Application for Fall 2019 Batch Opens at UC Berkeley’s Blockchain Xcelerator!


July 21, 2019



The University of California, Berkeley is pleased to announce that the application for the Fall 2019 Batch of the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator will be open from Monday, July 22nd until Thursday, August 15th at this site.

The Xcelerator seeks to support blockchain-related startups by leveraging Berkeley’s uniquely integrated blockchain and innovation ecosystem, ranging from the unparalleled technical expertise and talent to mentorship from startup veterans and blockchain thought leaders, to a proven entrepreneurship curriculum at the world’s leading public university and a deep network of Silicon Valley and blockchain investors.

UC Berkeley is renowned for creating successful startups, as highlighted by a recent Crunchbase report, which states “University of California at Berkeley is multiples above the rest of the field when it comes to graduating funded founders.”

The Xcelerator launched in spring 2019 with its first batch of teams, which showcased a broad range of applications in the blockchain space, from non-fungible tokens in tabletop gaming to privacy-preserving AI, and factory floor M2M communications. The recent market data also shows that, while 2018 was a year of pause and reflection for the industry, 2019 is already showing promise, especially with Facebook announcing their stablecoin Project Libra and IDC projecting WW spends on blockchain solutions approaching $3 billion in 2019.  

The first run of the Xcelerator was built on the groundswell of blockchain interest in the Berkeley ecosystem and brought together both student-founded and “silicon-valley-veterans” teams, as well as startups from Toronto, Berlin, London and as far as Moscow.  

Speakers in the Spring 2019 Xcelerator programming included blockchain technical thought leaders from UC Berkeley to CTOs and technical leads at Ripple, Near, Harmony and Cosmos, as well as notable entrepreneurs, VCs and blockchain industry experts. 

Demo Day was held on May 7th and was attended by over 150 investors, blockchain community members, students and faculty, with almost all of the Spring 2019 batch teams closing new rounds of funding.  

The Xcelerator leadership team at UC Berkeley looks forward to building on this momentum and welcoming our Fall 2019 batch to the UC Berkeley campus in mid-September with a new set of programs and events that includes participation in San Francisco Blockchain Week and associated Crypto Economics Security Conference and Blockchain Job Fair, the Simons Institute’s Proofs, Consensus, and Decentralizing Society programs, as space allows, and the myriad of other blockchain-related events at Berkeley.

“This is a significant opportunity for a wide variety of blockchain startups, given the breadth of talent and resources available at UC Berkeley and within our network,” says Jocelyn Weber, Xcelerator and X-Labs director at the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, “Berkeley is leading the world in blockchain education, has top engineering, innovation, and business talent, and has premier access to Bay Area and Silicon Valley networks. Teams in the Xcelerator will have many opportunities to advance their ventures here at Berkeley.”

The Xcelerator seeks teams of strong technical and business founders with unique insights into a broad array of verticals who can leverage UC Berkeley’s unique blockchain, leading research university, and Silicon Valley ecosystems to validate their solutions and move forward to market adoption and growth.  If you are one of these teams, apply here!

The Xcelerator is a joint venture by three premier organizations on the UC Berkeley campus: Berkeley Engineering’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, the Haas School of Business, and the Blockchain at Berkeley student group, one of the leading blockchain student groups in the world.  (Further details on all groups can be found below.)

UC Berkeley is the world’s #1 public university and has been at the forefront of innovation in emerging technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrency for over 30 years. The SCET Blockchain X-Lab was established to provide the UC Berkeley community with technical expertise and knowledge resources to develop industry shaping projects for the blockchain space.  

The Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology is a global innovation hub headquartered at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, where aspiring entrepreneurs take deep dives into the world of technology entrepreneurship and embark on the path to developing exciting new ventures. The Center researches emerging technologies in its labs and offers a suite of courses and programs for students, executives, and global innovators. The Center has recently launched new labs focused on innovation in data science, artificial intelligence, blockchain and meat alternatives. Additionally, academics from around the world visit the Center to learn about the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, a unique innovation pedagogy that focuses on mindset training for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Blockchain at Berkeley is the largest university-based ecosystem for blockchain technology that drives innovation by educating the community, conducting protocol-level research, and helping companies benefit from blockchain technology by building and integrating solutions. Blockchain at Berkeley members are comprised of 100+ diverse undergraduate and graduate students from UC Berkeley, with advisors from both industry and academia. Blockchain at Berkeley has designed and taught free, popular for-credit courses about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, with over 70,000 students members signed up online. The Consultancy has trained skilled developers and consultants and built POCs for various Fortune 100 companies. The organization promotes a culture that drives innovation; members have  produced various research projects, some of which have spun into startups such as FourthState, Mechanism Labs, and PartialF.

Within UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative, housed within the Institute for Business & Social Impact in collaboration with the Master of Financial Engineering Program, links to the rich array of expertise, courses, research and other activities related to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments underway across the Berkeley campus. These links include strategic collaborations with Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative. Also joining this effort is the Berkeley Haas Entrepreneurship Program that integrates entrepreneurial thinking into the Haas student experience and assists students in launching new ventures.