BAM Advisor Experts: Friends and Guides

BAM Advisor Experts: Friends and Guides

The excitement of Berkeley SkyDeck exists thanks to the work of many: Investors; Advisors; Cal alumni, administrators, professors, and students; Founders; countless friends in the startup industry; not least of all, our Management Team. Today, we highlight a few of them — our Berkeley Acceleration Method (BAM) Advisor Experts — to let you see more concretely a few of the many who make SkyDeck the success it is.

In alphabetical order, we recognize these stars:

Garrett Goldberg, who advises our Founders on Funding Planning, is a Partner at Bee Partners; an entrepreneur; Board Member for Cohort Intelligence in San Francisco, RBC Signals in Seattle, and Florence Healthcare in Atlanta. Garrett is widely beloved for the insights he brings from his unique path to venture capital, namely his work in professional sports, commercial real estate, and angel investments. Founders seeking seed stage capital are grateful for his integrity and empathy in the process. Not one to rest on his laurels, he guides startups in other, important ways, often writing on the industry. His recent piece on stack discipline offered Founders much needed food for thought.

A proud Cal Bear, Hub and Spoke Ventures Managing Director and President John Hubinger gives back to his alma mater as a mentor and lecturer at Berkeley Haas and, of course, as our Business Model Advisor. SkyTeams value John’s entrepreneurial lens, perhaps especially because he has a history of innovating in Enterprise Software. His work in executive roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems (pre-Oracle acquisition), and Emotive, Inc., his dual Founder-Executive role at AmberPoint, acquired by Oracle in 2010, not to mention his role as a Search and Rescue Emergency Medical Responder, all speak to the experience that helps take our SkyTeams to the moon.

On the way there, our Founders focus their narratives with help from Product Story Advisor David Riemer’s vast experience in advertising and marketing. When we think about David’s rise from Assistant Account Executive at J. Walter Thompson to its President, as well as his marketing executive roles at Yahoo! and The Feedroom, it’s no wonder Haas values him as Executive-in-Residence. It’s no wonder David is a sought-after speaker internationally. Rounding out his gifts is his care for the community as a Board Member at Destiny Arts Center and American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu, Founding Director of and Chief Scientist at Cal’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET), nurtures Market Traction of our SkyTeams’ companies. Though Ikhlaq invented the technology on which Skype is based, though he obtained over five dozen patents, though he started four companies, launched ventures, and, like his peers, sits on a number of boards, he may be most valued for his ability to show our Founders how to lead themselves and others toward useful innovation. Ikhlaq’s interdisciplinary approach has brought the real world to academia, arguably transforming the study and application of data networking and telecommunications.

With a Cal Bear background in Management Science and Marketing, as Red Sky Interactive’s Founder and CEO, Tim Smith is responsible for Nike’s first website. Not to be outdone among his accomplishments is Tim’s leadership in Red Sky’s creation of the first interactive ad banner. This work sits on a strong management base in Big Eight consulting. These and other stunning accomplishments behind him, Tim now runs Portfolio Operations at Bee Partners, alongside his SkyDeck role advising Founders in Design. SkyTeams especially appreciate Tim’s empathy and creativity as a fellow entrepreneur and are entertained by his ability to juggle.

A Haas alumna who clearly loves her alma mater, who coaches companies here on Team Development, Opportu Startup Innovation CEO and Founder Hilary Weber guides Global Founders as an Industry Fellow and Executive Education Instructor at SCET. On a broader scale, with her solid background in marketing, Hilary has coached hundreds of executives, including at national conferences, on striking the irreplaceable balance between startup and corporation. Areas she emphasizes include impactful leadership skills and change management. In the community, Hilary has volunteered as a Workshop and Panel Facilitator at Urban Solutions in San Francisco.

These luminaries have influenced SkyDeck in incalculable ways with their experiences and insights. We have grown because they have nurtured us, because they have given SkyDeck one of the most valuable assets anyone has: their time. As we look to the next five years, because these Advisors have been with us, we do so with an enriched lens. As a result, we do so with that much more energy as Cal’s official accelerator.


by Stephanie Kwok, Freelance Writer