July 17, 2024

Caroline Winnett, the executive director of the University of California, Berkeley’s in-school accelerator program, threw down the gauntlet Tuesday to other accelerators.
People who haven’t yet checked out Berkeley SkyDeck, her program, which is based in downtown Berkeley a short distance from campus, need to do so, Winnett said during the accelerator’s 14th Demo Day event. Why? Because it’s “the coolest and the most beautiful accelerator place on the planet,” she said.
“Anybody who wants to challenge this assertion, please send in your pictures and we’ll have at it,” Winnett said.
Whatever Berkeley SkyDeck’s aesthetic merits or street cred, it does offer a chance for founders to get their companies off the ground and get some expert advice along the way. Its six-month program matches founders with faculty advisors from UC Berkeley’s business and engineering schools and offers them 126 dedicated office hours. Founders also have access to numerous workshops, meet-and-greets and other networking events where they can get connected to venture capitalists and UC Berkeley alumni.
The accelerator’s Demo Day event — its second hybrid gathering since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic — featured 18 startups from across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Berkeley SkyDeck held the in-person part of the event at Zellerbach Hall, near its offices, while simultaneously livestreaming it on YouTube.
Three Bay Area startups took part in the event. They were:
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