BerkeleyHaas Entrepreneurship

Accelerator & Competitions


In Brief:

The BerkeleyHaas Entrepreneurship Program supports a premier startup accelerator and competitions at BerkeleyHaas:

LAUNCH: The University of California’s Startup Accelerator The marquee entrepreneurship event at UC Berkeley (more)

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

UC Berkeley Hult Prize Competition is a global competition leading a generation to change the world (more)

LAUNCH: the University of California’s Startup Accelerator is one of the foremost events for University-affiliated early-stage startups. Founded in 1999, LAUNCH has become a leading Bay Area event and one of the nation’s top startup competitions. LAUNCH brings together entrepreneurs, students, and alumni from across the greater UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco communities. Each fall, entrants organize teams through sponsored networking events, classes, and on their own in order to submit brief executive summaries shortly after returning from the campus winter break in January. Accepted competitors then refine their venture ideas and presentations, which are later judged by Bay Area venture capitalists to determine the semi-finalists, finalists, and ultimately, the Competition winners. Throughout it all, teams are matched with entrepreneurial mentors who provide guidance and help in iterating on their venture ideas.


The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is, in essence, a “reverse business plan competition.” Student teams assume the role of venture capitalists and evaluate and “fund” investment opportunities. Real entrepreneurs who are currently seeking funding present their startups to the VCIC teams, while the teams are judged by experienced venture capitalists. The competition is open to all UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students interested in trying their hand at being a venture capitalist for a day. There is strong interest in the Competition each year, with an average of 30 teams applying to compete for just six spots. . Winners of the UC Berkeley round go on to compete in the regional finals. The UC Berkeley team has won 1st place at regional finals both in 2016, 2018, and 2020. Regional winners progress to the national finals at the University of North Carolina, where a Haas team took 2nd place in 2018 and won the national title in 2005. VCIC ® is a trademark of the University of North Carolina.


The Hult Prize Challenge is asking teams around the world to build viable food enterprises that will impact the lives of 10M people in the next decade while strengthening communities, increasing incomes, feeding the hungry, and creating jobs. Join us on December 2nd and watch the top 10 UC Berkeley teams pitch products and solutions that will change the world. One team will represent UC Berkeley at the upcoming Hult Prize Regional Finals happening in March 2021. This is our chance to show the world that our institution is dedicated to a positive impact. The 1st place winner moves on to the regional competition and one step closer to the $1 Million Seed Capital Prize.  (Register here)