Berkeley entrepreneurship begins here

The University of California, Berkeley offers entrepreneurs an unparalleled education, top research centers and faculty, and the opportunity to be part of the innovative culture in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. The Berkeley Gateway to Innovation (BEGIN) is the portal to the entrepreneurship community at UC Berkeley. Our goal is to help students, faculty, researchers, and other innovators understand the resources available at Berkeley to support educating entrepreneurs, commercializing research, and advancing startups.

BEGIN is funded in part by the State of California Assembly Bill 2664 for entrepreneurship and innovation expansion at the University of California, Berkeley .



Jan 31 – FORM + FUND Series

The FORM+FUND Series at UC Berkeley teaches the core legal, financial, and organizational aspects of starting and scaling a new business.  Each session features introductions and office hours hosted by leading Silicon Valley attorneys, entrepreneurs, and/or venture capitalists. Attendance is by registration only.

Jan 31 – MENA Group Startup Consultants

We are now accepting applications from graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley to work as consultants for startups in the Middle East and North Africa. Preference will be given to those in the MBA, MEng, and IEOR programs. This semester we will be working with three startups based in Morocco.

Jan 31 – U.S.-Russia Social Expertise Exchange Fellowship

The US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) is pleased to announce the Round 11 launch of its Independent Professionals Initiative. Russian and American professionals seeking to collaborate with international partner(s) in joint pursuit of solutions to issues in one of the four following socially-oriented themes are invited to apply: Social inclusion Technology and innovation for social …

Feb 10 – I-Corps Short Course

The Bay Area Regional I-Corps Node offers a one-week course based on Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad (Business Model Canvas + Customer Discovery). The three evening sessions will teach you to identify and refine your Value Propositions and Customer Segments, which is essential to de-risking your idea and achieving product-market fit. Outside of class, you’ll do at least 15 …

Feb 21 – Fung Fellowship

The Fung Fellowship a unique impact-driven innovations program that teaches the skills you need to be an entrepreneur and change-maker. It’s a program that is grounded in industry partnerships, community collaborations, and valuing the unique skills that each Fellow brings. Through the program, Fung Fellows utilize the iterative human-centered design process, area specific principles, and emerging …

Feb 21 – Cleantech to Market Accelerator

C2M first selects a cohort of innovations that have strong potential for cleantech commercialization. C2M then hand selects commercialization teams comprising top UC Berkeley graduate students from over 20 programs, including business, engineering, science, law, policy, and the Energy and Resources Group. C2M supports the teams with professionals who bring deep subject matter expertise (e.g., …

Feb 29 – Frankfurt Summer School on Ethical Implications of AI

Learn about the ethical implications of the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Gain orientation and competencies that will help you in your ethical decision making Apply an AI Ethical Inspection Process (Z-inspection) to real AI use cases




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SCET Wins Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation Award

Our partner, the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET), has been won the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation at 2019 The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) conference! The award is, in part, for its development of the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, an approach to teaching innovation that focuses on learning by playing interactive games and understanding and developing one’s entrepreneurial mindset. The Method is used in several of SCET’s courses including Challenge Lab and the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

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‘Sea Warden’ Uses Satellites to Make Your Diet Healthier

January 26, 2020

How do any of us really know where our fish comes from? Sure, there are approvals and labeling tactics to make us more confident in the quality of our fish. But what if I could see data on the exact location and environment from which my fish came? Zack Dinh, currently working on a Master’s …

Dr. Martin Potančok visits SCET, expands exchange of business and industry exposure between U.S. and Prague

January 24, 2020

Dr. Martin Potančok (left) with SCET Chief Scientist and Faculty Director Ikhlaq Sidhu (right) Dr. Martin Potančok is interested in discovering how academic innovation programs can be best exposed to industry and help students work on pressing problems and challenges. Potančok visited SCET earlier this semester from of the University of Economics, Prague (VSE) to …

“Don’t Be A Stranger” snags top prize at SCET’s Fall 2019 Collider Cup

January 23, 2020

More than 100 UC Berkeley students and community members gathered on Friday, December 13th in Sutardja Dai Hall to watch SCET’s top students and startups compete at Collider Cup V.  The Collider Cup is an all-star showcase and competition for student teams from various classes offered by the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. Teams …

Guests Rock the Fall 2019 Emerging Tech and Social Impact Challenge Lab!!!

January 22, 2020

The last couple of blog posts highlighted student projects from the respective Challenge Labs. Instead of doing it in this post, we have this amazing video showcasing outstanding projects from last semester compiled by Justin Wong.  The video highlights student video blogs where they ruminate on their entrepreneurship journey, and it also includes clips of their final start-up …

Want To Create A First-Of-Its-Kind Company? Five Tips For Success At The Front Edge Of Possible

January 22, 2020

New tech offers entrepreneurs great opportunity to do something that has never been done before—but it comes with a tradeoff. (MATTHEW ANSLEY, UNSPLASH) Over 500 million years ago, a spectacular array of new species emerged over a relatively short geological period. Called the Cambrian explosion, this era brought us most of the animal phyla we know …

