July 12, 2024


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Berkeley SkyDeck, a global hub for entrepreneurship and tech accelerator, is gearing up for its largest Demo Day yet as it prepares to showcase 24 innovative startups.

The event is scheduled to take place on September 20 at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, California, in on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.

The lineup of Batch 16 companies participating in Demo Day represents a diverse range of industries, including climate tech, robotics, deep tech and AI, chips and hardware, gaming, and fintech. This year’s Demo Day sets a new record for Berkeley SkyDeck, highlighting the organization’s continued growth and influence in the startup ecosystem. Investors from major Silicon Valley investment and venture capital firms will have the opportunity to hear from each of the participating companies.

Berkeley SkyDeck is an accelerator at UC Berkeley.

Batch 16 is the largest cohort to date, with 24 companies selected out of 1,800 applications, resulting in an acceptance rate of just 1.3%. Notably, this cohort marks a significant milestone as it includes the first-ever life science startups founded by UC Berkeley faculty members through the Life Science Entrepreneurship Venture Grant.

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Among the faculty-led companies participating in the newly introduced UC Berkeley Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center (LSEC) Bio Track are AsparaGlue and MZR Neurotech. Additionally, Batch 16 features startups at the forefront of their respective industries, such as generative AI for gaming and SaaS, low-cost performance semiconductors and microchips, and travel bookings.

Chon Tang, founding partner of Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, said in a statement, “The technologies that power the future won’t come out of Silicon Valley alone. We believe Batch 16 represents some of the most innovative ideas from around the world, and we are excited to see the response from the broader investment community.”

Berkeley SkyDeck provides selected cohort companies with benefits including $200,000 in funding, free and discounted resources valued at $750,000, and access to an extensive network of UC Berkeley alumni, faculty, and advisors.

The impact of Berkeley SkyDeck’s support is evident from the success of previous cohorts. Notably, multiple startups from Batch 15, such as Clearpol, Socialtrait, and Okomera, were able to secure substantial seed funding rounds ranging from $3 million to $5 million from leading venture capital funds shortly after their Demo Day presentations.

Berkeley SkyDeck’s startups get $200,000 in cash plus other benefits.

Caroline Winnett, executive director at Berkeley SkyDeck, said in a statement, “When selecting companies for a Berkeley SkyDeck Cohort, we look for companies that have moonshot visions to completely change the world. This group of companies is poised to help us rethink wearable technology, the flow of payments, treatment for cancer, and autonomous robots, among other industries.”

With applications for Batch 17 recently closed, Berkeley SkyDeck is already seeing substantial interest, with the number of applications nearly doubling compared to Batch 16. Notably, Batch 17 will introduce a specialized Climate Tech Track led by Shuo Yang, a partner at leading climate tech venture capital firm Lowercarbon Capital.

As Berkeley SkyDeck enters its fourth year and continues to invest from its $60 million Fund II, it has already made a significant impact by supporting 160 companies from 30 countries across various industries.

What sets the SkyDeck Fund apart from other venture capital funds is its unique profit-sharing model, where half of its profits are reinvested into UC Berkeley, furthering the university’s commitment to delivering excellence in education.

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