The Berkeley Science Fellows Program: On campus professional development opportunity for postdocs

SkyDeck

Mission

The mission of the program is two-pronged‐ 1.to provide career transition opportunities to postdocs by helping them experience working with startups; 2. Helping startups solve scientific problems and reach their milestones while being incubated on campus.

Our team

Naresh SunkaraEvangelia VamvakaEduardo González GrandíoAriani Wartenberg, and Gaia Andreoletti

Process

The core function of the Berkeley Science Fellows Program is to connect postdoctoral researchers with startups in the UC Berkeley entrepreneurial community. This will provide valuable real world working experience to postdocs while helping the startups benefit from the scientific expertise of the postdocs.

Berkeley Science Fellows will offer their advice to startups to solve specific scientific challenges including product development, process trouble shooting, grant writing/reviews, experimental data analysis, and presentations, to participate in discussions in brainstorming sessions to develop start up ideas.

The Berkeley Science Fellows Program will be responsible for recruiting postdocs (after an interview) and present them to startups at SkyDeck. Science Fellows will be given an opportunity to select the startup they would like to work with as well.

Qualification: Candidates must be a postdoc at UC Berkeley to be eligible to participate.

Time Commitment

It is understood that postdocs have a primary commitment to their research at UC Berkeley.  Science Fellows will need to commit 4-5 hours a week to assist the startup. The hours are flexible and may include evenings and weekends. Please note that the Science Fellows are not compensated for their volunteer assistance.

Because postdocs will gain valuable experiences while working in a fast paced startup environment, the selected postdocs are expected to deliver on their agreed-upon time commitments. To this regard, the Science Fellows will be intermittently contacted by the Program leads to assure that all commitments are being met.  Additionally, there will be monthly participant check-ins to solicit feedback to improve the Berkeley Science Fellows Program. 

Benefits to postdocs

- Gain experience working with startups.

- Get exposure to potential employment opportunities

- Add work experience to your resume

- Receive a letter of recommendation from a startup

- Serve on the Science Fellows Advisory Board (after completion of internship)

- Receive satisfaction of helping a startup succeed

Benefits to startups

- Access to world class talent (free of cost)

- Future Employee pipeline

- Help with troubleshooting specific problems

- Help with grants (review/write)

This is an unpaid (volunteer) program.

Please use this link to register as a Science Fellow: https://goo.gl/forms/WYMAGEsyaHK8TTzU2

If you are a startups trying to recruit postdocs as Science Fellows, use the link below to register:

https://goo.gl/forms/z39aDOotcfjmFW8z2 

 Skydeck Startups recruiting Berkeley Science Fellows

Current postdoc consulting opportunities:

Skydeck Startups

1. Bungee Tech

tags: enterprise, networking, SaaS

Founded by three former Amazon infrastructure engineers, Bungee promises to offer network access points as an API. Their technology / platforms allows a developer to redirect network traffic to end-points from anywhere on the planet. Use cases are for any enterprise / developer who hopes to do traffic testing or business intelligence by sending their network traffic through Texas, Idaho, Los Angeles… all through a simple API call.

We are changing the way applications (web and IOT) are tested. Developers can use are service to monitor and test applications from end user locations using the real end user networks like broadband connections and mobile connections. Using cloud nodes or datacenter networks is incomplete and inaccurate and we are changing this. With our service developers can solve problems like measuring your website performance from 500 top US cities in a single API call without provisioning any hardware or any operational overhead. We manage the engineering and operations behind building a large foot print of network presence nodes and exposing them via a simple RESTful API to developers. Similar to how Twilio provides Phone/Text as a service, Bungee aims to provide network presence as a service.

Experience in building and using embedded systems, hardware engineering, single processor systems like rasberry pi, networking

Building a hardware network presence device. The device is an inverse of a typical wifi-router. This device will have our endpoint software loaded on it and will be able to tap into the wifi available in any location. Once configured to use the wifi the device will be able to our microservices hosted in a public cloud. The cloud platform will then be able to send and route traffic from this network endpoint. Requirements document available for review. Send a note to rajat.nigam@bungeetech.com

Happy to send a high level requirements document to interested people.

