Haas Startup Squad Launches!

Haas Startup Squad Launches!

SkyDeck is pleased to welcome the first official cohort of the UC Berkeley Haas Startup Squad! The HSS, founded by 1st year Haas MBA student Ludwig Schoenack, will pair the most talented, driven and motivated MBA students with startups based on their specific needs sourced through SkyDeck’s 90+ teams. On Monday, December 4th, SkyDeck hosted the Squad’s kickoff session, featuring a SkyDeck program overview, SkyDeck team introduction, and content sessions by SkyAdvisors Gary Meyers and Tim Smith.


Gary Meyers, SkyDeck’s first “Entrepreneur in residence” provided the 50,000 foot view of why startups fail – and how to make sure they won’t. Gary has run and grown public and private companies, serving as CEO and as director of multiple boards. Most recently, Gary was chairman of Exar, a public semiconductor company sold in 2017 to MaxLinear Corporation. Gary has raised both angel rounds and tens of millions in later stage venture funding. Gary’s specific area of focus has been in enterprise software; specifically sales, go-to-market, and scaling strategies.


Tim Smith, Partner at Bee Partners and longtime SkyDeck supporter, walked teams through how teams succeed – and what it takes to pitch to a venture capitalist (VC). Tim’s experience includes 25 years of technology design, development and marketing experience from large-scale data center management to programming to Big Eight consulting to interactive design agency startup. He is interested in consumer applications that make complex tasks simple through good design.


Following the three hour session, the Startup Squad enjoyed pizza and beer courtesy of the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund managed by Chon Tang. The fund is particularly interested in supporting efforts like Startup Squad that provide Berkeley entrepreneurs with additional resources, particularly when the in-kind support comes from Haas MBA candidates!


Tang said, “We’re thrilled to have the Startup Squad supporting our Spring 2018 startup cohort! What an incredible value-add to our teams to have the input that a Haas MBA candidate can provide. This cohort is poised to have an incredible menu of resources – we can’t wait to watch as natural connections emerge and projects unfold with our companies and the Startup Squad.”


Interested in learning more about Haas Startup Squad or in applying as a Haas Startup Squad member for our Fall 2018 SkyDeck cohort? Email Ludwig at ludwigschoenack@berkeley.edu


by Bree Cahill, Director of Partnerships