BERKELEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 29, 2020 / UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), today announces it has selected 16 companies from around the globe for its fall 2020 startup cohort. The new group of startups specializes in a wide range of industries including AI, life science, robotics, enterprise software, health, and bioscience solutions. SkyDeck chose the new group from more than 1850 applications.
“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.”
International startups participating are from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, U.K., Italy, Singapore, and Sweden. The startups represent a wide range of industries including AI, biotech/medtech, enterprise, consumer, hardware, robotics, and more.
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 which 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.”
UC 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.
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.
The new cohort began Oct. 26 with the Demo Day taking place in April, 2021. For more information about SkyDeck, visit skydeck.berkeley.edu.