Berkeley, CA

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Kai Chorazewicz[email protected]
Prianka Subrahmanyam[email protected]
Samarth Jajoo[email protected]
Catherine Zhao[email protected]

How to Start a Startup at Berkeley

Student Groups

Engineering Focus

Alpha Pi Mu - Honor Society for Industrial Engineers

Berkeley IEEE - Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers

Eta Kappa Nu - Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society

Machine Learning @ Berkeley ([email protected]) - hosts ML speakers, events, and recruiting opportunities, also publishes ML papers

CodeBase - software development club popular on campus for general software engineering. Each semester, client teams work with industry partners on various projects ranging from full stack to ML

Upsilon Pi Epsilon - Computer Science Honor Society

Launchpad - a group of UC Berkeley students that use machine learning, AI, and data science techniques to solve problems by building intelligent software.

Mobile Developers of Berkeley - a vibrant, open community of developers seeking to drive change within and outside of Berkeley. Fosters a passion for first-class development, innovative ideas, and continued learning within an inclusive and supportive environment. Hosts a Techfair each semester, as well as a pre-incubator and a 5-week intensive bootcamp

Blockchain @ Berkeley ([email protected]) - Berkeley's hub for blockchain innovation. Operates under 3 teams: Consulting, Education, and Design. [email protected] also gives grants to members conducting cryptocurrency research

Blueprint - develops software pro bono in teams for nonprofits and promotes using technology for social good

Entrepreneurship Focus

Berkeley Innovation - Human-centered design group providing experience with design thinking via "Designathons"

Computer Science Undergraduate Association - Hosts technical and social events like hackathons, info sessions, and social events

CET Student Association Student group organizing speaker series and events relating to entrepreneurship. Part of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Sigma Eta Pi - Co-ed entrepreneurship fraternity

Venture Strategy Solutions - Consulting society assisting scaling ventures in the Bay Area.

Innovative Design - Student group for graphic designers and photographers - hosts a DeCal and workshops teaching design principles

Entrepreneurs @ Berkeley - a community to exchange ideas, find collaborators, and learn about becoming an entrepreneur

MBA & Graduate

Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneurs Program - Mentoring, tools, and a platform for postdoctoral and graduate entrepreneurship to bring innovative ideas into the world to encourage research innovations to move into the marketplace

Haas Data Science Club - Developing data-savvy Haas students through datathons, keynote speakers, and workshops

Haas Tech Club - Provides a forum to explore careers in tech, establish links with the tech community, and present emerging tech developments

Haas Venture Fellows - MBA students conducting projects to develop ties between Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the Lester Center.

Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association - One-stop-shop for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley

Hackathons and Competitions

Big [email protected] - Social impact competition providing funding and mentorship - organized by the Blum Center. Entrants must be student-led and early stage. Pre-proposals start in the fall and full proposal rounds are in spring.

CalHacks - Berkeley's (and the world's) largest collegiate Hackathon. Cal Hacks applications are open to any high school or college (both undergrad and grad) student over the age of 18. No prior coding experience necessary - there are beginner workshops and mentors available.

Global Social Venture Competition - Berkeley's chapter of the social entrepreneurship business model competition - organized by the Lester Center.

LAUNCH: UC Berkeley Startup Competition and Accelerator - Intensive startup competition and accelerator - organized by the Lester Center. Fall cohort applications are due at the end of August.

Pear Competition - $25K uncapped note and resources to launch your start-up. No idea is too early. More than 10 student teams win. Apply January-March.

Incubators and Accelerators

[email protected] - Health tech incubator for developing technical and design skills to produce a viable prototype and business plan

CITRIS Foundry - Accelerator for deep tech founders providing lab access, early funding, and mentorship over a year

Berkeley stEP - An 8-week experiential program/accelerator that provides Berkeley students of all backgrounds with founder experience. Build your MVP and pitch to investors.

