BERKELEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the global hub for entrepreneurship and a leading accelerator, today announced the closing of SkyDeck Fund II. Oversubscribed with $60 million in commitments, Fund II is nearly three times the size of Fund I and includes a diverse set of old and new investors, including leading Silicon Ventures. Valley. The SkyDeck Fund is the dedicated fund of Berkeley SkyDeck, University of California, Berkeley’s largest accelerator. The SkyDeck Fund has consistently ranked in the top quintile of investment funds and to date has helped founders in more than 30 countries and seven of nine University of California schools raise more than 1, $7 billion in funding. SkyDeck Accelerator will hold its next Demo Day on April 6, 2022.
“We are deeply pleased with the response to our Fund II, as it validates our vision to support highly capable founders within the UC system and overseas who are ready to see their big ideas grow,” said Chon Tang. , Founding Partner, Berkeley SkyDeck Fund. . “Our first fund allowed us to introduce incredible global talent and ideas to the investment community here in Silicon Valley and we are excited to continue building our reputation as the ultimate source for discovering and nurturing startup talent. from Berkeley and around the world.”
Berkeley SkyDeck hosts more than 300 global and UC-affiliated startups each year through three programs. Its Accelerator (Cohort) program is the most exclusive, reserved for global founders and UC affiliates about to raise their first major funding round. Between 20 and 25 startups are chosen to participate in the six-month program, which includes $200,000 in funding plus one-on-one support, highly curated content, $750,000 in free and discounted resources, and network access unrivaled from UC Berkeley alumni of SkyDeck. , teachers and advisers. The program, open to startups from all sectors, also includes specialized tracks in biotech, chip, aerospace, and crypto.
“Berkeley SkyDeck offers an opportunity for startups that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Namely, the opportunity to leverage the network and resources of one of the best universities in the world while enjoying the benefits of a dedicated investment fund and direct access to the biggest venture capitalists in the world. technology industry,” said Caroline Winnett, executive director, UC Berkeley. SkyDeck. “This model has proven to be a huge success for our founders and we are thrilled that Fund II will allow us to support more Berkeley founders and bring more talented startups and exciting innovations from around the world to Berkeley and the Silicon Valley community.”
Recent Berkeley SkyDeck alumni include DeepScribe, which recently raised $30 million, led by Nina Achadjian at Index Ventures, to become the first widely accepted application of voice + AI in healthcare applications; Prophecy, a low-code platform for data engineering that raised $25 million Series A led by Insight Partners; battery performance company Coreshell, which raised $12 million led by Trousdale Ventures, Industry Ventures and Helios Capital Ventures; and AI training data platform SuperAnnotate, which raised $14.5 million led by Base10 Partners.
Originally from Armenia, the founders of SuperAnnotate were PhDs in computer science from top European institutions who struggled to access the Silicon Valley ecosystem. “Berkeley SkyDeck has been integral to growing our business,” said Tigran Petrosyan, co-founder and CEO of SuperAnnotate. “They helped introduce us to an impressive pool of talent and connected us with some of our early customers. Their introductions to Professor Pieter Abbeel (Berkeley Robot Learning Lab Director, Covariant.ai co-founder) and Professor Trevor Darrell (founder of Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Lab and Berkeley Deep Drive) led them to join our advisory board where their deep expertise in machine learning and computer vision proved critical to our development. we would not have had access to the high profile investors who participated in our seed and Series A rounds.”
Applications for the next batch of cohorts have recently closed, with interviews ongoing. New portfolio companies will be selected by mid-April and the program will begin in May 2022.
About Berkeley SkyDeck
Berkeley SkyDeck is a leading accelerator and the global hub for entrepreneurship. As UC Berkeley’s largest and most important accelerator, SkyDeck combines hands-on mentorship with the vast resources of its research university. SkyDeck is the only accelerator of its kind that offers the value of a dedicated investment fund alongside the resources and network of a leading university. To date, SkyDeck startups have raised over $1.7 billion in total. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 415 advisors, 70 industry partners, and a network of more than 510,000 UC Berkeley alumni. For more information, see skydeck.berkeley.edu.