February 18, 2021
FINAL CALL! Deadline to submit SkyDeck application for Batch 12 is around the corner

Startup founders looking to accelerate their company’s growth should look no further. Now is your chance to apply to SkyDeck, one of the top accelerators in the country. SkyDeck provides startups with a direct pathway to Silicon Valley, offering 70+ workshops, countless networking events, access to over 350 advisors and industry experts. Selected startups receive an investment of $105,000 from the SkyDeck Fund, which was recently named one of the world’s most active seed funds

The deadline to apply is February 22nd. For further information, check out our respective Global founder or UC-affiliate founder webinars, and apply today via the SkyDeck website.

Apply Now!
SkyDeck Fund Managing Partner talks about remote acceleration

Chon Tang, SkyDeck Fund Managing Partner, at the February 2020 Demo Day

Chon Tang, Berkeley SkyDeck Fund’s Managing Partner, recently spoke with The San Francisco Business Times about how remote acceleration has been working a year into the COVID pandemic. Read the feature article here.

UCSF stem cell biologist shares how SkyDeck has helped her startup
Founded at UCSF, EndoCrine is working to provide transformational therapies for patients with diabetes by harnessing the power of miniaturized human cellular models. In this interview, Dr. Gopika Nair shares her experience working with SkyDeck during COVID and Endocrine’s next steps. 

SkyDeck: As a founder from the San Francisco Bay Area, you must know your fair share of startup accelerators. What made you choose SkyDeck? 

Gopika: My relationship with SkyDeck started when I first started pitching with the UCSF entrepreneurship program. I heard about a few options, but SkyDeck particularly stood out to me because of its connection to the Berkeley campus, where we currently have collaborators and recognize the value of UC Berkeley’s resources. Mainly, I chose SkyDeck because of the availability of resources, the amazing talent that Berkeley offers, and the personal connection with the Fund and the advisors.

SkyDeck: You’ve talked about the bountiful network, advisors, and resources available at SkyDeck. Is there a specific part of the programming you found most beneficial?

The key advisors the program matches you with are a really impactful way to establish and broaden your network. The advisor matching event is really important — you pitch to a lot of accomplished advisors and the advisors you get matched with play a key role in not just understanding where your product fits, but also expanding your network. Another event that helped a lot was the SkyDeck Bio Dinner, where we were introduced to advisors and alumni in relevant fields. SkyDeck has really taught my team so much about how to form engaging connections. 

SkyDeck: As a UCSF founder, you know better than anyone how important it is to be rooted in the Silicon Valley. How have you taken advantage of Berkeley SkyDeck’s resources and network?

Gopika: For other startups that do not originate in Silicon Valley, I would say the most beneficial thing for them would be the direct access to investors, advisors, and researchers in the Bay Area. They are forthcoming to answer any questions you may have and very experienced in the steps needed to form a company in the early stages. We really hoped to be introduced to VCs in Silicon Valley, and we are now gearing to raise our seed round after Demo Day. Everything in the program is so streamlined — the classes are packaged so nicely and the events are so well planned. This program is definitely built to help founders jumpstart their business, and I am glad to be a part of it. 


Dancing with the Sharks: Common themes for fundraising success
 As we approach the first full year of a different world, Marc Meyer, Chair of SkyDeck’s advisor council, shares startup fundraising tips in his latest blog post. The pitch to investors is a monumental step for any startup, and Marc walks through the process from your introduction to their feedback. From fine-tuning your messaging to overcoming skepticism, there's plenty of advice for everyone from first-time to serial founders.
SkyTeam News
Krisp (Spring ‘18 Cohort) has nearly tripled their $5M A round with an additional $9M raised after an extremely successful 2020. They've seen an increase of users by 20x, and their product is proving to be critical in the era of working from home.
TomoCredit (Spring ‘19 HotDesk) is a fintech company that operates with a debit card model. It recently raised a $7M seed round to help cash-rich individuals and first-time borrowers with limited credit histories build credit history.
iDentical (Fall ‘19 Cohort) recently raised an oversubscribed $4.6M seed round to advance development of their drill-free dental implant technology. Investors included Creative Ventures, Life Science Angels, Tech Coast Angels, MD Angels and Berkeley Angel Network.
Sway (Fall ‘20 HotDesk) has recently been announced as a winner of the Beyond the Bag Innovation Challenge! Sway's seaweed-based plastic film replacement was selected alongside eight other innovators, and will now move into testing the viability of their design and scaling.
Vyrill (Spring '17 Cohort) has closed $727K of their $2M round with private investors, which include many notable tech entrepreneurs. Nearly $100K has also been raised from micro-investors on WeFunder, allowing them to continue to focus on growth and launch new video marketing campaign tools.
Higher Rewards
Higher Rewards (Fall ‘20 HotDesk) has secured an exclusive partnership agreement with Visa, which allows nonprofits and religious organizations to turn 2% of their members’ everyday spending into tax-deductible donations with their own credit cards. Click here to learn more and join the waiting list.
1Page (Fall '19 Cohort), formerly known as WhatElse, helps salespeople efficiently prepare before every meeting with one-page summaries aggregated from software applications. 1Page has always put salespeople first by working with many data partners, and is now announcing the freemium version today to be used with email, calendar, and more.
Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 25th: UC Berkeley Cloud Computing Meetup

UC Berkeley Cloud Computing is holding their meetup on February 25th from 1-2 p.m. PST. Bringing together students, researchers, faculty, IT staff and the wider local community, this meetup will feature discourse about designing and operating services built on cloud computing architectures. Learn more on the meetup page!


Friday, March 12th: Women in Tech Symposium

CITRIS and the Women in Tech Initiative at UC will be hosting the Women in Tech Symposium, showcasing issues, sector opportunities, and the career paths of experts in human-computer interaction (HCI). The symposium is open to everyone, allowing a broad audience the chance to join the conversation about the future of human-computer interaction.

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