Academics

Full-Time MBA Program

Entrepreneurship

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been a hotbed for new venture creation, and Berkeley-Haas is one of the world’s leading centers for the study and practice of entrepreneurship. The Berkeley MBA Program offers students the training and ecosystem to launch scaleable enterprises, start careers in the venture capital industry, and take leading roles in early-stage-startups.

The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at Berkeley-Haas

At the center of UC Berkeley startup activities is the highly ranked Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, with classes, events, and programs that help students get the most out of their time on the Berkeley campus and in Silicon Valley.

Among its many activities are prominent startup competitions, the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, Skydeck and LAUNCH: the UC Berkeley Startup Competition & Accelerator, as well as cross-campus mixers and hackathons. All provide opportunities to meet with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, alums, and other UC Berkeley graduate students.

Coursework

Berkeley MBA Entrepreneurship coursework includes:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Venture Capital and Private Equity
  • New Venture Finance
  • The Lean Launchpad & Social Lean Launchpad
  • Speakers series on venture capital, private equity, and social impact.

Scholarships

A number of scholarships support students interested in entrepreneurship, including the Brian L. Maxwell Fellows Program , established by Jennifer Maxwell, BS 88, (Nutrition) in honor of her late husband, PowerBar co-founder Brian Maxwell, BA 75, and offering full tuition and fees.

How the Berkeley MBA Builds Entrepreneurial Careers

From experiential learning to structured accelerators with mentorship and peer support, there is no better place at which to gain the toolkit necessary to launch a startup than Berkeley-Haas.

Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association and Lester Center Support

 

Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association

The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association is one of the largest student organizations at UC Berkeley with over 400 members. The BEA provides student-organized activities to facilitate students working on their own ventures to share experiences and leverage each other's efforts. Working closely with the Lester Center, the BEA hosts programs that include venture capital and entrepreneur roundtables, a Life as an Entrepreneur speaker series, and cross-campus collaboration mixers.

Entrepreneurial Internship Subsidies

The group's Partners for Entreprenurial Leadership (PEL) program, sponsored by the Lester Center, offers summer internship subsidies for students working for startups unable to compensate at typical market rates.

Mentorship by Entrepreneurs and VCs

The Lester Center also offers mentorship of students by successful Bay Area entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and professional service providers, who help emerging entrepreneurs explore business ideas and career goals.  Mentors come to the Center or connect with mentees via Skype to answer questions and offer advice.

Startup Acceleration at Berkeley-Haas

 

Launch: The UC Berkeley Startup Accelerator

LAUNCH is a transformative startup accelerator program and competition that guides companies from validated product to fundable business. Participants have access to proven development curriculum, world-class mentors, and real venture capitalist feedback as well as funding opportunities. Our winning 2015 team received a term sheet from a top global VC within 24 hours of the competition.

Skydeck

In addition to providing support and guidance, UC Berkeley also provides a runway for new ideas:  Skydeck, a jointly-run program of the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurshipthe College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, and the UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research.

Its purpose is to accelerate the launch of fundable startup companies with scalable business models by matching an exclusive group of companies with high-quality mentors holding deep expertise and connections in industry and venture capital. Companies work in fully equipped office space in the heart of Berkeley, with excellent transit options, close proximity to campus, and stunning 360 views of the Bay and Hills.

Access to Startup and VC Competitions

In addition to LAUNCH, Berkeley MBA students participate in other competitions focused on entrepreneurship, including:

    • Global Social Venture Competition—Founded by Berkeley MBA students in 1999 and now led by Berkeley-Haas in collaboration with 12 partner schools and organizations worldwide. The GSVC provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and $50,000 in prize money to transform ideas into businesses that will have positive real world impact.
    • Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC)—In this “reverse business plan competition,” student teams assume the role of venture capitalists and evaluate and “fund” investment opportunities. Real entrepreneurs seeking funding present their ventures, while the student teams are judged by experienced venture capitalists following their investment decisions and negotiation sessions.
    • Big Ideas@Cal —a UC Berkeley competition aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students.
    • The Hult Prize in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize awards $1M to entrepreneurs solving the world’s toughest challenges.

 

 

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