SkyDeck Welcomes 16 New Portfolio Startups

SkyDeck Welcomes 16 New Portfolio Startups

The UC Berkeley SkyDeck startup accelerator has announced the 16 teams accepted into the Spring 2018 cohort. Teams will receive support and mentorship valued at more than $200,000 per company, and an additional $100,000 in funding from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund. View SkyDeck’s current portfolio here.

Located in the penthouse of Berkeley’s tallest building, SkyDeck has over 100 startup advisors. Startups benefit from a series of in-depth workshops through the Berkeley Acceleration Method, a process developed exclusively for SkyDeck. In addition to the 16 teams joining the Spring 2018 cohort, more than 60 additional startups have been selected as Hot Desk companies, who will benefit from SkyDeck’s coworking space, mentorship opportunities, and exclusive events.

In industries ranging from cryptocurrency and CRISPR gene editing, to AI and robotics, Spring 2018 cohort startups include companies with international founders from Russia, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Armenia, Mexico, France, Australia, Peru, Costa Rica, Pakistan, and Canada — all with deep connections to the UC Berkeley community.

“SkyDeck’s mission to support Berkeley startups and bring revenue to campus had just had a massive boost with the launch of the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund,” said SkyDeck Executive Director Caroline Winnett. “This new Cohort is our first funded group of startups, and we are beyond thrilled to help them go for their moonshot here with us at SkyDeck.”

The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a new $20MM fund led by veteran fund manager Chon Tang, has an exclusive partnership with UC Berkeley to invest in SkyDeck startups. One half of fund carry (profits) will be donated back to the University. Spring 2018 cohort teams will be the first cohort to receive fund investment of $100,000 per team in exchange for a five percent equity stake in their startups.

“Berkeley SkyDeck has carved out a reputation for being the ideal launchpad for high-tech, deep-science startups who also understand the importance of product market fit, and this cohort is the perfect example of why the venture capital industry is excited about investing in the UC Berkeley ecosystem,” said Tang.

With teams working on solving some of the world’s most challenging problems, the Spring 2018 SkyDeck Cohort of startups includes:

  • AWAKENS, a genomic startup building GENOME LINK, a ‘Personal DNA Cloud’ to connect users and DNA-personalized apps. Our mission is to unleash the benefit of owning DNA data by 1) building an infrastructure of consumer genomics and 2) catalyzing the DNA personalization movement with value-adding creators and companies.
  • BioXplor, an augmented intelligence platform for data-driven hypotheses generation & novel predictions in biomarker & drug discovery. The virtual discovery platform is built on the intersection of big data, artificial intelligence and high performance computing, and works by enabling accelerated data interpretations from unstructured literature & structured multi-omics data.
  • Bitbutter Bitbutter is the easiest way for fintech developers to build cryptocurrency features into their consumer applications. Our core API product delivers aggregated crypto-asset data from service providers and blockchains, enabling applications to provide holistic pictures of their users’ personal finance situations.
  • InkSpace Imaging has developed a novel manufacturing method based on printed electronics to make extremely lightweight, flexible and low-cost MRI coils. With our technology, MRI suites will be equipped with coils that are consistently comfortable and adapted to the morphology of their patients, thus reducing the rate of failure and increasing the speed of exams.
  • Intento is helping to discover and use the best Machine Intelligence services for every task with no human effort spent on integration and evaluation. For each AI category we provide a Single API. Service requests are routed to the best provider based on the data, client’s preferences, and our unique benchmarks.
  • Keyword Hero Keyword Hero has developed the only comprehensive solution that puts the organic keywords back into Google Analytics using cutting-edge data science.
  • Kiwi Campus builds robots for food delivery and are making more campus deliveries with robots per day than any other company.
  • May & Meadow is developing digital health technologies to assist mothers and newborn infants dealing with feeding difficulties. Our sensor technology provides timely and quantitative information to both mothers and clinicians, enabling objective assessments and greater peace of mind.
  • MindsDB At MindsDB we are solving the problem of answering predictive questions from your existing database without the need for a data scientist or a machine learning expert. We do this by turning existing databases into predictive tools. Our AI layer sits in between the existing client and the database, which expands the query language so you are able to ask predictive type questions. It automatically does all the work a data scientist would normally do, so you don’t have to.
  • Nextbiotics A biotechnology platform that engineers viruses to serve as cures for the greatest global health challenges. Our first product reverses antibiotic resistance in humans using our novel approach combining phage therapy with CRISPR technology.
  • Orca An AI salesperson that will help human salespeople augment a portion of their sales process with an automated solution. Orca is intelligent enough to crawl the web and social networks to find potential leads and send out outbound messaging to pull leads into your sales funnel in an automated way.
  • Peregrine Biotechnology A stealth-mode startup improving animal health in agriculture.
  • SkyAlert With the first fully-integrated earthquake alert system, SkyAlert is the only company in the world that detects, measures, and reports seismic activity directly to end users through multiple platforms. When every second matter, SkyAlert notifies users of oncoming tremors, allowing for preventative actions that reduce casualties, injuries, and property damages.
  • Sublime Therapeutics is an early stage, privately held biotechnology company focused on developing proprietary anti-gastrin technology to address significant unmet medical needs in gastrointestinal, pancreatic and neuroendocrine cancers as well as gastrointestinal premalignant conditions such as Barrett’s Esophagus.
  • Super Carbon is creating a high-density graphene supercapacitor ideal for generous power applications. The company’s mission is to reduce the amount of time it takes to charge an electric vehicle from two hours to under 10 seconds. Super Carbon enables the electric future by creating a charging solution that is cost-effective and scalable while eliminating the risk of chemical fires and explosions.
  • 2Hz‘s Speech Enhancement technology significantly removes background noise from a real time conversation. The technology is based on a patentable novel approach and leverages Deep Neural Networks. 2Hz’s specially designed Deep Neural Network is trained to recognize Noise in Audio and remove it without impacting the Human Speech. This significantly enhances audibility in communications and recordings.


    As UC Berkeley’s official startup accelerator, SkyDeck is a joint program of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. SkyDeck combines the hands-on mentorship of traditional accelerators with the vast resources of its research university. This robust partnership is coupled with SkyDeck’s unique accelerator method to create a powerful environment for startups. Its SkyAdvisors, Partners, and large network of accredited investors connect their SkyTeams to the expertise and capital they need to launch and grow…to the moon.


    Media Contact
    Christopher S. Brown