Accelerating Berkeley startups at SkyDeck


Factual to its title, SkyDeck has a number of the handiest views in all of Berkeley. You would possibly presumably perchance presumably UC Berkeley on one aspect and a large swath of the bay on the a large selection of, with San Francisco valid barely peeking via the fog.

If nothing else, the accelerator’s killer piece of staunch estate feels worship a physical manifestation of its sky’s-the-restrict arrive to startups. It’s additionally the antithesis of the college’s old accelerator, stashed away within the basement of a Berkeley hotel.

“Of us discuss of [the former accelerator] quite of fondly,” explains SkyDeck govt director, Caroline Winnett, “nonetheless there wasn’t an unlimited program that encompassed the entire college and all of its applications as SkyDeck does.”

Given UC Berkeley’s reputation as a world-class launching board for conception leaders, it appears to be like loopy that the college had handiest valid flirted with the conception of incubating and accelerating startups in-condominium.

SkyDeck formally launched in 2012, nonetheless for this method’s first few years, it existed extra as a mentorship program than upright accelerator. That modified three years later, when the college enlisted Berkeley grad and serial entrepreneur Winnett to pass up this method.

“We operate up an acceleration program,” says Winnett, “a technique that we old to tempo up the startups, we picked a time physique of six months and then we operate up increasing a community of mentors and connecting with all of the improbable resources at UC Berkeley that can presumably perchance lend a hand our startups delivery and develop.”

Within the previous few years, SkyDeck has already helped graduate a handful of startups, collectively with gesture-recognition microchip designer Chirp and LimeBike, whose dockless bicycles fetch was ubiquitous in just a few substances of the country. In spite of getting raised around $382 million, LimeBike continues to carry out the many of the bid of job for conferences and work condominium.

“SkyDeck is a in actuality implausible bid to incubate startups,” says Lime VP Andrew Savage, who frequents the areas of work. “The atmosphere’s here, the red meat up is here, the tech neighborhood, the alternate neighborhood and in actuality fostering an environment where companies can fetch an opportunity at succeeding. If LimeBike learned one element, it’s that you clearly need that red meat up and likewise you would possibly presumably perchance even fetch gotten the opportunity to develop.”

Currently, the bid of job homes someplace within the neighborhood of eighty to a hundred startups, collectively with Mexican earthquake detection company SkyAlert and Kiwi, a final-mile delivery company whose robots fetch was popular perceive every in SkyDeck’s areas of work and the broader campus.

Winnett says the town, alongside with the college, has played a guiding operate in helping accomplish SkyDeck a success. “Town of Berkeley was once very active within the delivery of SkyDeck,” she explains. “They offered some funding to lend a hand us get going, and to boot they proceed to present resources, especially in the case of helping our startups after they graduate from this method fetch a bid to be.”

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