2. Cashbot AI

tags: chat, marketing, SaaS

Cashbot AI has built an analytics-driven platform to help bot owners both monetize their current users, and also pay to acquire new users. Imagine an ad network like DoubleClick or Taboola, but custom designed for the growing chat ecosystem. We are building an analytics-driven platform to help voice assistant and chatbot owners monetize their users and grow their audiences.

We are looking for a Data scientists

"We have somewhere on the order of 1 million data inputs about the users of chatbots. These inputs include structured attributes, such as profile picture, name, gender, language preference, as well as unstructured inputs such as what was said to the chatbots or what buttons were pressed within the chatbots. We convert the unstructured inputs into semi-structured data using standard NLP tools. Then we use both the structured and semi-structured attributes to build a profile for the users and their interests. These profiles are stored in a SQL database.

We are interested in exploring the variety of ways we can use these user profiles to infer the needs and intent of the users, in real time, as they use the chatbots. We are also interested in how we might leverage what the user is currently saying and doing in a chatbot to enhance our understanding of the user's needs and intent.

A postdoc who is familiar with a variety of data science techniques such as clustering and building machine learning models would be ideal to help us talk through our options."

3. Chameleon Bio

tags: bio

One of our two “Bio Track” companies, Chameleon has an innovative approach for producing “enveloped AAV” - a specialized form of viruses used for gene therapy, in which the virus is protected from activating the patient’s immune system. This permits the repeat dosing of gene therapy, especially in children, a critical need in a variety of clinical applications.

Development of gene therapy that can be repeat dosed

Grant writer, AAV or lentivirus vector production and purification for gene therapy testing; familiarity with flow cytometry and immunology

1) Write an SBIR grant 2) Troubleshoot issues with CRO  

Looking for enthusiastic postdocs to work in interdisciplinary field

4. CoolJamm

 

tags: AI, consumer

CoolJamm has developed a set of AI platforms which can, first, “learn” the key melody from any piece of music, and then second, “compose” a new track based on the same melody but customized with style, rhythm, pacing, instruments, etc. Their product will be sold to power-users who upload hours of videos online every week; these video producers can use this tool to generate accompanying music tracks - without any copyright issues!

Every time people create a video, they spend a lot of time on searching a music and editing them. Music copyright infringement may be a tough issue.

"Our service extracts the mood / environment of the video and uses the extracted information to select the mood and genre of the background music.

■ Requirements_#1

We need helps about video analysis and environmental analysis technology and experience.

  - Image Processing algorithm

  - Scene / Video Analysis Algorithm

  - Aspiring to work together and solve problems

  - [Optional] Optimization and real-time system experience

  - [Optional] Mobile app development experience

■ Requirements_#2

We need the ability to measure/estimate the emotions and moods of video or music, and we want to know what factors affect emotions and mood.

  - Assessment of feelings and moods in photos or photographs or images or videos Knowledge and experience

  - Knowledge of feelings and emotions.

  - Elements affecting mood and feelings.

  - How to express mood in music / image / video.

"Video and image analysis technical knowledge and experience Understanding about mood and emotion

What elements can I use to extract music from videos and how can I extract it?

How can I express mood and emotion in the video and image.

  - I want to decide the style of music according to the mood of the video.

  - Knowledge of what elements affect music and how they can be extracted."

COOLJAMM, Inc. C/O SkyDeck 2150 Shattuck Ave, Penthouse, Suite 1300 Berkeley, CA 94704-1347

"You can easily check our technology out with HumOn app at google play or app store.

HumOn is a music creation app that takes a user's humming and transforms it into music. The process begins by analyzing voice in real time and transcribing it into musical notations using patented score generation algorithms. From there, well-matched instrumental accompaniments of various musical genres such as classic and disco are added to those melodies using AI accompaniment, according to the musical preference of the user. Throughout the whole creation process, the user is able to refine initial drafts via the Edit mode which gives the user control over both the score and accompaniment. "

5. Empire Biotechnologies

tags: bio

Empire has developed a therapeutic drug, used to control absorption of nutrients through the digestive system - a critical problem for a variety of diseases.

Our company is focused on developing therapeutics to address diseases of the gut.

Experience with molecular biology, protein biochemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacology, toxicology, and others would be useful.

