Skydeck turns research into reality

Lydia Zheng Opportu News

The Berkeley Skydeck office is located in the penthouse of the tallest building in downtown Berkeley. Sweeping views of the bay are accessible from virtually every face of the large, open-concept space, surely providing inspiration to the teams selected for this spring’s portfolio. There is a modest kitchen, plenty of desk space, and perhaps most importantly, a large quantity of coffee.Skydeck has built a space for their teams to work comfortably, and hopefully effectively, with the idea that they can accomplish most tasks in-house. Cultured through workshops, mentorship experiences, and a creative environment to develop in, teams are given the resources necessary to strengthen each of these facets. At the start of the portfolio period, each startup is given $50,000 in investments from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, with an additional $50,000 to follow after completion of half of the program. Over the course of six months, teams complete the Berkeley Acceleration Method (BAM) where they attend mandatory training in each of the six practice areas:

  1. Design
  2. Funding plan
  3. Business model
  4. Team development
  5. Product story
  6. Market traction

These training sessions are conducted by specialists who focus solely on one area. For example, David Riemer, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, helps teams develop their product story and Hilary Weber, founder of Opportu, offers guidance in team development. Click here for more information.