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 Angel network of alumni, faculty and former faculty of UC Berkeley. New investor inquiries are welcome. To apply for upcoming pitch sessions please refer to the For Entrepreneurs tab on the Berkeley Angel Network site.

Berkeley Cleantech University Prize (CUP)

Student teams receive extensive cleantech mentorships, 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 hosted by Spark Clean Energy.

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

Big Ideas @ Berkeley

Annual innovation contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have big idea for solving pressing problems.

Catalyst@Berkeley

New student-run health tech incubator helps teams of undergraduate students develop technical skills and navigate the design process to develop viable prototypes and business plans to bring them to market.

CITRIS Foundry

6-month incubator for applied technology startups provides $5,000+ in seed funding, workspace in the CIRTIS Invention Lab, and mentorship to startups developing disruptive solutions for society’s pressing needs. Prototype required.

CITRIS Mobile App Challenge

A semester-long competition that encourages teams of UCB students to develop innovative mobile apps for today’s most pressing societal needs. Students design, prototype and pitch their apps through a rigorous 3-month process, culminating in a selection process with prizes and a Demo Day.

Cyclotron Road

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

Delta Prize

2.5-month mentoring program includes workspace, access to a broad network of advisors and mentors, and up to $15,000 in seed funding. Teams must have a minimum viable product and some measurable validation with the singular goal of preparing new ventures to be investor-ready.

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.

Foundation Capital Berkeley Founders Program

Winning teams receive up to $25K in seed funding and spend 3-6 months with Foundation Capital.

Free Ventures

UC Berkeley's student-run startup incubator, providing resources and a framework to build ideas into companies.

Global Social Venture Competition

A global competition that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and $50,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that will have positive real world impact.

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. Geared toward startups that have participated in a Lean Launchpad course.

Lean LaunchPad (NSF I-Corps)

Class based on Lean Launchpad methodology  improves startups' chances of getting sizable, non-dilutive SBIR grants. Free summer course offered through Berkeley-Haas, as well as 3-credit EECS course.

Pear UC Berkeley Challenge

Seed-stage investment firm Pear will invest $250,000 in a startup founded by UC Berkeley students, faculty, or alumni who graduated within the past five years.

primeUC

2-4 events per year, rotating between Life Sciences and Engineering, with seed funding awarded to the most promising start-ups emerging from the University of California. Each primeUC event will bring together 20 startup finalists to network with seed investors, and will provide prize money for the winners.

QB3 Incubator Network

QB3 incubators provide biotech startups with access to rental laboratory space. The network includes the QB3 Garage@Berkeley, the QB3 Garage@UCSF, QB3@953, and several affiliated incubator facilities.

QB3-CLSA Accelerator

Helps pre-commercial biotech startups achieve operational excellence while allowing them to focus on commercializing their discoveries

SkyDeck

6-month accelerator program for startups with launched products/tech and user traction. Provides workspace in downtown Berkeley and a practical, experience-based program to accelerate startups towards a position of strength for growth and survival in their market.

Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology

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

Berkeley graduate students 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.