We would welcome help with technical planning and grant writing.

6. Examus

 

tags: AI, enterprise, edtech

Examus has built a browser-based plug-in which can run a sophisticated neural network on the edge, used to monitor user expressions, glance direction, and surrounding environment. This is used to revolutionize the proctoring / test-taking market - students of online-courses can now be proctored effectively, even if the network “dies” mid-test. The same technology can be applied to webinar analytics, even advertising.

We're automating proctoring process: our neural network can detect & report students cheating on exams / webinars

Data analysis, behavioral analisys, video recognition -- preferable a Ph.D. student or a postdoc required

We're looking to achieve three things:

1)    Build a dataset with real-life video recording of students taking exams. Some of them will be cheating at some specific moments in time: try to look at their mobile phones, have responses whispered to them, trying to swap an examinee with their friend(s), etc. We will provide all video from our archive.

2)    Conduct an analysis of the dataset to select a very specific timeframes during which students were cheating, e.g. Student A was looking at some object outside of the screen between 3:15-3:17 of the exam.

3)    Run various proctoring solutions (Examus, Affectiva, ProctorU, ...). against prepared dataset and produce a comprehensive analysis of the results. The output should containt key successes & failures of the solutions.

4)    Publish an article."

5)     

Berkeley / Moscow

One of Examus co-founders has a PhD in CS experienced on machine learning, computer vision and big data.

7. HUMM Technologies

 

tags: chat, marketing, SaaS

HUMM is designing a combination hardware / software solution, which can be used to both track and improve the behavior of the “cognitive athlete”. The hardware solution takes the form of a head-band, which has been proven in a series of neuroscience experiments, to improve short-term memory + mental processing. The first users will be professional gamers competing in e-sports; they will improve their level of play by using HUMM. The ultimate market includes anyone who depends on their cognition for success: traders, programmers, VCs.

We are helping cognitive athletes unlock their potential by understanding and improving their psychological and physiological responses during cognitive performance.

"1) Sport Scientist/psychologist

- Human performance

-Biofeedback techniques

-mindset training

2)Webcam Project

- Machine vision

- Python/C++

3) Data Scientist

-Python

-a love of esports

1) Sport Scientist/psychologist

Analysing bio-metric data and creating strategies to improve cognitive performance. Using biofeedback methodologies to training better habits.

2) Detecting changes in a webcam feed.

Detecting and amplifying physiological changes in a webcam feed such as heart rate, heart rate variability and eye tracking.

3) Esport game data and biometric data.  

Finding trends within gigabytes of biometric data and time series game data.

We are in the Skydeck program. We would ideal love people who are interested in League of Legends, CS:Go or Overwatch and are interested in human performance.

8. Impressivo

 

tags: hardware, IoT

Impressivo has fundamental sensor technology that can be used in a number of different applications - it is a sensitive, low latency, inexpensive 3D sensor fabric. Their immediate products are for very precise foot / gait measurements; the sensor technology can also be used for a number of unique input applications, including gaming, or automobile consoles.

We would like to recognize body postures and predict the stroke, cardiovascular disease, and any other adults disease by analyzing pressure foot mapping data and human walking behavior(distance, speed, etc).

pPattern recognition, deep learning, big data analysis

We need test data that people already measure their foot status, body balance, and walking behavior data. And we need to analyze these data and predict stroke and cardiovascular disease.

 

SkyDeck Berkeley(US Corp) & South Korea(R&D Center)

9. Korro

tags: blockchain, gaming

Founded by gaming industry experts, Korro is focused on helping game developers monetize their games using the blockchain. Game distribution, as well as the monetization of in-game assets (including a secondary market for player-to-player trades), can be effectively handled via the blockchain and an associated development kit, avoiding the fraud issues that plague this space.

10. Peanut Robotics

tags: robotics, consumer

Peanut Robotics combines experienced robotics entrepreneurs with technical experts, to design a consumer-facing robot using break-thru technologies for agile “gripping” of household items. This robot can be used to retrieve anything ranging from heavy books to fragile eyeglasses for seniors and others with physical ailments unable to bend effectively.

We are building a one-armed robot to help the disabled and elderly.  The robot will be able to fetch objects as well as perform Activities of Daily Living such as feeding or brushing teeth.