Matthew D. Potts and the Co-Production of Tropical Resource Frontiers

January 16, 2020

How can we meet increasing human demands from the land while protecting natural systems? This is the question that Matthew Potts, UC Berkeley’s S. J. Hall Chair in Forestry Economics and the Vice Chair of the Graduate Group in Development Engineering, asks in his scholarship. The post Matthew D. Potts and the Co-Production of Tropical …

Help Deplastify the Planet! The Challenge Lab returns for Spring 2020

January 12, 2020

Plastic is a big problem. World plastic production totaled 359 million tons in 2018, and production levels have grown steadily since 1950. It is estimated that 3-4% of plastic enters the ocean eventually creating ocean garbage patches such as the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is now twice the size of Texas. And as …

How are entrepreneurs using blockchain? Here are 13 loglines from 13 innovative startups in the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator

January 12, 2020

The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator is a joint venture by three premier organizations on the UC Berkeley campus: Berkeley Engineering’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, the Haas School of Business, and the Blockchain at Berkeley student group. Its purpose is to move new blockchain technologies and ventures forward, through leveraging the unparalleled resources at UC …

MeghaScore: Promoting financial inclusion in India

January 10, 2020

Five months ago, six UC Berkeley students joined a Challenge Lab where the objective was to solve six problems that face Meghalaya, a North-East state in India. The challenges were Rainwater Harvesting, Horticulture, Turmeric, ECO Tourism, Healthcare and Financial Inclusion. Our challenge was to find a way to create a solution for financial inclusion for …

Inspired to Become an Innovation Ambassador

December 17, 2019

When Amy Liu was a master’s degree student in biology at UC San Diego, she met a recently immigrated Haitian refugee who desperately needed a doula. After four hours of waiting for a professional, Liu—who had volunteered as a doula for a year—assisted the delivery of the woman’s baby over a 35-hour period. Inspired to provide pregnant …

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective AI

December 11, 2019

Adapt or Die Name a company anywhere in the world – just one! – that won’t be disrupted by Amazon or Google.  These two companies, along with their fellow votaries of Big Data and machine learning, are today entering every industry, to the competitive peril of businesses large and small.  The healthcare and financial industries …

Why We Are Expanding the Field of Development Engineering

December 9, 2019

By Shankar Sastry This winter, the Blum Center was among the many groups in academia and development to celebrate the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Professors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT and Michael Kremer of Harvard were lauded for their innovative use of randomized control trials and behavioral economics to evaluate …

‘Puma Browser’ Protects User Privacy Online

December 5, 2019

As a photography enthusiast, Yuriy Dybskiy had been thinking about how to make money as a creator. After working on projects tackling the challenge of creating a sustainable stream of income online, he took to a blockchain-powered idea: a browser with in-built micropayments.  Puma Browser is a privacy-focused mobile web browser which provides a new …

Joe Leitmann on the New Era of Disaster Risk Management

December 4, 2019

Though he admits it is macabre, Joe Leitmann is walking encyclopedia of natural disaster statistics. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami resulted in 280,000 deaths and $15 billion in damages. The Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 led to 68,000 deaths and $20 billion in damages. Hurricane Sandy’s 2012 tear across the U.S. and Caribbean left behind $75 …

Startup Semester students share their experiences with entrepreneurship at Berkeley

December 4, 2019

Kingston Tan, Marine Derouault, and Laurent PanPhoto Credit: Priyanka Karthikeyan The Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology hosted students from around the world for the fall 2019 Startup Semester program. We spoke with Laurent Pan and Marine Derouault from the LeBridge Fellows program and Kingston Tan from Sunway University about their backgrounds in entrepreneurship and …

11 Points of Advice from an Honest CEO

November 26, 2019

Whether you build technology or inspire those who do, you have the power to change the world.  But only if you make a genuine effort to try. On Tuesday, November 12th, students in the audience of the Newton Lecture Series were given a strikingly blunt lecture from Expensify Founder & CEO, David Barrett. Unlike most …

Winners of the 2019 Global Poverty & Practice Photo Contest

November 26, 2019

For the past 12 years, UC Berkeley’s Global Poverty & Practice Minor has supported 1,013 students in completing their practice experience in 72 countries. The practice experience is a six-week fieldwork opportunity in which students connect theory with action by partnering with nongovernmental or community organizations, government agencies, or other development programs domestically or abroad. …

Supporting Low-Income Entrepreneurs in Nairobi

November 25, 2019

Over the past five years, SOMO has grown from a proposal submitted to the Big Ideas Contest to a viable nonprofit, which receives close to 2,000 applications annually from Kenyan entrepreneurs looking to launch their business ideas. So far SOMO has helped launch 58 businesses, partnering with them for two years through its acceleration program. …

Suleiman Halasah: Environment as a Cross-boundary Peacebuilding Tool

November 25, 2019

Titled “Innovations and Collaboration at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems: Toward Sustainability in the Middle East,” Halasah’s talk covered his role as founder and co-director of JICCER, his solar water pumping project with Palestinian and Jordanian farmers, and the lessons he has learned about community development and environmental peacebuilding. The post Suleiman …

Leaf Global: Using Blockchain to Enable Virtual Banking Across Borders

November 22, 2019

Leaf Team that is working at the Kiziba refugee camp (from right to left: Chance Uwamahoro, Aimee Umulisa, Tori Samples, and Nat Robinson)  The UN estimates that there are over 68 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Even more live in states of economic, social and political instability. …


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