berkeley SkyDeck Global Innovation Showcase.
“Now more Europeans will have an opportunity to participate in UC Berkeley’s world-class accelerator to launch their moonshots and positively impact lives around the world,” said Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, chair of SkyDeck’s Faculty Advisors, UC Berkeley Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, and co-founder of top technology companies Cadence and Synopsys. “With SkyDeck Europe I am excited to expand our reach and bring this powerful experience to more international startups.”
UC Berkeley is a growing hotbed of entrepreneurship, identified by Pitchbook in 2021 as the No. 1 public undergraduate program for producing startup founders. To learn more or to apply, visit skydeck.berkeley.edu/apply.
Berkeley SkyDeck is UC Berkeley’s global startup accelerator. Named in Forbes as a top-five U.S. university accelerator, SkyDeck combines hands-on mentorship with the vast resources of its research university. SkyDeck provides funding for its startups via a public-private partnership, providing returns directly back to UC Berkeley from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a dedicated investment fund supported by top institutional VCs like Sequoia and Mayfield. To date, SkyDeck startups have raised more than $1.5 billion in aggregate. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 415 advisors, 70 industry partners, and a network of more than 510,000 UC Berkeley alumni.
ABOUT CARIPLO FACTORY
Cariplo Factory is one of the most relevant Italian innovation hubs and is focused on two transformative trends: digital transformation and circular economy. Cariplo Factory develops and implements open innovation programs, offering experiential learning, entrepreneurial support programs, collaboration projects between talents, startups, and corporates, venture capital investment, and activities to support internationalization. Cariplo Factory was founded in 2016 by Fondazione Cariplo and acts through an inclusive model that involves a national network of universities, technology transfer centers, incubators, accelerators, fab-labs, science and technology parks, start-up companies, business angels, venture capital funds, SMEs, and corporates.