UC Berkeley’s startup accelerator SkyDeck raises $24 mln for fund

SkyDeck, UC Berkeley’s startup accelerator, has closed its new oversubscribed fund at $24 million. The investors included Sequoia Capital and Mayfair Venture Capital. 


BERKELEY, CALIF. – The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund has closed its first investment with an oversubscribed round of $24 million, including investments from Sequoia Capital and Mayfair Venture Capital.

The Spring 2018 SkyDeck cohort teams were the first SkyTeams to receive fund investments: a $100,000 cash investment per team in exchange for a 5 percent equity stake in their startups. These 16 startups, ranging in industries from biotech to AI, additionally benefit from SkyDeck’s unparalleled mentorship program, coworking space, and exclusive events. View SkyDeck’s current portfolio here.

The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund is led by Chon Tang (Cal EECS ’98), a former hedge fund manager who has been investing in seed-stage startups for 12 years. One-half of the fund’s carry (profit) will be donated back to the University to support research, education, and entrepreneurship with the goal of sending millions of dollars back to campus.

“UC Berkeley always looks to serve the greater good and SkyDeck is supporting startups that are solving the world’s biggest problems,” said SkyDeck Executive Director Caroline Winnett. “The Fund brings more startups, investors, and innovation to Berkeley, because they can see that the university is enthusiastically supporting entrepreneurs.”

This accelerator funding helps founders make their first outside hires, finish their product, test go-to market strategy, and much more. The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund has an exclusive partnership with UC Berkeley to invest in SkyDeck startups.

The Berkeley SkyDeck Fund offers a unique value proposition: bringing venture capital money to invest in startups that Berkeley SkyDeck chooses. Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator is the leading accelerator for high-tech, deep-science startups drawn from the UC Berkeley ecosystem.

As UC Berkeley’s official startup accelerator, SkyDeck is a joint program of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. SkyDeck combines the hands-on mentorship of traditional accelerators with the vast resources of its research university. This robust partnership is coupled with SkyDeck’s unique accelerator method to create a powerful environment for startups. Its SkyAdvisors, Partners, and large network of accredited investors connect their SkyTeams to the expertise and capital they need to launch and grow…to the moon.