UC Berkeley students put new startups to the test at SCET Collider Cup

As Fall semester came to a close, student teams from entrepreneurship classes offered through the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology competed in the first annual Collider Cup.

The event required participants to present their end-of-the year projects to real movers and shakers in the startup space, resulting in one stand-out team taking the prize home. The Sutardja Center held the event to not only challenge students to pitch the ideas they created in their classes, but also to give them the opportunity to form connections with successful entrepreneurs.

The winner was Team Healthchain, a student group from the Data-X course taught by Ikhlaq Sidhu. Team Healthchain created a way to store medical files in cases of emergencies on the Interplanetary File System network (IPFS). This new internet protocol allows users to permanently store their medical information on a decentralized network that can be accessed on any internet browser. To access their files, users use their fingerprint as a biological key to authenticate their identity and medical history. From there, they have access to all of their important documents on-hand in the unfortunate case of an emergency.

Following Team Healthchain in second place was Adipocapsules, a team that proposed a prototype for creating plant fats and emulsions with natural ingredients. Third place was a three-way tie between Solea, which showcased its sustainable fish oil; Marble Solutions, which improved fat solubility for plant-based foods; and PeerInvest, which created an app that allows users to hand-pick individual investors for their stock portfolio.

Though this event was a competition, it also served as an huge learning and networking opportunity for the Sutardja Center’s students. Judges were an eclectic group of Silicon Valley influencers — ranging from entrepreneurs to SCET alumni to prominent venture capitalists. Due to the high caliber of judges and the work put in throughout the semester, teachers and panelists alike had high expectations for the students’ pitches.

In many ways, the Collider Cup served as the ultimate final for SCET students. Instead of having to go to an exam room and put pen to paper, students crafted professional-level pitches and opened their ideas up for criticism.

UC Berkeley senior Shelby Gualter — a PeerInvest team member and former student of the Product Management Collider Course — found the competition, and SCET courses at large, to be beneficial for UC Berkeley students who wish to enter the growing world of tech.

“Since we’re so close to Silicon Valley, students at Cal are seeing all these new emerging trends and SCET’s Collider Courses give us the opportunity to investigate these growing fields and to think about where we can make change in them,” Gualter said.

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