Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship

Overview of Student Programs


In Brief:

Why Berkeley-Haas?  UC Berkeley is one of the top 3 universities in the world, has more top graduate programs than Harvard or Stanford, and is located in the most innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world – the San Francisco Bay Area. More than 50% of U.S. and over 1/3 of global venture capital is invested here. Berkeley-Haas is ranked 4th in entrepreneurship according to Businessweek and 2nd in Social Entrepreneurship according to US News. According to a recent LinkedIn analysis of 120 million profiles, Berkeley-Haas has the 4th largest alumni network of founders and the majority of them are in the Bay Area. Berkeley-Haas was also recently ranked 2nd in Universities producing VC-backed entrepreneurs. From Google Earth to Bright Source Energy and Fair Trade products, Berkeley-Haas entrepreneurs realize the Haas mission to “Redefine how we do business.”

Mentoring Hours

Want some expert advice on your business idea?
Spinning your wheels trying to choose the right business model?

Students and alumni have the opportunity to schedule 20-minute sessions with some of the Bay Area’s top entrepreneurs, VCs and attorneys through our Mentoring Hours program.  We have over 50 mentors who generously donate their time to help students with their business ideas in person or via Skype.

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Startup Seed Funding

The Dean’s Startup Seed Fund provides $5,000 grants to early stage start ups involving current Haas students. The grants are intended for use in prototype development and customer discovery activities. These awards provide critical funding for high risk, high reward projects that best embody the Berkeley Haas Defining Principle to Question The Status Quo.

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Berkeley-Haas faculty offer a wide range of entrepreneurship courses with an emphasis on Lean Launch methods and extending to specialized social impact and technical areas. Courses are geared both to students interested in an introduction to entrepreneurship and those who want in-depth immersion in the three phases of the entrepreneurial journey: ideation and team formation, customer discovery and validation, and startup acceleration.

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The Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program supports three premier startup competitions at Berkeley-Haas:

LAUNCH: The UC Berkeley Business Competition The marquee entrepreneurship event at UC Berkeley (more)

Global Social Social Venture Competition catalyzes ventures that create and measure both social and financial returns (more)

The Venture Capital Investment Competition allows students to apply the art and science of venture investing (more)

Click here for a summary of all competitions.

Student Clubs

There are a wide variety of Student Clubs and Activities oriented to entrepreneurship, both at the Haas School and on campus. These clubs offer many special events and also provide leadership opportunities for students. Club activities are an excellent opportunity for networking and team building.

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The Lester Center sponsors events and speaker series open to members of the community as well as students, faculty and staff at UC Berkeley:
The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum is held four times during the academic year featuring a networking hour followed, by a presentation topics of interest to entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and members of the Bay Area entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is a fee for this program.
Special Events in Entrepreneurship feature a variety of programs for entrepreneurs on the UC Berkeley campus. Entrepreneurs from the UC Berkeley campus and the external community are welcome.

Read about all of our events.


The Lester Center makes selected videos of sponsored events available for on-line viewing through our Video Library.

See all available videos.

Skydeck Accelerator

Skydeck is a joint venture among UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, Haas School of Business, and the Vice Chancellor for Research Office and the world’s premier University-affiliated accelerator.

Skydeck’s goal is to foster entrepreneurial excellence through personalized and specialized engagement to our UC Berkeley teams.

SkyDeck combines the consulting know-how of traditional accelerators with the vast resources of our research university. This robust partnership, coupled with SkyDeck’s unique mentorship program, gives startups the opportunity not only to grow their businesses, but also to launch and compete with industry leaders.

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Executive Education

Our faculty partner with UC Berkeley’s Center for Executive Education (CEE) to offer courses in entrepreneurship and venture capital. Learn from our world-class faculty including Toby Stuart, Andre Marquis, Jerry Engel, David Charron, Drew Isaacs and more.

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Get Involved

Once you have an entrepreneurial idea, there are a wide variety of paths you can take. Whether you are passionate about consumer IT solutions, social ventures, biotech, venture capital, or energy, we have a place for you to explore and meet like-minded entrepreneurs.

Get Involved: Join our Mailing List. Attend an Event. Read our Scalable Startups blog. Visit our Facebook or Twitter pages.