1.  Understanding the elderly, disabled, and/or caretakers.  

2.  Grant writing.  

3.  Anthropology, Public policy, and any form of Social Science.  

4.  Understanding insurance.  

5.  User Experience, Interaction and design

Help us more fully understand the needs of people with disabilities and the elderly and optionally help define the activities that the robot would perform and/or help with.  Anyone with experience with this population (like an occupational therapist) would be great for this task since they already have personal knowledge about the needs. We would also be excited about anyone with a product, UI/UX, social science, cultural anthropology or similar background who could apply their academic skills to the practical task of designing our product to truly meet the needs of the population.  We also would love to have someone who knows how to write grant proposals; we are open to working together on the project if the grant is won.

We would be excited to receive proposals for other projects

11. Perfect Dashboard

 

tags: data center, cloud, SaaS

Perfect Dashboard is building a suite of software solutions that will help legacy hosting services be more effective in the new cloud-based era, by providing a range of software services on top of existing tools (like WordPress), and also providing an abstraction layer on top of cloud providers like AWS or Azure. Imagine a modernized form of cPanel.

Perfect Dashboard provides a WordPress AutoUpdater service to hosting companies to jump-start theirs revenue out of theirs existing customers base

We are looking for an engineer that knows servers and containers technologies: Terraform, Kubernetes, Docker

We are looking for an engineer that knows servers and containers technologies to help us building a new product "WordPress as a Service" that consists of a high performance hosting dedicated for WordPress and our current product AutoUpdater. The challenge is to provide a solution that can be deployed to any cloud provider as fast as possible and reduce the cost of the future maintenance.

Poland, Cracow

Availability to communicated with the development team at 6:00 am PT or at 11:00 pm PT for one hour

12. PredictEV

tags: blockchain, consumer

PredictEV is building a blockchain powered social network, that will allow experts to share insights and predictions about sporting events (eventually other events), and be compensated financially (with tokens) if their predictions are correct. They are well positioned to leverage the new regulatory framework in the United States, as sports gambling has now been widely approved.

Researchably

tags: AI, healthcare, science

Researchably has built an easy to use, personalized AI search engine targeted for individual researchers and clinicians. Individual users can use the search engine to quickly narrow in on research papers and case studies of interest.

13. Seamless

 

tags: semiconductor, analog

Seamless is an IP core semiconductor startup, working on an innovative high-speed ADC design for next generation SOC chips in a wide range of applications, ranging from 5G networking, to LIDAR in autonomous driving.

High performance analog to digital converters with low power

Electrical engineering, cmos physical design

Future products/applications of our technology

14. Simple Data Labs

 

tags: enterprise, AI

As modern enterprises increasingly adopt machine learning and predictive analytics, one of the biggest obstacles is collaboration between very different roles within the enterprise. Simple Data Labs has built a unified cloud platofrm which helps business analysts ask questions, helps data scientists build/train models, and finally helps dev-ops engineers deploy the final solution.

SimpleDataLabs is building Data Science Designer, It's the fastest platform for building and deploying ML for anyone.

Data Science (examples), ML (AutoML), Software Systems, Software Security

1)    Machine Learning - AutoML - Design a library that does feature generation (recognition, encoding, generation), picks up some modes for training and does hyper-parameter. This will go ahead of state-of-the-art research, we'll define semantic typing.

2)    Data Science Examples - We need to create 50 examples before our AWS release. You can

- Create example solutions for Kaggle competition problems - our AutoML has to beat your solutions

- Pick a vertical and create ML models using our platform (e.g Marketing - Churn, Upsell, Segmentation, Attribution)

Give design feedback - we'll add new features or fix the product to ensure it works for you.

3)    Computer Systems - Build robust architectural design for the core component to spin up and down 10,000 concurrent Spark clusters on Kubernetes/AWS. We have a working version that is not robust enough.

4)    Computer Security - What does good security in Kubernetes based SaaS app look like. Go over the architecture and figure out how a super secure multi-tenant SaaS application can be run in a shared containerized environment. How does this change with reuse across customers.

Berkeley SkyDeck (office in India)

We'll be growing very quickly in a few months and need the best talent!!

