Our workshops and panels

2020 events

4. "Learn how to finance your startup" (Nov 16, 2020)

  • Description:
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3. "The art of pitching to sell your startup and research idea" (Sep 17, 2020)

  • Description:
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2. "Idea Evaluation - Lab To Market" (Aug 20, 2020)

  • Description: This is an online event over Zoom. If you have an idea from your lab research, what do you need to consider to launch a startup? 
  • Youtube video:

1. Entrepreneurship & Immigration (February 20, 2020)

  • Description: During the event a partner (Brian Graham) from K&L Gates presented us and explored the key concepts of immigration that entrepreneurs and US startups need to understand! 
  • Youtube video:
  • Event photos:

2018 / 2019 events

BPEP "Idea to Funding" workshop series - Fall'18 / Spring'2019

1. BPEP Tube Idea evaluation - “Lab to market”- August 16, 2018.
Description: Do you have a research idea that you would like to commercialize? How would you go about it? Have you ever considered the commercial value of a product created / inspired from your research findings? What does the industry or the consumer actually need and who will pay for the product? What do you need to productize your research and solve a problem for the end customer? How can you reach your customers efficiently and get high market penetration? What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Does filing a patent mean you can't publish your research? If you are unsure how to answer these questions, this BPEP workshop will help!

Mike Cohen, Office of Technology Licensing's Director of Innovation Ecosystem Development, UC Berkeley
Tom Boussie, Managing director for technology, Cyclotron Road 
Lon Addison, Strategic Consulting at Digital Catalyst and President of the Int'l VSMM Society

Event pictures:

BPEP Tube Science Fellows introduced to Startups at SkyDeck - August 29, 2018.

Description: Berkeley Science Fellows Program connects UC Berkeley postdoctoral researchers and visiting scholars with startups on-campus at SkyDeck. Science Fellows will help startup companies solve specific scientific/technical challenges, including product development, process trouble shooting, grant reviews, experimental data analysis, presentations, and participate in discussions to brainstorm ideas to help the startup. This will provide valuable real world working experience to postdocs, while helping the startups to benefit from the scientific expertise of UC Berkeley postdocs. Initial project commitment will be 3-6 months, where postdocs will commit 4-5 hours/week to the startup. Time commitment will be mutually agreed upon based on postdoctoral research commitments in their labs. Consider this as the "Try before you buy" model, where the experiences of working with postdocs might help startups form a pipeline of future employees. There will be monthly reviews to make sure both parties are benefiting from the experience.

3. BPEP Tube Pre-seed fund raising - Grants, Incubators & accelerators - September 20, 2018.

Description: Our guests, from the best incubators in the Bay Area, will talk about their grant programs, support for startups, and trainings to help aspiring entrepreneur bring their ideas into the market (proposal, targeting funding agencies, best practices etc...). The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and will give the participants a chance to ask their questions.

Ioana Aanei, Entrepreneurship Program Manager at QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences
Gabrielle G. Leblanc, Professional grant consultant
Brenna Teigler, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's Cyclotron Road
Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of Berkeley SkyDeck

Event Pictures: 


4. BPEP Tube Resources for aspiring entrepreneurs: lab space and equipment  - October 25, 2018.

Description: Interested in launching a startup from your Ph.D./postdoc research, but unsure where to procure lab space for proprietary purposes? Are you a researcher hoping to access a network of industry professionals in emerging industries like Cleantech, biotech, high speed computing? Or are you an aspiring entrepreneur hoping to pitch your idea for the first time? Join us for the latest installment of the Berkeley Postdoctoral Entrepreneurship Program (BPEP) Lab to Market series, featuring speakers from Molecular Foundry, Cleantech to Market (C2M), and startups using Berkeley's SSUFFIE agreement. As always, pizza and beer will be provided. As a new twist, we will be opening the mic up for interested speakers to pitch their startup idea in front of friendly audience! You might even meet your co-founder amongst the audience. Come, learn, network and you might be inspired to launch or join a startup.

Bill Shelander, Co-Director, Cleantech to Market
Brandon Brough, Deputy Director, Molecular Foundry
Zane Starkewolfe, Associate Director of New Venture Resources for the UC Davis Venture Catalyst program
Brian Lee, Vice President, Bioengineering at Visolis Inc.
Louis Metzger, Chief Scientific Officer at Tierra Biosciences 

5. BPEP Tube Identifying mentors and partnering with established companies - November 15, 2018.

Description: Interested in how to find early stage mentors and partners in your startup journey? Founders in hard tech spaces need to start thinking of strategic partnerships with big companies early on in their startup journey. These big companies could be providing corporate venture money, path to markets (sales & distribution channels) and many other things. Identifying mentors in the industry who could guide you might be one path to such partnerships. While doing everything in-house might be the best ting to do, outsourcing, might be a better way. 

