Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship

Startup Seed Funding


In Brief:

The Trione Student Venture Fund was endowed by a gift from Victor Trione, MBA 70, and provides a prize package that includes $5,000 to enable experiential learning to 20 early-stage student startups each year. The Sega Sammy Fund for New Media was endowed by a gift from Sega Sammy and provides $5,000 awards to four student startups annually that are focused on ventures such as entertainment, gaming, or new technology. The experiential learning awards are intended for use in prototype development and customer discovery activities. These awards provide a unique opportunity for high risk, high reward projects that best embody the Berkeley Haas Defining Principle to Question The Status Quo.




As a leader in the greater UC Berkeley entrepreneurship ecosystem, Berkeley Haas will grant special consideration to cross-disciplinary projects involving team members from other UC Berkeley campus departments. Teams must have at least one current Berkeley Haas student (MBA or undergrad). Faculty, staff, and external partners may only play an advisory role.

Grantees will post a 60-90 second “lessons learned” for public viewing as well as a single paragraph written status report due six months after the end of the award. The teams must also agree to respond to brief bi-annual surveys for two years post-award.

International founders are subject to mandatory tax withholding. Having a US-based Haas student on the team will simplify the award process.


Ten $5,000 student experiential awards will be granted in December and the other ten in May.

The Application Deadline for Spring 2024 is Sunday, May 12th at 11:59 pm (PST). The application is now live. APPLY HERE.

Important Note: You will be required to create a Startup Profile and account on BearX in order to access the application. This requires you to use your email address. 

Applicants must submit general information plus a single-page Executive Summary containing the following elements: problem, solution, market overview, customer interview results (number of interviews and summary conclusions), team (names and current UCB student affiliations) as well as the use of funds.

If the startup results from classwork, a single page Faculty recommendation will also be required. 

Awardees will be selected by a committee comprised of Faculty and Institute for Business Innovation leadership along with investors and leaders from the Berkeley entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Reminder: the grants are non-dilutive, with no equity required.

Awards are a one-time contribution. Awardees can apply again for other student experiential learning ventures, but not for the same venture.

Judging Criteria:


    • Problem Definition. (Target audience clearly defined or a clear plan to gather data for refining)
    • Potential for Impact?  (Addresses a pressing & important problem, clear linkage between problem and proposed solution)
    • Viability? (Skill sets/composition of current team can achieve initial objectives. Use of funds can significantly advance and/or de-risk project)
    • Quality? (Team clearly put effort into defining a problem/solution and next steps. This is an idea/project worth funding)
    • Diversity of the team? (Is it a multidisciplinary team?)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is eligible to apply for the grants?

Teams and companies with at least one current Haas student (MBA or undergrad, all programs).

If I receive an award, will I receive additional support and mentoring?

Totally up to you and your team — BHEP is always happy to work with Founders and their teams to connect with alums in our network for mentoring and support.

Can I apply with students from other schools on campus?

Yes, applications with students from other departments on campus are highly encouraged! We also encourage cross-UC collaboration such as UCSF, UC Davis, etc.

Will receiving a grant exclude me from competitions like Big Ideas @Cal and LAUNCH?

How about accelerators and other programs like Skydeck and CITRIS Foundry?

No, as long as you comply with funding limits for the specific competitions and programs.

Can I apply for an award if I’m an international student on a student visa?

Yes.  Awards can be granted to international students, regardless of visa status.

Will receiving an award impact my financial aid status?

No. Because the grants are being used for research purposes and expenses, they do not impact financial aid in any form.

Will I receive the grant as a lump sum?

Yes, successful grantees will receive a lump sum to be paid to one of the Haas students on the team for distribution to team members, payment of expenses, etc.

Do you take equity?

No. The grants are non-dilutive and your only obligation after receiving a grant is to post a 60-90 second “lessons learned” for public viewing as well as a single paragraph written status report due six months after the end of the award. Your team must also agree to respond to brief bi-annual surveys for two years post-award.

Who will evaluate and select grant awardees?

BHEP/IBI leadership, selected entrepreneurship faculty and other program partners will comprise the selection team.

Are awards granted to for-profit companies only?

No, non-profit and social impact teams and companies are encouraged to apply…we want to support the best ideas, period.

I’m an international founder. Can I receive award funds?

