Special Event at the Skydeck:
Path-Bending Leadership – How to Build a Cohesive Leadership Team for Start-Ups
Thursday, May 31, 2012
INNOVATION is going on summer break. We look forward to bringing you all of the Lester Center news when we return in August.
Each May, friends of the Lester Center gather to celebrate the accomplishments of the previous year and to recognize those who make Entrepreneurship@Berkeley great. This year’s Lester Center Annual Awards Dinner took place last week at the Haas School of Business.
The 2011-2012 academic year has seen a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial activity around Haas and across the UC Berkeley campus, including hackathons, conferences, revamped business plan competitions and the formation of new ventures.
Mitch Gordon, Go Overseas Founder and CEO, tells the crowd about the company’s great offerings
Andre Marquis, Lester Center executive director, thanks Bhavik Joshi and Matt Ellinwood for their special service to the Lester Center
The evening included program updates by Lester Center executive director Andre Marquis, along with presentations of the 2012 Turner Fellowship, a fellowship established by former EWMBA student Daniel K. Turner III of Montreux Equity Partners, to support MBA students in their entrepreneurial efforts, and the 2012 Gloria W. Appel Award for Outstanding Leadership in Entrepreneurship. We were also proud to present the Richard H. Holton Teaching Fellowship to members of our community who have consistently participated in the classroom by enriching the educational experience of our students.
For the fourth year in a row, we presented the Jack Larson Scholarship to five outstanding undergraduates at Haas and three MBA students interested in entrepreneurship, with Jack Larson, a UC Berkeley alum and Lester Center Advisory Board Member, in attendance. "We are here to celebrate the tremendous efforts of our students, alumni, faculty and staff in furthering the cause of entrepreneurship education," said Andre Marquis, executive director of the Lester Center. "This night shows the strong bond that entrepreneurs share across generations. Our successful alums propel our students forward with their time and with generous financial support. That is backed by the hard work of a great team here at the Haas School of Business. It’s a proud moment for all of us."
Our 2012 awardees were:
Gloria W. Appel Award for Outstanding Leadership in Entrepreneurship
Richard H. Holton Teaching Fellowship
Jack Larson Scholarship
2011-12 MBA Recipients
Robbie Bhantal, MBA 2012
Diego Prieto, MBA 2012
Vivek Bidwai, MBA 2013
2011-12 Undergrad Recipients:
2012-13 MBA recipients
Brian Feth, MBA 2013
Melissa Millan, MBA 2013
Jens Uehlecke, MBA 2013
Congratulations to all of those who were recognized. We wish you the best of luck in your future ventures!
Jens Uehlecke, Melissa Millan and Vivek Bidwai enjoy their time with Jack Larson
Lester Center staff celebrate the end of
another year: Andre Marquis, Jennifer Walske, Jill Erbland, Victoria Fowler,
Kirsten Berzon, and Richard Henderson
Spill was chosen from an initial pool of more than 600 entries to the 2012 Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in a record 50 countries at the 2012 GSVC Finals and Conference on Friday, April 20th.
Attendees packed the house at the Haas School of Business to watch the 14 Global Finalists’ pitches and hear from conference speakers. Supporters outside of UC Berkeley were also able to watch the live stream of the finalist teams’ pitches and all observers were invited to vote by text message for the People’s Choice Quick Pitch Award. The GSVC Awards Dinner, held later that night, included an inspiring keynote address by Ira Maganizer, CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Click here for the event program. Click here for video of the finals and conference.
The first-place winner, Spill, has created a website called spillnow.com that allows students to vent (or spill) anonymously about their problems and then receive anonymous peer support within 48 hours. Mental health professionals screen all "spills" within five minutes of receipt, and "spillers' receive up to five messages of support that include feedback, empathy, and relevant resources. Spill has intervened in 19 potential suicides since its inception. The team, which won $25,000 as the first place winner, plans to expand to other markets such as the military and high schools.
