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Berkeley SkyDeck Introduces New Tracks Ahead of Open Applications for Next Cohort Class

Berkeley SkyDeck , the global hub for entrepreneurship and leading accelerator, today announced that applications are now open for its 15th cohort class, with a final deadline of August 31, 2022. Applications are available here . Batch 15 cohorts can take advantage of new tracks added in the last year, including the Aero-Astro Track, led by advisor Robin Riedel of McKinsey and Company, and the Blockchain/Crypto Track, led by advisor Linda Kreitzman. Berkeley SkyDeck’s Chip Track also named a new advisor, David Horsley of UC Davis. In addition, Berkeley SkyDeck will launch a CivTech Track in the coming year, in partnership with the Center for Security in Politics at UC Berkeley, with former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano leading the track as a primary advisor. In addition to these new tracks, SkyDeck will continue to work with startups in industries that have always been an area of focus for venture investors, including consumer, enterprise software, biotech, greentech and more.

Berkeley SkyDeck accepts just over 1.5% of startups that apply and approximately 20 to 25 startups overall for each of its cohorts. Cohort companies receive $200,000 in funding, $750,000 worth of free and discounted resources, and access to SkyDeck’s unsurpassed network of UC Berkeley alumni, faculty, and advisors. Alumni of Berkeley SkyDeck have enjoyed great success in their respective industries, collectively raising more than $1.7 billion in funding. The recently launched Berkeley SkyDeck Europe is currently working with its first group of cohorts, who will present their own Demo Day on October 20, 2022.

“Our mission at Berkeley SkyDeck is to continue the tradition of excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation that makes UC Berkeley one of the top public universities in the world. Expanding our operations in Europe and opening additional tracks for our cohorts are just a couple examples of how we are striving to meet the needs of founders around the world,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director. “I am looking forward to seeing what these batch applicants have to offer – and how we can leverage the university’s vast resources to set them up for success.”

Berkeley SkyDeck’s newest tracks reflect trends in growth and investments. Last year, for example, aerospace startups raised $15.4 billion while US semiconductor and chip investment reached $2.6 billion in 2021 , nearly doubling in just three years. Civtech is also burgeoning, with the industry’s transaction volume rising to $14 billion total in 2021 .

“While Berkeley SkyDeck might be rooted here in Silicon Valley, our reach is global, and we’re excited to see how both homegrown and international startups tackle the issues in their industries across all of our tracks,” said Chon Tang, Founding Partner, Berkeley SkyDeck Fund. “As we evaluate, advise, and potentially invest, we are continually energized by these fresh ideas and new approaches. The SkyDeck Fund is ready and waiting to take these newest cohort companies to the next level.”

In March 2022, Berkeley SkyDeck recently announced the close of the $60 million SkyDeck Fund II, which continues to actively fund companies. The SkyDeck Fund has invested in 160 companies to date, representing a wide range of businesses and industries, from 30 countries around the world. Unlike other VC funds, the SkyDeck Fund shares half of its profits with UC Berkeley, helping to continue the university’s mission of delivering excellence in education.

Berkeley SkyDeck will conduct extensive research on applicants, and will hold interviews between September and October 2022. The six-month program will begin in November 2022, concluding at the end of April 2023. Berkeley SkyDeck will host the cohort’s Demo Day for investors on April 4, 2023.

About Berkeley SkyDeck

Berkeley SkyDeck is a leading accelerator and the global hub for entrepreneurship. As UC Berkeley’s largest and most prominent accelerator, SkyDeck combines hands-on mentorship with the vast resources of its research university. SkyDeck is the only accelerator of its kind that offers the value of a dedicated investment fund alongside the resources and network of a top university. To date, SkyDeck startups have raised more than $1.7 billion in aggregate. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 420 advisors, 70 industry partners, and a network of more than 510,000 UC Berkeley alumni. For more information, see skydeck.berkeley.edu .

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