The purpose of the Delta Prize is to accelerate the growth of early-stage ventures that have a minimum viable product and some measurable validation with the singular goal of preparing new ventures to be investor-ready.



The top 3-5 finalists will be selected for a 2.5-month mentoring program that includes workspace, access to a broad network of advisors and mentors (with the possibility of a match), and a vibrant community of entrepreneurs. Additional resources include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, legal office hours by WilmerHale, LLP, and specialized workshops for startup founders. The total prize amount of $15,000 will be shared among the top two or three teams and will be distributed proportionally according to their progress in reaching self-determined milestones during the 2.5-month program; thus, the Delta Prize.



Jan. 29, 2016 – Applications are due. Some applicants may be contacted for an in-person interview.

Feb. 5, 2016 – 3 to 5 finalists announced

Apr. 26, 2016 – Final presentation and prize awarded



1) UC Berkeley Affiliation:  At least one founder must be a current UC Berkeley student, postdoctoral scholar, faculty member or a UC Berkeley alumnus who has graduated in the last 5 years.

2) Participation:  We welcome teams that have graduated from other CITRIS Foundry, Free Ventures, or startup competitions at UC Berkeley, although participation in other programs is not necessary.

3) Stage of Development:

  • At least two cofounders, including one technical cofounder
  • Ideally, a minimum viable product,
  • Some measurable validation of product/market fit


Delta Prize Application  Complete one application per team


Contact: Eugene Noh, New Ventures Manager, at eugenenoh@berkeley.edu







Venture Lab is a startup incubator managed by the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. At any given time, Venture Lab supports 10-15 startup companies, many of which have been accepted into SkyDeckY CombinatorTechStars and Boost. Others have secured funding and joined the ranks of Cal-founded startups in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Current founders include undergrads and grad students in both technical and non-technical fields, Haas MBAs and UC Berkeley faculty. Venture Lab does not take an equity stake or offer seed funding, while providing an array of resources that most accelerators offer to early-stage startups, including:

• Guidance in business model development, customer validation, legal issues and early-stage funding
• A dynamic and supportive community of entrepreneurs
• A network of experienced advisors and mentors

More advanced companies can apply for the Venture Lab Delta Prize that will award $15,000 in total prizes to the top 2-3 companies that demonstrate the most promise and progress over a three month period. Moreover, the most productive teams will have the benefit of targeted introductions to noteworthy accelerators and potential investors. e.g. the top two companies from the Spring 2015 competition were accepted in Y Combinator.

But Venture Lab is more than an incubator. It’s a resource center and a hub that exists to catalyze entrepreneurship activities at UC Berkeley. We are passionate about cultivating a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem here, and we have collaborative relationships with various centers and groups in the Berkeley entrepreneurship space, including SkyDeckThe Foundry, the Lester CenterCal Hacks, and The Kairos Society.

Who Can Join?

Venture Lab is open to early-stage tech startups with a UC Berkeley affiliation. At least one founder must be a current UC Berkeley student, postdoctoral scholar, faculty member or UC Berkeley alumnus who has graduated in the last 5 years.

How to Apply? 

There are three acceptance periods: Fall, Spring and Summer. The admissions requirements include a written application and a team interview. The final teams will be selected by a review committee comprised of Venture Lab Manager and Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology Directors. If you are interested in applying, please complete the Venture Lab Interest Form.