Berkeley. We are members of the UC Berkeley SkyDeck startup accelerator spring 2020 friend– the very first to participate in from another location.

Much of us were anticipating checking out Berkeley due to the fact that one aspect of SkyDeck is a focus on helping groups with international creators connect to the Bay Area and crack the U.S. market.

So, we prepared to fly in from not only other parts of the U.S., however places like Taiwan, Russia, Turkey, Chile, India, Israel and even Canada to enjoy the California sunshine and do California stuff, like beverage wine in Napa, eat saltwater taffy in Santa Cruz, see some redwoods and possibly go to Yosemite or whatever? Yeah okay, maybe we would not have time for all that. We are start-up founders. It’s always nice to be given a chance to state no to something.

No matter what, we made sure we were going to get a chance to satisfy a lot of cool and truly wise people, brainstorm together and make a lot of friends. All while putting in a lot of fulfilling however difficult work to achieve product-market fit, learn how to pitch and after that raise some fat rounds from world well-known venture capital firms after Demonstration Day. Bling bling bling!

Then this spring, simply prior to our associate was set to start the program, the pandemic got major. No flights, no desks, all virtual meetups, and soon (September 15, mark your calendars people) a virtual Demonstration Day. Most of the worldwide creators could not even come to the United States.

No matter where we are in the world, we all ended up working from house similar to the rest of the world. No Napa white wine, no seawater taffy, no redwoods or Yosemite. A few of us even still have imperfect weather condition to compete with. Sigh.

But regardless of losing out on what would have been an incredible experience, we want to leave no doubt in the minds of your readers that the program has been wonderful. The SkyDeck team has offered us with:

  • VIP access to an extraordinary network of contacts that has actually surpassed what we might have pictured: Image this network in your mind right now … it is even much better than that.
  • A network of quality consultants: SkyDeck does an incredible task of getting Berkeley alumni with amazing expert profiles to operate as 1:1 consultants. Due to the fact that everyone is at house and excited to jump on a call, this high-touch technique to mentoring has worked out smoothly during COVID-19 times. They have actually been there to provide recommendations, make connections, help us hire, you call it.
  • Information sessions that are enjoyable and useful: Bad web gain access to was often bothersome, but on the intense side, nobody needed to fight traffic to get there. These sessions consisted of whatever from nuts and bolts organizational advice and war stories with Q&A s from creators of popular companies to essential brand-new point of views for developing 21st-century companies such as DEI training. The speakers are also going to hold or have a call office hours to talk about particular topics in-depth. It never stops.
  • Assistance from other friend founders and alums: There is an amazing sense of household in the program. Tough times cultivate deep experiences and significant connections. The SkyDeck group did a fantastic job establishing virtual events so we could all get to know each other, and alums are very active on Slack, responsive to ask for 1:1 mentorship, assisting with recruiting and giving other free suggestions. We have all made new buddies that can offer us with expert and social support for several years ahead.
  • Complete access to UC Berkeley’s varied ecosystem consisting of fantastic interns, professors and industry connections. This has really helped us to improve performance while pushing for product-market fit. Labs have actually been closed during the pandemic so some biotech and hardware founders, in particular, missed out on out on a perk they were truly looking forward to. With everybody offered online, bioinformatics, machine learning and other computational-focused collaborations have worked out great. Go Bears!
  • And naturally, a $100,000 investment that was extremely valued during a pandemic when everyone needs money to adapt to an entirely transformed environment.

While flight restrictions did trigger some global founders to pull crazy hours from our house countries to take part in the sessions, virtual sessions permitted additional members of our groups to get involved that would otherwise not have actually had the ability to do so. Since virtual events are much more scalable, we are likewise hearing chatter that Demo Day will be larger than ever in the past. You didn’t hear that from us.

We are simply beginning investor month, and the meetings SkyDeck has actually been setting up leading up to Demo Day likewise feel more interesting and effective. Financiers do not have alternative choices to interact with creators, and it’s so much easier to leap from call-to-call than to physically jump around the Valley. Even super rich and well-known financiers seem to think it is fun to be in Zoom calls with us because, just like everyone else, they are most likely kind of bored being at home all the time and simply desire someone to talk with.

So yes, we did miss out on a lot we were wishing for when we joined SkyDeck, however even with virtual desks and virtual Demo Day, SkyDeck is absolutely worth it.


SkyDeck Friend 2020 creators:

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.