2018 / 2019 events

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

1.  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:

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Idea evaluation - "Lab to market"

2. 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.

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Science Fellows introduced to Startups at SkyDeck

3. 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: 

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Pre-seed fund raising - Grants, Incubators & Accelerators

4. 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 

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Resources for aspiring entrepreneurs: lab space and equipment

5. 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. 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. 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. 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. Startup job fair: postdocs students and Bay Area startups - April 18, 2019.
Description: 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 

Play video
Identifying mentors and partnering with established companies
Play video
Smart immigration strategies for entrepreneurs
Play video
Startup founders and founding teams: early stage start-up team building
Play video
Challenges to "academic" entrepreneurship: the perspectives of an entrepreneurial professor and a former postdoc
Play video
Startup job fair: postdocs students and Bay Area startups