15. Predictim

 

tags: enterprise, AI, hiring

 

Predictim has built up a very unique data set: they understand social postings which make an employee look “bad”. They did this by offering a software tool for future job applicants, to search through and delete potentially negative social media postings. They’re now building an AI tool which employers can use to screen their potential hires, and can even be extended to build credit scores and more.

We are building an AI tool that will be used to vet job applicants based on their social media profiles (essentially a social media background check). Our technology can be extended to many different verticals including financial institutions such as banks and loan agencies, dating services, Gig economy, sharing market-place, etc.

We need someone with a strong natural language processing background who is familiar with NLP classification problems.

We currently have one major classification problem: identifying and categorizing a user’s social media posts that indicate risk. For example: if we’re scanning John Smith’s Facebook account, we’ll return a risk score for several categories such as Controversial Content, Offensive Content, Racial Content, Drugs and Alcohol Use, etc…

We have (actively growing) a data set of posts that are considered risky from a hiring perspective. So we’ve broken this up into several smaller subproblems: using our data set to binary classify posts as risky or not, labeling the risky posts as controversial, offensive, racial, etc, and identifying very niche risky posts that don’t show up in our dataset (i.e. extremely racist content that may not be covered in our dataset). Although we’ve currently been tackling this bigger problem via these smaller problems, we are hoping to explore other approaches to solving this problem."

The B2B tool that I’ve described in this application is not accessible via socialfilter.com. The SaaS product available at socialfilter.com was our first consumer facing product and we’ve since pivoted.

16. The SMBX

 

tags: blockchain, fintech

The Small Medium Bond Exchange is a blockchain-based bond exchange for small businesses to borrow directly from consumers / individuals. As an alternative to SBA loans, businesses can borrow at a lower rate by borrowing from their current customers, while they enjoy a higher rate than they’re making in their savings accounts.

We're building the NYSE for small businesses. Small businesses lack access to public finance, which causes them to pay too much for the capital they raise. We solve this problem by giving small businesses access to public capital, which is more affordable.  

1. Data Science (please see description below)

2. Statistics (please see description below)

3. Cyber-Security (please see description below)"

We have 3 project needs:

1. AI/ML/Data Scientist –work with SMBX underwriting team to mine and process web-based data for purposes of drawing correlations between parameters to be included in proprietary small business loan underwriting risk model

2. Statistician  –work with SMBX data scientist to draw correlations between mined and processed web-based data for purposes of including in a proprietary small business loan underwriting risk model

3. Cyber-Security Testing –penetration testing and end-to-end security testing

Could lead to a full time position, equity compensation, etc.

17. ThinkCyte

tags: hardware, AI, scientific instrument

ThinkCyte has built the world’s first high-throughput flow cytometer, that can be used to both measure and sort cells on the basis of their cell shape and appearance, rather than just size. This is executed via a hardware-based neural network used for image recognition. This tool has potential applications in research as well as clinical environments.

18. Triton Cloud

tags: enterprise, AI, SaaS

Personalization is becoming increasingly important, but still remains relatively complicated for a typical business to deploy. Triton Cloud has designed an easy to use API, which allows casual developers to flexibly and powerfully integrate the newest techniques in deep learning into their content web sites / applications.

19. Vimana

 

tags: space

Vimana is going to enable real-time, high-bandwidth video for CubeSat earth observation satellites. They are building a laser-based satellite relay network (in GEO) that will reduce transmission cost by 100x, while improving performance by 100x.

Have you ever wondered why Google Earth is not real-time yet? There is a bottleneck in space-to-earth communications.

We at Vimana are committed to breaking that bottleneck by developing a spaceborne infrastructure based on optical communication technology and geostationary relay satellites to provide unprecedented downlink services to imaging satellite constellations.

Communications systems

Optics

Electronics

Opto-electronics

Control

Free space optical communications systems engineers.

System functional and electrical architecture definition.

Digital Signal Processing and Analog Signal Processing.

Beam pointing, acquisition and tracking control system architecture and design (micron level positioning).  

Review of subcontractor's high performance space electronics architecture and design, including backplanes, daughterboards (CPUs, Processors, Carriers) and mezzanine cards.

Support the team in decision making"