Top Accelerator Berkeley SkyDeck Now Accepting Applications for the Fall 2020 Cohort

Applications are being accepted through August 8; SkyDeck startups continue to deliver innovative technology, raising $32 million during the COVID-19 shutdown

BERKELEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 8, 2020 / UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the global startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), has opened the application period for its upcoming Fall 2020 Cohort program for startups. Applications are available now and will be accepted through August 8, 2020.


Berkeley SkyDeck


The highly-competitive SkyDeck accelerator is thriving, named in 2019 by Forbes as one of the top five university accelerators. UC Berkeley is also a hotbed of entrepreneurship, identified by Pitchbook as the No. 1 public undergraduate program for producing startup founders. During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown period, eight SkyDeck alumni startups successfully raised $32 million.

An international program for entrepreneurs, SkyDeck has 24 accelerator track startups in its current cohort, selected from a pool of more than 1,600 applications. In addition to the U.S.-based startups, international startups participating are from Armenia, Canada, Chile, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, and Taiwan. The startups represent a wide range of industries including AI, biotech/medtech, enterprise, consumer, hardware, robotics, and more. SkyDeck’s Bio Track has experienced significant growth in the Spring 2020 Cohort, with seven bio startups in the Cohort accelerator program and 25 HotDesk companies.

“As the world changes and we deal with the current pandemic, SkyDeck continues to grow and remains committed to helping ambitious startups succeed,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director. “As a top accelerator, we look for technologies that will make a big impact and will shape the future of our world. Even in these challenging times, SkyDeck is helping startups get off the ground and bring their cutting edge ideas to life.”

The Cohort (accelerator track) startups receive a $105,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, free and discounted services valued at $700,000, and access to 300 top advisors and mentors as they prepare to pitch more than 800 investors on Demo Day. The 100 HotDesk (incubator track) startups have access to events, mentors, and pitch opportunities to help them grow their innovative ideas and businesses.

Marc Tarpenning is an original founder of Tesla as well as a graduate of UC Berkeley and a current SkyDeck advisor. He said, “I’m proud to be a UC Berkeley alum and am thrilled to be an advisor to SkyDeck startups. I’m continually impressed by every company I have the opportunity to meet and work with. The cohorts keep getting bigger and better. I look forward to meeting this next group and can’t wait to discover how their technology will make a difference and improve our lives and the world.”

“Our Spring Cohort has been successfully working remotely as we navigate the new COVID-19 environment,” said Winnett. “Our program has actually expanded during this time, with more advisors and mentors than ever hosting office hours and meeting with our startups. Our global network has been a superpower to connect our founders to the advice and resources they need to be successful in an uncertain world.”

This month SkyDeck is introducing a new Aerospace Track to add to its specialty Bio Track and Chip Tracks. In the past six months, SkyDeck has added a new chair of its faculty advisors, Berkeley Professor and Cadence Co-founder Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, as well as a new chair of the Chip Track, Mark Miller. SkyDeck has also brought on a new Director of Global Innovation and Partnerships, George Panagiotakopoulos.

To learn more or to apply, visit

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Berkeley SkyDeck is UC Berkeley’s global startup accelerator. Named by Forbes as one of the top five university accelerators, SkyDeck combines hands-on mentorship with the vast resources of its research university. SkyDeck is the only accelerator that provides funding for its startups via a public-private partnership, providing returns directly back to UC Berkeley via the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a dedicated investment fund supported by top institutional VCs like Sequoia and Mayfield. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 300 advisors, 50 industry partners, and a network of more than 510,000 UC Berkeley alumni. To date, SkyDeck startups have raised more than $1.2 billion in aggregate. For more information, see

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SOURCE: Berkeley SkyDeck

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