Free Ventures - Accelerator program incorporating upper-division CS courses, funding, mentorship, workshops, and workspace for undergrad and grad students

Cyclotron Road Research Fellowship - A 2-year entrepreneurial research fellowship at Berkeley supporting scientists and engineers from across the world. Fellows are provided with funding, mentorship, world-class research labs and a startup curriculum

SkyDeck - Incubator providing, mentorship, programming, and speakers - hosted by Haas School of Business and the College of Engineering

The House - Startup incubator for Berkeley founders offering offices and drop-in spaces

Venture Lab - Incubator for undergrad and grad students providing workspace, mentorship, and a community of student-entrepreneurs. Run by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology

AMP Venture Partners Impact Accelerator - provides up to 10 impact startups $5K in non-dilutive funding per team in the Fall semester & an invitation to our Spring semester 8-week AMP accelerator program. Must be founded be at least one current Berkeley student and intentionally solving a large urgent measurable social or environmental problem

Blockchain Xcelerator - a joint venture by Berkeley Engineering, the Berkeley Haas School of Business and Blockchain @ Berkeley. Teams can apply online, regardless of age range, UC Berkeley affiliation and geographic location.

University Resources

Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology - Berkeley center for developing entrepreneurial engineers - offers a certificate in entrepreneurship and technology

Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative - Provides faculty and students with funding for research done on topics in cryptocurrency

Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) - Conducts a number of courses on entrepreneurship and engineering leadership. Features global programs and a Startup Bootcamp revolving around the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship. Part of the College of Engineering.

Lester Center for Entrepreneurship - Regularly holds speaker series and info sessions on a breadth of business topics. Part of the Haas School of Business.

Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Tech - An entrepreneurship and innovations program that connects diverse undergraduates with community and industry partners for a health + tech experience. Currently offers two tracks: Health + Tech and Conservation + Tech. Applications run annually and differ per class year.

Innovation X-Labs - The Innovation-X Program is beginning in summer of 2020 with a series of industry roundtables to innovate in these topic areas. From these initial discussions, will emerge Discovery Projects, where we will leverage the resources of UC Berkeley faculty and students to create innovative solutions with Network members that guide the future of industry.

Alumni and Current Professional Resources

CalFounders - UC Berkeley alumni entrepreneurship society - members often act as a network of unofficial advisors for any member's venture

Certificate for Technology and Entrepreneurship - Certificate program requiring a professional experience at a startup and 5 courses on technology and entrepreneurship

Richard Newton Series - 12 renowned lectures given by leading Silicon Valley and Berkeley founders

Engineering Leadership Professional Program - Educating engineers to grow as leaders in the tech ecosystem

SIlicon Valley Innovation Leadership Week - Teaching leaders to bolster innovation and drive the creation and use of disruptive technologies

Notable Courses

How to Build the Future (CS 198) | A Decal taught by student instructors

Industrial Design and Human Factors (IEOR 170)

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Social and Cultural Context (Sociology 121)

Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs (UGBA 190T)

Integrated Device Design (CS 294--84)

Introduction to Product Development (Mec Eng 110)

Leading People (UGBA 105)

Principles of Engineering Economics (ENGIN 120)

Technology Entrepreneurship (IEOR 191)

Entrepreneurship (UGBA 195A)


Contrary - University-focused venture fund investing up to $500K in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US

The House Fund - Pre-seed and seed stage venture fund investing in Berkeley's top startups

Dorm Room Fund - First Round Capital's pre-seed investing branch - providing up to $20k to student startups

Alsop Louie Partners - Venture firm investing in early-stage disruptive media and tech startups.

Bee Partners - Venture firm investing in seed-stage Berkeley startups, notably media companies.

Berkeley Angel Network - an angel community of UC Berkeley alumni, faculty, and former faculty

Berkeley SkyDeck Fund - The SkyDeck Fund invests within SkyDeck Accelerator teams; half of fund carry returns back to UC Berkeley, and each SkyDeck company is eligible for up to $100K+

Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Startup Seed Fund - provides $5,000 grants and office space to early-stage startups involving current Haas students.

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