Resources for Investors and Ecosystem Partners

Berkeley hosts several business and innovation competitions, and offers admission to several incubators and accelerators through competitive processes. These may be open to students, alumni, postdocs and other members of the Berkeley community. Please refer to each program's rules for entry requirements and deadlines.

 

Incubators, accelerators, and competitions dot the Berkeley landscape. The university’s most creative and promising ventures focus on a range of domains, venture stages, and educational outcomes.

You can be involved in many aspects of such operations, from prize sponsorships and project support to judging, mentoring, and competing.

Berkeley Angel Network

An independent group of accredited angel investors who are alumni, faculty and former faculty of UC Berkeley. New investor inquiries are welcome. See their website for information on applying to their pitch sessions.

Berkeley Cleantech University Prize (CUP)

Through the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) and sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE), selected student teams will receive extensive cleantech mentorship, entrepreneurial training, and access to fabrication/prototyping spaces at UC Berkeley. Teams then compete for the $50,000 Berkeley CUP with winning teams advancing to the DOE’s Cleantech University Prize National Conference.

Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program (BHEP)

Umbrella organization integrating entrepreneurial thinking throughout the Berkeley-Haas ecosystem. The central portal for Berkeley-Haas entrepreneurship courses, competitions, student groups, and events organized by Berkeley-Haas and The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship.

Big Ideas @ Berkeley

Big Ideas is an annual innovation contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have "big ideas" for solving pressing problems.

CITRIS Foundry

The Foundry is a startup accelerator that helps early-stage startups refine their ideas, raise funding, and choose a market strategy. 12-month long program that provides funding, workspace in the CITRIS Invention Lab, and mentorship to startups developing disruptive solutions for society’s pressing needs.

Cyclotron Road

Energy technology incubator and entrepreneurial R&D program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offering funding, collaboration, and commercialization support.

Dorm Room Fund

Student-run venture firm that invests in student-run companies. Provides seed funding, business and legal resources and connections to experiences mentors.

Free Ventures

UC Berkeley's student-run pre-seed startup incubator, crafting individualized paths for student founders across industries and academic backgrounds in a 3-month program.

Global Social Venture Competition

A global competition that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and over $80,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into ventures that will address the world's most pressing challenges. Teams from across the globe learn how to design scalable models through a process that emphasizes stakeholder discovery, business innovation, and social impact assessment.

LAUNCH:  The UC Berkeley Startup Competition

Accelerator program and competition guides companies from validated product to fundable business, including training, networking, mentorship and cash awards. LAUNCH helps companies build out their teams, protect IP, connect with industry experts, get minimum viable products into customers’ hands, prove their scalable business model, pitch to investors, and become fundable.

Lean LaunchPad (NSF I-Corps)

Educational program aimed at commercializing university research and fostering innovation. The “I-Corps Node: NSF Bay Area Regional I-Node Program” is one of three new Innovation Corps (or I-Corps) Nodes that the NSF is establishing across the United States.

Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET)

UC Berkeley's premiere institution for the study and practice of "technology-centric" entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include undergraduate and graduate student certificate programs, bootcamps, public lectures, and competitions.

Venture Capital Investment Competition

Current UC Berkeley students (graduate or undergraduate) compete in teams of five. VCIC gives students the opportunity to act as investors in early stage companies – evaluating business ideas, conducting due diligence, and negotiating investments – all with real entrepreneurs.