Global
Founder’s
Program

Berkeley SkyDeck helps promising early-stage startups from around the world relocate to Silicon Valley.

 

Designed for non-US founders whose ultimate goal is to build unicorns backed by top-tier VCs, the Global Acceleration Program at SkyDeck offers direct access to Silicon Valley through the collective resources of the entire UC Berkeley ecosystem.

 

While talented founders can be found in any country, Silicon Valley remains the best place to build a unicorn startup. No other location in the world offers such a high concentration of investors willing and ready to take risks on promising early stage founders looking to change the world. In addition, enterprises in the U.S. are consistently eager to become early adopters of groundbreaking technology.

 

Cohort Profile

  • 55% of successful applicants have previously raised (typically between $500k – $1 million) from investors in their home countries, before being selected for the SkyDeck Cohort.
  • Cohort companies typically rely on technology as their primary competitive advantage; deep tech founders (ranging from biotech to robotics to semiconductors) are very welcome.
  • 59% of successful global applicants were generating revenue before applying to SkyDeck.
  • Cohort companies look to raise a $2-5 million round from US investors within the next 6-12 months.
  • 60%-75% of cohort companies have been able to raise funding after joining SkyDeck.

Why SkyDeck?

SkyDeck has developed a strong reputation in Silicon Valley and leverages our network of
500,000 Berkeley Alumni to help startups succeed.

Access to Talent
SkyDeck helps connect the intellectual firepower at UC Berkeley to global founders. Hundreds of current Haas MBAs with years of professional experience, as well as Berkeley grad and post-docs with top notch technical expertise across a range of disciplines, are looking to join promising startups. World-class faculty are eager to join advisory boards, and collaborate with early stage startups in perfecting their underlying technology.

 

Mentorship

Berkeley SkyDeck has 200+ SkyAdvisors who help our companies build the right products, gather new customers, and tell their product story. Learn more about SkyAdvisors here.

 

Customer Development
SkyDeck has developed strong relationships with hundreds of businesses and enterprises that can be early adopters of our startups’ technology. These customer introductions help bring in significant revenue for our startups. By utilizing the 500,000 Berkeley alums distributed primarily in the Bay Area, SkyDeck is uniquely able to make key introductions into the C-suite of any enterprise, in any industry.

 

Venture Capital
Backed by top venture capital firms (including Sequoia, Mayfield, Sierra, Canvas, etc.) Berkeley SkyDeck has established close relationships with hundreds of early stage investors who are seeking to invest in SkyDeck companies. During the final month of our program, SkyDeck invites the top 100 investment firms in Silicon Valley to connect with our companies. Our program finishes with a Demo Day attended by over 650 investors.

“Berkeley SkyDeck gave us the network and support we needed to succeed in the early stage of our company. They helped us hire top talent, identify go to market strategies, and raise our seed round.”

– Davit Baghdasaryan, Co-Founder & CEO of Krisp

Success Stories

USA

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Lime

USA

Long before they were one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing startups, Lime was a member of SkyDeck’s HotDesk program in 2017. Lime participated in SkyDeck’s community and met numerous partners and investors during their time in Berkeley.

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Symbio

USA

Symbio Robotics is an industry leader in Industrial Automation Systems through the combination of novel robotics and artificial intelligence technologies. Symbio met their first principal investor, Andressen Horowitz, through SkyDeck’s extensive investor network.

Europe

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Krisp

ARMENIA

Founded by a former Twilio engineer, Krisp was a member of SkyDeck’s 2018 Spring Cohort. During the program, they connected with numerous enterprise customers, hired an experienced COO to help run US operations, and raised $3M from Sierra Ventures and other venture firms that SkyDeck connected them to.

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MindsDB

ENGLAND

MindsDB has a simple mission: make data science easy for enterprises. Through their many interactions with SkyDeck’s numerous advisors, they learned how to grow the vision and scope of their business and raised $750K from SpeedInvest after participating in SkyDeck’s program.

Latin America

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Skyloom

ARGENTINA

After meeting Berkeley SkyDeck Fund partner Chon Tang at a pitch event, SkyLoom, a satellite communications company, was accepted into SkyDeck. While part of our program, they grew their relationships with NASA and other government agencies and hired multiple advisors/employees through SkyDeck’s vast network. They have gone on to raise $2M from investors such as Draper Magnus and Starlight.

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Kiwi

COLOMBIA

Kiwi Campus, a robot delivery company, knew that Silicon Valley was the place to build & launch their startup. They utilized Berkeley’s access to restaurants and students to grow their business and find happy customers. After SkyDeck, Kiwi has gone on to raise $3M from angel investors and a number of venture capital firms.

Asia

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SimpleData

INDIA

The CEO of SimpleData. Raj, understood that banks and enterprises have a whole lot of data that could be unlocked to improve business operations and drive revenue. He came to SkyDeck looking to access our investor network to fundraise and convince Berkeley alumni to become early adopters. After closing a deal with JP Morgan Chase, SimpleData closed a $2M seed lead by SignalFire.

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ThinkCyte

JAPAN

Spun out of university, ThinkCyte had already raised $2M in dilutive and non-dilutive funding before joining SkyDeck. Here, they were able to access some of Berkeley’s top mechanical engineering professors and researchers to help improve their blood diagnosis tool. After their time at SkyDeck, they raised $8M from a number of investors.

SkyDeck is the single best launchpad for global founders

We accept applications from companies from all over the world.

Frequently
Asked
Questions

No, any international company can apply to SkyDeck. SkyDeck will work with the founder to find the right advisors, mentors, and employees with a Berkeley connection to help the startup succeed.
Yes, SkyDeck supports startups as they transition to the US by connecting them to the best resources and advisors to solve the practical issues behind relocation - including immigration law, housing, insurance, and much more. So far, we have successfully helped dozens of non-US startups relocate to Silicon Valley.
Companies looking to raise Seed & Series A investments from Silicon Valley investors should look to apply to Berkeley SkyDeck. Our startups have usually spent 6-24 months developing their technology prior to this point. Many companies have already raised funding from angels, VCs, or grants and have some customer traction through pilots or revenue. If you feel like you are too early stage, don’t be afraid to apply. We like to back strong founders with a lot of hustle.
SkyDeck accepts companies from any industry and background. We have supported building startups in many different industries and with various technologies: enterprise, consumer, gene/cell therapies, robotics, satellite, IOT, AI, blockchain, fintech, etc.

Have more questions? Contact us directly and we’ll get back to you.