Jo Varshney, 
Founder & CEO, VeriSIM Life
Shannon Hall, Advisor, SkyDeck Berkeley
Swati Chaturvedi, Co-founder & CEO, Propel(x) 
Steven Karp, Executive Director, Innovation Services at California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI)

6. BPEP Tube Smart immigration strategies for entrepreneurs - December 4, 2018.

Description: If you are thinking about starting a business in the USA but thinks that visa issues may prevent you from doing so, do not miss this opportunity to discuss your possibilities with a specialist on immigration strategies for entrepreneurs.

Speaker: Brian Graham, attorney at K&L Gates

7. BPEP Tube Startup founders and founding teams: early stage start-up team building - Feb. 21, 2019.

Description: You have a great idea and want to start a company, but embarking on such an adventure by yourself seems like a daunting task. Who should you pick to be on your team on the road to success? What should you look for and what should you avoid in picking co-founders? What is the best way to attract the right talent and keep them on board?

Tara deBoer - Postdoctoral Researcher at UC Berkeley, Founder and CEO of BioAmp Diagnostics
Jonathan Lowenhar - Venture Advisor at SkyDeck, Founder and Managing Partner at ETW Advisors
Balthazar Lecehne - Former Postdoctoral Researcher at UC Berkeley, Co-Founder of InkSpace Imaging, accelerated at SkyDeck
Alexandre Graeml - BPEP Board Member, Co-founder of a couple of companies in Brazil

8. BPEP Tube Challenges to "academic" entrepreneurship: the perspectives of an entrepreneurial professor and a former postdoc - March 21, 2019.

Description: This time we'll hear from Dr. Ming C. Wu, Ph.D., who is UC Berkeley's Nortel Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Dr. Wu is the co-founder and Board member of Berkeley Lights, a startup delivering breakthrough technology and instrument platforms that fundamentally changes research using cellular biological processes. Digital Cell Biology combines bioscience, technology, and information to dramatically advance how scientists study the interaction of cells. Berkeley Lights’ platforms and technology deliver the fastest, deepest, most complete measurements and insights across thousands of cells in parallel. Dr. Wu will discuss what it takes to start a company from a technology developed at UC Berkeley, especially while handling the demands of being a professor at a top university. Naresh Sunkara, Ph.D., is the founder of Nosocom Solutions, a startup developing sterilization technologies to prevent infections in hospitals. He is also the founder of BPEP. Naresh will bring the insights of someone who became an entrepreneur while being a postdoc at UC Berkeley and who has mapped the university's entrepreneurial support ecosystem along the way to help him with building his startup.

Ming C. Wu, UC Berkeley's Nortel Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Naresh Sunkara, founder of Nosocom Solutions

9. BPEP Tube Startup job fair: postdocs students and Bay Area startups - April 18, 2019.
The best innovative companies need to hire the best people. The 2019 BPEP Job Fair cultivates that match. If you are a postdoc or a graduate student finishing up your PhD and are looking for an exciting job in an innovative company, startup, as an employee or even co-founder, please join us for this event featuring companies from various fields of research (computer science, biotech, chemistry, etc.). Hiring companies will open with 60 second pitches to describe the overall goals of their company and highlight the positions they are looking to fill. This will be followed by an open networking career fair where job seekers can network directly with founders and HR managers.

10. Funding for deep tech startups - May 16, 2019.

Description: Developing groundbreaking technologies with a high impact in our society requires a lot of effort and financial support over a longer period of time. In this last installment of the BPEP “Lab to Market” workshop series for the Spring term, our panelists will discuss how to navigate those “troubled waters”, providing information on how to suitably get your business funded along the way.

Manan Mehta - Founding Partner, Unshackled Ventures
Michael W. Henry - Member, Berkeley Angel Network 

2017 events

Startup Opportunities & Challenges in US and Abroad

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 from 6pm in Stanley Hall 105 (UC Berkeley Campus)

Nurturing entrepreneurship has always been one of the main goals of academic and government intuitions all over the world. The US has played important and critical roles in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, but this is a global phenomena. US inventors have global interests, and international entrepreneurs have made great strides in the US as well. (full description)


Wednesday April 19th, 2017 from 5-7:00 in Bancroft hotel (Bancroft Way x College Ave)

The best start-ups need the most talented employees, and together with the Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (piep.berkeley.edu) we are organizing the second BPEP/PIEP job fair, where we start-ups from the Bay Area can present their company and look for new recruits! (full description)

Bench to market

Thursday March 30th, 2017 from 4:30-7:00 in Bancroft hotel (Bancroft Way x College Ave)

This event is meant to explore the full pathway, from bench to market, including information about general entrepreneurship, investment, technology transfer and funding. The keynote speaker is Vice Chancellor for Research Paul Alivisatos, whose talk will be followed by John Dueber who is the UC Berkeley faculty with expertise in entrepreneurship. The talks will be followed by a networking event with food and drinks.
(full description)

