Attending a remote startup accelerator is absolutely worth it

Attending a remote startup accelerator is absolutely worth it

SkyDeck Spring 2020 Cohort

UC Berkeley SkyDeck is the startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley.

We are members of the UC Berkeley SkyDeck startup accelerator spring 2020 cohort — the primary to attend remotely.

Many of us have been trying ahead to visiting Berkeley as a result of one facet of SkyDeck is a give attention to serving to groups with worldwide founders hook up with the Bay Area and crack the U.S. market.

So, we deliberate to fly in from not solely different components of the U.S., however locations like Taiwan, Russia, Turkey, Chile, India, Israel and even Canada to benefit from the California sunshine and do California stuff, like drink wine in Napa, eat saltwater taffy in Santa Cruz, see some redwoods and possibly go to Yosemite or no matter? Yeah okay, possibly we wouldn’t have time for all that. We are startup founders in spite of everything. But it’s all the time good to be given an opportunity to say no to one thing.

No matter what, we have been certain we have been going to get an opportunity to fulfill a variety of actually sensible and funky folks, brainstorm collectively and make a variety of pals. All whereas placing in a variety of exhausting however rewarding work to attain product-market match, discover ways to pitch after which increase some fats rounds from world well-known enterprise capital corporations after Demo Day. Bling bling bling!

But then this spring, simply earlier than our cohort was set to start out this system, the pandemic received severe. No flights, no desks, all digital meetups, and shortly (September 15, mark your calendars folks) a digital Demo Day. Most of the worldwide founders couldn’t even come to the United States.

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No matter the place we’re on this planet, all of us ended up working from house similar to the remainder of the planet. No Napa wine, no salt water taffy, no redwoods or Yosemite. Some of us even nonetheless have imperfect climate to deal with. Sigh.

Without desks and a demo day, are accelerators value it?

But regardless of lacking out on what would have been an incredible expertise, we need to go away little question within the minds of your readers that this system has been implausible. The SkyDeck staff has supplied us with:

  • VIP entry to a unprecedented community of contacts that has gone past what we may have imagined: Picture this community in your thoughts proper now … it’s even higher than that.
  • A community of high quality advisors: SkyDeck does an incredible job of getting Berkeley alumni with extraordinary skilled profiles to operate as 1:1 advisors. This high-touch strategy to mentoring has labored out easily throughout COVID-19 instances as a result of everyone seems to be at house and keen to leap on a name. They have been there to supply recommendation, make connections, assist us recruit, you title it.
  • Info classes which are enjoyable and informative: Bad web entry was generally annoying, however on the brilliant aspect, no person needed to struggle visitors to get there. These classes included every part from nuts and bolts organizational recommendation and conflict tales with Q&As from founders of well-known firms to vital new views for constructing 21st-century firms reminiscent of DEI coaching. The audio system are additionally prepared to have a name or maintain workplace hours to debate particular matters in-depth. It by no means stops.
  • Support from different cohort founders and alums: There is an unbelievable sense of household in this system. Tough instances foster deep experiences and significant connections. The SkyDeck staff did a fantastic job establishing digital occasions so we may all get to know one another, and alums are very lively on Slack, aware of requests for 1:1 mentorship, serving to with recruiting and giving different free recommendation. We have all made new pals that may present us with social {and professional} assist for a few years forward.
  • Full entry to UC Berkeley’s various ecosystem together with sensible interns, school and trade connections. This has actually helped us to spice up productiveness whereas pushing for product-market match. Unfortunately, laboratories have been closed throughout the pandemic so some biotech and {hardware} founders, particularly, missed out on a perk they have been actually trying ahead to. However, with everybody accessible on-line, bioinformatics, machine studying and different computational-focused collaborations have labored out nice. Go Bears!
  • And in fact, a $100,000 funding that was extremely appreciated throughout a pandemic when everybody wants money to adapt to a very remodeled atmosphere.
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While flight restrictions did trigger some worldwide founders to tug loopy hours from our house nations to take part within the classes, digital classes allowed extra members of our groups to take part that will in any other case not have been ready to take action. We are additionally listening to chatter that Demo Day can be bigger than ever earlier than as a result of digital occasions are way more scalable. But you didn’t hear that from us.

We are simply beginning investor month, and the conferences SkyDeck has been arranging main as much as Demo Day additionally really feel extra partaking and environment friendly. Investors don’t have different choices to speak with founders, and it’s a lot simpler to leap from call-to-call than to bodily bounce across the Valley. Even tremendous wealthy and well-known buyers appear to suppose it’s enjoyable to be in Zoom calls with us since, similar to everybody else, they’re most likely form of bored being at house on a regular basis and simply need anyone to speak to.

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So sure, we did miss out on lots we have been hoping for after we joined SkyDeck, however even with digital desks and digital Demo Day, SkyDeck is totally value it.


SkyDeck Cohort 2020 founders:

  • Jeremiah Scholl – AESOP Technology
  • Vadim Nazarov – ImmunoMind
  • Roland Polzin – Wing AI
  • Sarah Placella – Root
  • Andrea Wang – AHEAD Medicine
  • Derrick Koenig – ontopical
  • Michael Morehead – syGlass
  • Vrinda Kapoor – 3rdiTech
  • Roland Polzin – Wing AI
  • Camilo López – Adereso
  • Shirley Ying Pan – Fibulas
  • Rahul Ramakrishnan – Xoba
  • Riya Muckom – Axent Biosciences
  • Sukhi Singh – zHealth
  • Lindsey Hoell – Dispatch Goods
  • Erhan Ciris – 4D Sight
  • Garrow Geer- Kura Technologies
  • Gevo Soghomonyan – AimHub
  • Yosef Peterseil –
  • Dasha Kroshkina – StudyFree
  • Guilhem Herail – Hermes Robotics
  • Georgios Pipelidis – Ariadne Maps


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