The 2020 Cohort began with the opportunity to meet with leading innovators and venture capital firms in the Berkeley Blockchain ecosystem.  Exposure to our network is a core tenet of the program and our startups can look forward to future introductions to expand their network. 

  • Ikhlaq Sidhu, Chief Scientist of SCET in Berkeley Engineering, discussed his latest research in Innovation Engineering, and how it applies to our current COVID-19 situation for startups
  • Ken Singer, Managing Director of SCET, also spoke on startups thriving during shifts and innovation that matters now
  • Shomit Ghose, General Partner of ONSet Ventures and SCET Board member, presented key strategies for fundraising in Silicon Valley, especially during downturns and “taking risk off the table”
  • David Schwartz, CTO of Ripple, shared insights on the history of RIpple, their decision to focus on cross-border payments, and the Interledger protocol’s inspiration from the Internet’s TCP/IP stack
  • Justin Mart and Brian Foster of Coinbase Ventures articulated their method for identify interesting projects to achieve their mission of open financial systems and how important timing and “go to market” are for success
  • Pantera’s Paul Veradittakit & Franklin Bi shared insights about the blockchain market, their outlook for the rest of 2020, and the need for platforms that remove friction for broader user adoption of crypto
  • Sina Nader of Robinhood Crypto spoke in our Em Tech for Social Impact course, which all the teams joined to hear more about his journey to Robinhood and perspectives on the crypto space
  • Dmitriy Berenzon of Bollinger Investment Group and blockchain VC research partner, spent time with each team, providing office hours on preparing pitch decks and industry strategy
  • Gigi Wang, SCET Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Lead Instructor and Managing Partner of MG-Team, also provided office hours, guiding teams on go-to-market and effectively pitching their startups

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from our colleagues in the industry.