Congratulations to the Spill team on their first place win
Team FasoProt from Burkina Faso wins the Social Impact Assessment Award
Watsi, a team that includes Katie Dewitt, Haas MBA 13, won the $1,000 People's Choice Quick Pitch Award. Watsi is the first global peer-to-peer crowdsourcing platform that enables donors to fund low-cost medical treatments for individuals in developing countries.
In addition, the other 2012 winners were:
To learn more about GSVC, go to www.gsvc.org or watch this year finalists’ pitches here. And don’t miss the opportunity to support the finalist teams by contributing to their IndieGoGo fundraising pages at: http://www.indiegogo.com/partners/gsvc.
The 14th Annual UC Berkeley Startup Competition (Bplan) Finals culminated with a sold out event at the Haas School of Business on April 26th. The 350 attendees watched the eight finalist teams compete for $50,000 in prizes.
The audience selected the People’s Choice Award, which carried a $5,000 cash prize. The $1,000 one-minute Elevator Pitch Award, now in its third year, allowed the audience to choose their favorite pitch from the twenty-six semi-finalists who did not advance to the final round. Click here for the event program. Click here for video of the finals on YouTube.
The Grand Prize Winner, Calcula Technologies is an exciting collaboration of engineering and medical minds who have created an innovative treatment for kidney stones, a problem that accounts for 1% of all emergency room visits each year. While current kidney stone therapies are indicated for stones larger than 10mm, Calcula’s solution solves the unmet need of stones smaller than 10mm and takes care of the stones in a doctor’s office. Buzz Bonneau (MBA 11) of the Calcula team reflected on the Competition: "It was a really exciting day. Thank you, UC Berkeley, for putting on such an amazing event. We are really excited to have the money to complete an in-vivo study of our device next month. We hope the results of this study will help us raise a seed round to get to first in man with our technology. We truly believe Calcula's technology will help 1.5 million kidney stone patients avoid six weeks of the worst pain of their lives."
The Calcula Technologies winning team:
Lester Center executive director Andre Marquis remarked on the 2012 Competition: “We are very excited by all the work the student organizers and Lester Center staff have done to drive the transition this year from the historic UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition to the new UC Berkeley Startup Competition. This name change is the manifestation of the many changes the team has made to drive more learning and refinement between the startups, customers and domain experts throughout the Competition. This reflects the way we teach entrepreneurship here at Berkeley-Haas and how we work to create the most impactful scalable startups from across our great colleges, laboratories and partner companies."
The April 26th Finals was the culmination of a week of activities including semi-finalist team presentations to panels of venture capital judges who judged the businesses in an all-day event and selected the eight finalist teams from the four Competition tracks. Those eight teams then presented in private later in the week to another panel of venture capital judges from firms including Claremont Creek Ventures, DCM, and Mohr Davidow Ventures who selected the winners from each track, as well as the Grand Prize Winner. The April 26th public presentation featured the unveiling of the winners and the announcement of the People’s Choice and the Elevator Pitch Awards.
Other Winners Included:
IT & Web Track Winner (sponsored by DCM): Kloudless is a free service that helps you manage all the things you put in the cloud, by enabling users to search for, access, and manage their information that is spread across the Internet.
Energy and Cleantech Track Winner: HARBO Technologies develops the only emergency oil-spill containment solution for immediate response. HARBO’s Zero Time to Spill system is at standby position on-board oil-tankers/rigs and other ships and deploys a floating barrier within minutes to contain spills.
Products and Services Track Winner: Back to the Roots promotes sustainability and zero-waste, while reconnecting people to food through its grow-at-home mushroom kit. Their kits are made with 100% recycled coffee grounds, and produce 2 pounds of fresh oyster mushrooms in just 10 days!
