State gives $2.2 million to strengthen entrepreneurship and innovation

Members of the OPTIX team diagram an idea

Members of the OPTIX team diagram their idea — a startup to help the elderly learn new technology skills — at the Sutardja Center's weeklong bootcamp. (Photo by Christopher Vinan / SCET)

California has awarded UC Berkeley a $2.2 million grant to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. The funds are from Assembly Bill 2664 and will be administered through UC’s Office of the President to six UC Berkeley entities that are heavily involved in entrepreneurship on campus. 

“This united innovation ecosystem on campus will increase the overall capacity of Berkeley’s entrepreneurial output and make it easier for Berkeley’s entrepreneurs, mentors, researchers and program managers to connect with each other to build the next great startup,” said Ikhlaq Sidhu, professor of industrial engineering and founding director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Sidhu is the lead author of Berkeley’s proposal.

“A remarkable group of programs to foster all aspects of entrepreneurship emerged organically from Berkeley in the last decade,” said UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for research, Paul Alivisatos. “This new funding from the State of California will help these groups step up to a new level, helping our faculty and students fulfill this aspiration to change the world through discovery-based entrepreneurship.”

Grant partners include: the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA), the Blum Center for Developing Economies, SkyDeck, the CITRIS Foundry and the NSF I-Corps Bay Area Node. Berkeley’s coordinated network for entrepreneurship and innovation will also include such partners as Berkeley Law and the Berkeley Startup Network. A special effort will be made to increase participation of women and underrepresented populations in incubators, accelerators and startups.

Read more on the College of Engineering website