Yes, either through having a US-based Haas student on the team (recommended) or by filling out the appropriate Glacier documentation for mandatory withholding


Past Projects:


Spring 2023:
Aimmigration Pro – Yulia Berezovska, Vitaliy Daviy
Andria – Bradley Kenstler, Gopika Kini, Puneet Khurana
Biomonadic – Vysak Venkateswaran, Sasha Farina
CarbonTrace – Paul Bryzek, Dhara Vaishnav
High Tide Materials – Kira Erickson, Maya Topitzer
Rely – Heather Rankow, Ashley Keyes
Restomation – Jyotsna Jayaraman, Sam Kaplan
SettleUp – Hoi Wong, Lauren Sonnenberg
Tumo – Joaquin Panos, Rciardo Espinosa, Lucas Martinez
VitalSense – Yuguang Yuan, Fan Xia, Yande Peng

Sega Sammy Award:
Scribble AI – Sahil Mehta, Ethan Jagoda, Javaditya Sethi

Fall 2022:

2ndWind – Guan-Liao
Alokee – Mandy Kroetch, Matt Parker, Marcus Rossi & Noman Shaukat
ComentaCare – Alan Chan
Crew – Lucas Allen
dALZ – Michael LaFramboise 
Empathie Health – Jennifer Wong
HOPO Therapeutics – Hannah Weber
Januso – Alejandro Fernandez & Asriel Han
Outdoor Wise Living – Dan Bernstein
Passage – Caelin Sutch
ShellGel – Cindy Huang, Hari Parthasarathy & Jiahao Yao


Sega Sammy Award:
Breathe Healthy Interactive – James Xu 


Spring 2022:
Chaser – Josh Martow

Desi Shoes – Hitesh Kenjale
FoodWare – Katherine Gerhardt
Globe Sisters – Julian Martinez-Garcia
Mentorade – Alexander Hunter
Roots – Alyssa Zabin
Ruuf – Tomas Campos
Second Brew – Pei-Hsin Wang
Trusted – Ellyn Quigg & Eric MacDonnell
Urban Eyes – Charles Lehman


Sega Sammy Award:
SMMP – Kevin Gillespie


Sebastiani Food Venture Award:
Carl’s Sweet Potato Company – Carlson Gidding


Fall 2021: – Jiayi Zhou

CityfaceLLC – Jeena Chong
Eversparks – Nick Radich
Firstly – Jia (Kevin) Hu
K12 – Kevin Grossman
Kinometrix – Samuel Jazzo
OncoDetectSmartBra – Sara Khalek
SpaceKinetic – John (Jack) Garrett-Jones
Sycamore – KC Loy


Sega Sammy Award:
Poppin – Keeyan Irvije


Spring 2021: 
NovaSine Technology – George Ajlouny

SportVue – Pedro Pachuca
Brew2You – Ryan Kimura 
Faxx – Josh Benson
Good Grid – Nisha Garimalla
Beecoming – Danqing Zhou
Moya – Tanya Sachdeva
Ounce – John Aquino
ScholarSite – Karl Walter
Shelton AI – Harrison Shaw


Sega Sammy Award:
Clever FM – Sean Li


Sebastiani Food Venture Award: 
Kyt – Alex Trombetta 


Fall 2020: 
CarpeMed – Olaseni Akintola Bello

CommLend – Brendan McKeon
Digiventures – Santiago Pezzoni
Et al. Creatives – London Swift
FlowPro – Nave Algarici
Gear2Go – Steven Werner Lee
Parenting Circle – Antoni Riady Lewa
Rimble – Shivam Shorewala
Seren – Olayinka Faith Olomere
Sherpa – Charanya Venkataramani


Sega Sammy Award:
Impact – Tim Chau


Sebastiani Food Venture Award: 
ImpactFood – Kelly Pan


Spring 2020: 
Axle Medical – Adam Bildersee

Catena Bioscience – Gregorio G. Guillen
EdVisor – Manuel Smith
FIT’D – Kelly Cure
Newmen – John Melizanis
NorthStar – Lucas Kabs Yin Kim Sea
Resumewabi – Namrata Mani
SpacePlace Inc. – Ted Tabacco
Thrive Education – Joshua Curry