Life Sciences Track Winner (sponsored by Claremont Creek Ventures): Calcula Technologies
People’s Choice Award Winner: Back to the Roots
Elevator Pitch Award Winner: Nanoly enables cheap, effective, and safe delivery of vaccines to anywhere in the world. Nanoly is developing a nanoparticle and hydrogel based chemical shield that can be directly mixed with liquid vaccines to protect them for improved storage and transportation without the need for refrigeration.
Back to the Roots won the Products and Services Track Award and the People's Choice Award
The 2012 Bplan Competition co-chairs, Tom VanLangen, Nick Mascioli and Adam Sterling commented “The Finals were a testament to the entrepreneurial passions of the communities at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. It has truly been a privilege to support these promising entrepreneurs and get a glimpse into tomorrow's defining ventures. We wish our participants all the best!”
If you missed the Finals, check it out online and spread the word about all of our great teams.
The Lester Center, with the support of the Haas Venture Fellows, is excited to announce the selection of the second group of companies to join the UC Berkeley Startup Accelerator@Skydeck. These teams will join Go Overseas!, Kloudless, and Healthy Labs (formerly Chronology Labs); companies which were admitted in the inaugural cohort in December 2011.
Berkeley-Haas and the Lester Center are committed to making Skydeck the premier source of scalable, fundable companies from the UC Berkeley and UCSF communities. The program has been successful in pairing Skydeck mentors with each team to help them achieve significant value-building milestones. The companies have been using Steve Blank’s lean startup methodologies and electronic tools like www.leanlaunchpad.com to evaluate and share their progress with their mentors.
The latest rounds’ applicant pool of nearly 50 companies was incredibly competitive and came from a diversity of industries. Teams with at least one UC Berkeley or UCSF student or alumni from the last five years were eligible to apply for the program. Applicants underwent three rounds of selection led by the Haas Venture Fellows (HVF). From this pool, 9 were selected by the HVF to present to an Executive Mentor Panel comprised of successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other prominent Berkeley-Haas alumni as the final round of the selection process. After great deliberation, the committee was excited to extend invitations to the following promising companies:
- Wallit: Featured as “New & Noteworthy" on the App Store in 127 countries from March 15 to April 5 of this year, Wallit is on a rocket trajectory. Wallit combines augmented reality with a social experience by enabling users to create virtual walls anywhere. Unlike Facebook, these virtual walls remain at the location they were created enabling others to actively contribute.
- Ensighta: The company is bringing a deep expertise in building and using state-of-the-art program analysis systems to develop products and services targeted at the large and underserved Android market.
- Intellivents: The company is transforming the way event goers and event organizers interact by enabling app users to buy or upgrade tickets while at the event. The team is also developing a number of other exciting event-based applications serving event organizers, marketers, and attendees.
- Berkeley Energy Sciences Corporation (BESC): The team is developing a novel approach to energy storage using a cost-effective and efficient flywheel system. Their technology has the ability to drastically reduce the price of utility scale energy storage and provide reliable, integrated grid services.
We are excited to assist all Skydeck companies on their startup path and look forward to the Startup Accelerator @Skydeck Demo Day in the fall to showcase the Skydeck talent for the Berkeley-Haas network of Angel and Venture Capital partners. We also look forward to our next cohort of Skydeck participants, which will be selected in fall 2012.
The UC Berkeley Startup Accelerator at Skydeck has been hopping the past few weeks. During the weekend of April 28-29, Skydeck played host to The Big Hack, a series of two overnight hackathons comprised of UC Berkeley and Stanford EECS undergrads battling for hacking supremacy.
The uniqueness of the hackathon is the specific Energy Technology meets Information Technology (“ET Meets IT”) theme to build web and mobile products using energy consumption data and APIs sponsored by companies in the energy efficiency space seeking disruptive innovation. United States CTO Todd Park was a guest speaker and challenged the EECS undergrads to bring social integration, game dynamics, API mash ups and design simplicity to large challenges in complex markets like energy and healthcare that are ripe for disruption. Gold Sponsor OSISoft , Sliver Sponsor Silver Spring Networks, and Bronze Sponsor Tendril Inc. provided teams with overnight technical support and mentoring.