Intro class & Science Fellows Program

Thursday February 23rd, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 in Stanley Hall 105

The Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneurship Program under the auspices of the Office office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Affairs (VSPA) is glad to announce the launch of the "ScienceFellows Program" in collaboration with the CITRIS Foundry, the University of California accelerator for founders building transformative technology companies.The Science Fellows Program (SFP) is an effort that connects Postdoctoral scientists with the startups at CITRIS Foundry, and the general entrepreneurial community at UC Berkeley. The program aligns with Vice Chancellor Paul Alivastos making entrepreneurship a top priority for the campus in the coming months. (full description)

2016 events

The Art of Pitch

Thursday, November 17th, from 6:00-8:00 in Stanley Hall 105

The Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneurial Program is closing the season with a pitch event, where teams or individual will pitch their ideas-- no matter how crazy they are ! -- to a broader audience and in front of a jury that will judge the concepts and give insights on how to tune the message ! (full description.)

BPEP Art of Pitch

Careers in Startups: Meet Hiring Startups and Learn the Ins and Outs! BPEP Tube

Thursday, September 29th, from 6:00-8:00 in Stanley Hall 105
Organized in association with Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (piep.berkeley.edu)

Startups looking to fill open positions will then be given 2-3 minutes each to describe the overall goals of their company and what you are looking for in an employee/teammate/co-founder (both personal and technical qualities). This will be an information session followed by an informal career fair where job seekers can network directly with founders and HR managers.

With David Kirn, co-founder and CEO of QB3 startup 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Laurel Fedder from Gunderson Dettmer and Adam Sterling of Berkeley Law (full description.)

BPEP Fundraising Workshop: Financing your company (Seed Funding by Angel Investors) BPEP Tube

Thursday, August 25th, from 6:00-8:00 in Stanley Hall 105

You have a great start-up idea - but from which funding source should you raise that first round of pre-seed/seed money? What are the advantages from funding by Angel investors vs. VC firms? The Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneur Program (BPEP) invites you to our workshop on Thursday, August 25th, from 6:00-8:00 in Stanley Hall 105 ! (full description)

Entrepreneurship Resources on Campus

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, 106 Stanley Hall

You have learned from our previous sessions on the basics of your starting your own company, now to take the next step, in this session we have invited various campus organization leaders who will tell them about their programs. Before you go outside to look for help, come to our event and learn what resources are available on your own campus! (full description.)

How to incorporate your innovative company and protect your inventions

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, 105 Stanley Hall

STARTING A COMPANY can be daunting, especially when someone does not have prior exposure to the legal details of it, and may lead to errors that are very hard and/or very costly to fix. Moreover, innovative technologies ofter come with an intellectual property aspect that can be difficult to navigate.. With speakers from leading law firms WSGR and MoFo, and tech transfer officers from UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (full description.)

Government Funding BPEP Tube

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, 106 Stanley Hall

You just finished writing your first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for your startup.  Great job on the hard work!  But.. hmm it seems there is more to it than submitting paperwork! Learn how to put the icing on your application and move from 90% fundable to 100% (Full description.)

Bench to Market!

Monday, March 28, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, 105 Stanley Hall

How to bring a product from the bench to the world?
Learn from entrepreneurs about the bench state of a product, decide to start a business, how to obtain funding, and how to approach the market.

Bench to Market 2016


  • Valitor: Pharmacology and Drug delivery startup with Berkeley Skydeck at QB3 Garage@Berkeley. Wesley Jackson is Chief Science Officer.
  • Nodexus: Microfluidics to biomedical sample screening company with Berkeley Skydeck at QB3 Garage@Berkeley. Karthik Balakrishnan CEO and Anand Kesavaraju CSO.
  • Maxterial: Protective surface materials company with Breakout Labs in San Pablo CA. Mehdi Kargar CEO and Atieh Haghdoost CTO.

Unshackled: Startups for immigrant entrepreneurs BPEP Tube

Thursday February 4th at 6pm in Stanley Hall 105 on UC Berkeley Campus.

Unshackled enables and supports early stage immigrant founders. They invest their capital by hiring the entrepreneurs, and providing the necessary visa support. They provide a network of influential people leaning forward for your success. With speakers :

Rita Georges, Managing Attorney with Serotte Law Firm, LLC
Manan Mehta, Founding Partner at Unshackled
Jorge Calderon, Founder and CEO of Carett
Andrej Danko, Co-founder & CTO at Shortlist

(full description - video)

2015 events

Women in Entrepreneurship

November 19, 2015 at UC Berkeley, Stanley Hall 105.
Full description - Photos.