Sega Sammy Award:
Detox Chats – Khasimul A. Mohammad


Sebastiani Food Venture Award: 
COBA, The Coffee Bar – Katherine Luo


Fall 2019: 
AD.AI – Rory Stanton
Alljuro – Omer Faruk Ardic
Boomerang Recommerce – Paul Laverne
bumpR – Aishwarya Mahesh
Culteveit – Yannell Selman
Dispatch Goods – Lindsey Hoell
LinQ Technologies – Joachim Obeto
NeoMotion AI – Chyi-Shin Shu
Shunique – Nadhipat Ebay Vaniyapun
Valuation Inc. – Da Shi Wang


Sebastiani Food Venture Award: 
SuperPetFoods – Maria del Mar Londono


Sega Sammy Award:
Sincerely – James Cao
Winko Solar – Akonkwa Mubagwa


Spring 2019:
glowup. – David Tao

NeuroGuard – Annam Quraishi
QOLiFly – Andrew Blute
Callisto – Giles Templeman
LifeWork – David Corfield
ExVivoGen – Santiago Freyria
Direct – Jon Lam
Vested – Viram Shah
SuiteSocial – Jennifer DeAngelis
YouRefuge – Neeraj Goyal


Sebastiani Food Venture Award: 
Caldo Restaurant Technologies – Jose Alonso


Fall 2018:
Mother Matcha – Samantha Tannor
MINWO – Melanie Akwule
WOMG – Lourdes Amayo
Urban Miles – Ludwig Schoenack
Grido – Tushar Misra
81cents – Jordan Sale
Oki – Luofei Chen
Twentyeight Health – Amy Fan
Beyond Pink – Marisa Mitchell
BlitzIQ – Justin Duan


Sebastiani Food Venture Award: 
Eat Makhana – Mallika Chawla


Spring 2018:
Bear Founders – Jeremy Allen Hammer
Jomo – Cori Land
d.rect – Christian Keil
Hiven – Sundaresan Subramanian
NearFarms – Somiran Gupta – Ludwig Schoenack
Knowdeon – Atanas Christov Bakalov
boxlet – Ishan Sharma
UjU – Daniel Shepard
Polyledger – Dmitriy Berenzon


Fall 2017:
Celestek Beacon – Andrew Shacker
Cryptonite – Dustin Seely
Deal Engine – Alexandro Jara Hernandez
Giving Fund – Samantha Penabad
Imago – Federico Alvarez del Blanco
Legumes + Leaves – Sarah Mitchell Yates
Onederful – Karen Yee
Ping Inc. – Kourosh Zamanizadeh
Social Filter – Sal Parsa
VOTY – Kathryn Tess Peppers


Spring 2017:
Bluem – Jeremy Allen Hammer
Clear Step – Sara Nomanbhoy
HomeFluent – Chijioke Emenike
KNO2 – Stephanie Nemec
Locus – Anuj Patel
Mavenform – Kevin Wu
Necesito Doc – Leon Rodriguez
Peace Saffron – Sal Parsa
Pinpoint – Alex Zekoff
You3Dit – Huey-Ya Lori Chen


Fall 2016:
AndaBar – Alex Levy
Liverty – Alvaro Silberstein
Sierra BlueFlame Woodworks – Adam Pugh
HomeSlice – Anna Roumiantseva
InnoWaste – Yi Lin Pei
OmSchool – Emily Tsay
Oishii Farm – Hrioki Koga
Ikanos – Luigi Rodrigues
Lyme.Dot – Shannon Herline
Flourish – Pedro Moura
Markt (formerly EveryFarm) – Lizz Niemeyer


Spring 2016:
Peer Play – Alejandro Maldonado
Planet Murple – Emily Yao
Mules for Schools – Luis Bellon
TeAlchemy – Shubhika Taneja
SocialForce – Susanne Schoeneberg
Bitcoin Umbrella – Chadwick Strange
Human Capital Fund – Eddie Gandevia
SmileyGo – Pedro Espinoza
Paradigm Shift – Matthew Cobos
Together-Green – Carrie Gladstone


Fall 2015:
CaringDr – Linda Chow
Clima – Saharnaz Safari-Sanjani
Wizer – Liyu Wang
D! – Shahidah Abdul Rashid
Living Foods – George Roche
Mentor Room – Dante Alvarado-Leon
LiftEd – Andrew Hill
Dost – Sneha Sheth
Farmcation – Grace Lesser
Sidekick – Hansen Lui