Lester Center executive director Andre Marquis welcomed the EECS undergrads at Skydeck, a campus wide entrepreneurship hub attracting the very best scalable startups. Skyedeck provides a strong mentor network of UC Berkeley alums and the angel/venture investment community across five key tracks: Healthcare IT, Energy IT, Education IT, Big Data/Enterprise Software and Consumer Web/Mobile.
UC Berkeley senior, Rousseau Kazi, of team SpiceRack was the big winner in mashing up Tendril API with Silver Spring data sets. The team built a “Spice” called Spicebulb warning consumers about projected energy usage and allowing them to mitigate the subsequent higher tier price penalties by running “what if” scenarios to keep usage within the lower price tier. Blackout, an all-freshman team won the OSISoft most innovative team award. Their technology detects when consumers are away from home and allows them to turn off smart appliances via SMS on their mobile phones. The Alistair McFridge team used natural language processing to allow consumers to add smart appliances in their home (including their entire smart home) as Facebook friends and communicate with those devices via Facebook status updates. They were able to successfully turn on/off a Tendril light bulb in the UK using Facebook status updates.
Brad Bogolea, Product Manager at Silver Spring Networks, gives the prize to team SpiceRack
The Big Hack is the brainchild of Bhavik Joshi (MBA 08), a senior fellow at the Lester Center, and Deep Sahni. They also co-founded The Berkeley Stanford Cleantech Conference Series, a platform for students to transition their careers into the Cleantech industry. The Big Hack aims to be a platform to challenge students at top US schools to bring their disruptive innovation to industries like Energy IT, Education IT and Healthcare IT that are ripe for disruption due to a trifecta of Big Data availability, consumer connectedness and cost volatility.
Vator welcomed attendees to Vator Spark - Get Game: How to Gamify your Start-up last week at Skydeck. The event was part of a series of master classes on innovative and disruptive topics relevant to succeeding as a technology entrepreneur.
Last week’s event was the first topic in the inaugural series. Technology start-ups are tapping into the science of behavior to understand how they can leverage human motivation to engage customers to perform desired actions. The science behind applying engagement techniques is called Gamification, which has ushered in new types of start-ups applying gaming mechanics to drive playful behavior that leads to predictable desired outcomes.
The Lester Center was honored to collaborate with Vator, a company that is a great resource to entrepreneurs. The fact that Vator chose Skydeck for their event highlights the importance of UC Berkeley in the Bay Area entrepreneurial community. "We are honored to have Vator bring their cutting-edge Spark conference to UC Berkeley's Skydeck,” said Lester Center executive director Andre Marquis. “It's a great venue for mixing the top gamification experts, entrepreneurs and students and the results were fantastic.”
Dr. Michael Wu talks about the science of gamification
Vator Spark gathered the thought-leaders and investors in the gamification space for a full-day learning event to explore how to incorporate the best practices around product design, marketing, fundraising and more.
Keynote speakers included:
Our thanks go to Vator for inviting our Haas entrepreneurs to take part in the day. “It was great to have the opportunity to immerse myself in the topic of gamification with many of the top thought leaders in the field. The resources that Vator brought to our front door will be highly impactful to the UC Berkeley entrepreneurship community,” said Nick Jennings, Co-President of the Haas Entrepreneurs Association.
David Taber is the CEO of SalesLogistix, a CRM management consultancy and implementation firm in Palo Alto, and a third generation UC Berkeley graduate, having completed his MBA from Haas in 1986. He is the author of Prentice-Hall's 2009 book, "Salesforce.com Secrets of Success", which recently went into its third printing.
Get involved with Entrepreneurship and Innovation! The Lester Center's programs offer the inside track on entrepreneurship by bringing entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other industry leaders to the Haas School and provide opportunities for interaction and the development of entrepreneurial ideas. Please check out the The Lester Center's website to view the wide variety of opportunities.