Lowercarbon Capital general partner Shuo Yang serving as track chair for newest specialized track
BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Berkeley SkyDeck, the global hub for entrepreneurship and leading accelerator, today announced that applications are now open for its 17th Cohort class, with a final deadline of August 24, 2023. Applications are available here. Climate tech companies working to address both climate change and its effects can apply to a newly-launched specialized Climate Tech Track led by Shuo Yang, a general partner at leading climate tech venture capital firm, Lowercarbon Capital. This is the fifth specialized track available for Berkeley SkyDeck Cohort companies, following the Bio Track, the Aero-Astro Track, the Blockchain/Crypto Track and the Chip Track. SkyDeck is an industry agnostic accelerator and will continue to accept applications from startups across all key industries, like consumer goods and services, enterprise software, AI, and more.
Since its launch in 2012, Berkeley SkyDeck has been at the forefront of global entrepreneurship, introducing innovators to the Silicon Valley ecosystem through its unsurpassed network of UC Berkeley alumni, faculty, and advisors. Multiple startups from SkyDeck’s Batch 15 Cohort, including Clearpol, Avion, Socialtrait, and Okomera, collectively raised strong seed rounds of $3M to $5M from leading VC funds within weeks of Demo Day. Members of the current 16th Cohort speak 27 different languages and dialects, and hail from 4 continents, with their Demo Day planned for September 2023. Berkeley SkyDeck Europe, Milano, which launched in 2022, is currently working with its third Cohort.
“The challenges we face to limit greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change’s effects are steep. However, we possess the capacity and ingenuity to meet them as a planet. Berkeley SkyDeck’s new Climate Tech Track formalizes our support of companies from around the world leading the way in designing and implementing new methods and technologies,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of Berkeley SkyDeck.
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 and $750,000 worth of free and discounted resources, in addition to access to the SkyDeck network.
Despite an overall slowdown in venture capital investments, climate tech investments reached a record investment of $70.1 billion USD last year, up 89% from 2021. Berkeley SkyDeck alumni in the industry include Chemix and Coreshell, representing a wide swath of sustainability tech that includes better batteries, reduction of single-use plastics in the consumer goods sector, and more efficiently produced and sustainable plastics.
Berkeley SkyDeck also actively funds companies via the $60 million SkyDeck Fund II. The Berkeley 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.
"If people only knew the kinds of breakthroughs that are percolating in the labs and classrooms at UC Berkeley, I think we'd all be a lot more optimistic about the future. But it's not just the technologies I'm excited about, it's the people,” said Yang. “This campus is overflowing with bold, passionate builders, eager to wield what they're making in the fight for a better tomorrow. I'm so excited to chair Berkeley SkyDeck's climate track so I can help these young founders build the next wave of civilization-defining companies. We're going to need them."
Berkeley SkyDeck conducts extensive research on applicants and will hold interviews between September and October 2023. The six-month program will begin in November 2023, concluding at the end of April 2024.
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 $1.8 billion in aggregate. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 560 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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