How to raise seed/Angel money for early stage startups? Resources on and off-campusBPEP Tube

October 29, 2015 at UC Berkeley, Stanley Hall 105.
Full description. Video. Photos.

Government funds and startups: SBIR, Foundations

September 23, 2015 at UC Berkeley, Stanley Hall 105.
Full description.
 Video. Photos.

Basics of starting a company: How to pick co-founders and team BPEP Tube

August 27, 2015 at UC Berkeley, Stanley Hall 105.
Full description. Video. Photos.

Intellectual Property BPEP Tube

July 2015 at UC Berkeley, Stanley Hall 105.
Video. Photos.

Bench to Market BPEP Tube

June 2015.
Video. Photos.

Ph.D. to Startup Workshop Series: 2 - Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property - The role of the tech transfer office and law firms in patenting and launching your startup for Graduate Students, Postdocs and Faculty (full description.)

Ph.D. to Startup Workshop Series: 1 - Enablers and Barriers to Entrepreneurship

Enablers and Barriers to Entrepreneurship for Graduate Students, Postdocs and Faculty (full description.)

Enabling startups by international entrepreneurs.

February 11th, 2015 6pm @Stanley Hall. Details here. Thank you everyone for coming!

2014 events

1. Women entrepreneurs in high-tech startups. August 11th, 2014 at 5:30pm @Skydeck|Berkeley. Details here.

2. How does working at a startup differ from working ... well, anywhere else. April 15th. Stanley Hall 105/106. Details here.

3. Cross-Campus Entrepreneurs' Mixer: February 28th, 2014 at 4:30pm @Skydeck|Berkeley! Details: here

Fall 2013 events

1.  The value proposition: What’s unique about your idea? August 27, 4pm at SkyDeck

2.  Intellectual Property: the Foundation of your Company. September 19, 5:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall

3.  Financing your company: Government grants, Angel investors and Venture Capital. September 30, 5:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall

4.  Financing your company: Corporate structure and managing debt. October 21, 5:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall

5.  Highlight of the season: Pitch competition. November 18, 5:30pm at SkyDeck. All information can be found here.

Slides and presentations from our Fall 2013 workshop series can be found here.

Spring 2013 events

The Art of Selling. February 21st, 5:30-8:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall.

Stories from the Trenches. March 19th, 5:30-7:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall.

Entrepreneurship Mixer. Friday May 3rd , 2013,  5:00 pm – 6:30 pm, Skydeck. For all Entrepreneurs, who  always wished they could connect to the entrepreneurship pulse of campus.  Held at SkyDeck | Berkeley.  A unique gathering of students from the business, science and social science graduate communities, who wished to  collaborate, share ideas, and meet like-minded entrepreneurs while building a broad network across Berkeley’s leading entrepreneurship programs. For people from all departments.  Started with a 15-minute talk featuring a SkyDeck CEO, followed by networking games and mingling. 

Immigration and Entrepreneurship. May 21st,  6:00 pm – 8:30 pm,105 Stanley Hall. 

Fall 2012 events

Bench to Market: Idea Evaluation and Commercialization foue r Postdocs and Ph.D.s. August 10th, 8:00am-6:00pm, SkydeckThis was the first event of its kind for us. We had a day-long, hands-on workshop, where a group of 40 attendees learned about the basics of idea commercialization from Mike Cohen from UC BErkeley's Office of Technology Licensing, Drew Isaacs, Professor of business at the Haas School of Business and John Elstrott, Entrepreneur and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Tulane University. The participants then formed into teams, that worked with a group of mentors on polishing and perfecting a set of startup ideas, ending with a pitch session and critical Q&A from potential funders. The best part? The startup ideas were all contributed by the participants themselves! Presentations: Here are Peter Fiske's slides from the event.  Also, from Michael Cohen: How University Researchers Start Companies.

An Introduction to EntrepreneurshipSeptember 18th,  5:45-7:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall.

Intellectual Property. October 23rd, 5:45-7:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall.

How to Finance your Idea. November 29th5:45-7:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall.

The Art of Pitching and Pitch Competition. December 17th, 5:45-8:30pm, Skydeck.

Spring 2012 events

Lean Startups. January 18th, 5:45-8:45pm, 105 Stanley Hall. 

Immigration and Entrepreneurship. March 29th, 5:45-7:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall. 

Slides and other materials can be found here.

Fall 2011 events

BPEP Workshop: Intellectual Property. October 6th, 5:45-7:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall. 

BPEP Workshop: Pitch Session. November 1st, 5:45-9:00pm, 105 Stanley Hall. 

BPEP Workshop: How to finance your idea. November 17th, 5:45-8:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall. 

BPEP Workshop: How to finance your idea: SBIR/STTR grants. December 1st, 5:45-8:30pm, 105 Stanley Hall. 

Slides and other materials can be found here.