Challenge Lab Finals

Kaitlen Nguyen   |   November 29, 2016

On Monday December 5th, students at the University of California, Berkeley will make their final startup presentations as part of “Challenge Lab” courses offered by the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology.  The student teams were challenged by industry leaders to tackle the problem of affordable clean energy, the refugee crisis, and growing demands for big data. 

This semester, Challenge Lab courses were taught by Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology Managing Director, Ken Singer, and Industry Fellow and Investor Mehdi Maghsoodnia–both startup veterans and Berkeley alums.


Ken Singer & student sharing team-building exercise during IEOR 185 class

Challenge Lab is unique because its competition-based format encourages students to solve complex problems for real industry clients. These challenges include how to use Big Data in startups, make green energy affordable, and alleviate the refugee crisis in Lesvos, Greece.

On Monday, interdisciplinary student teams will be pitch their ideas to industry clients (including the U.S. State Department and Google) and investors. Then, the winning teams will work with various partners across Silicon Valley in order to bring their startup ideas to life. As part of the Lesvos Challenge Lab, students will travel to Lesvos, Greece to implement their winning idea to alleviate the current refugee crisis and bolster the economy. Winners of the Clean Energy and Big Data Challenges will receive support from the U.S. Department of State or $15,000, respectively, to pursue their ideas. Students from previous years have leverage the competition to launch successful businesses such as Eko Devices, Twindom, and Lily.
Eko Devices, past Challenge Lab participants

The competition is open to the public, and the community is invited to attend starting at 10 a.m. on December 5th at the Banatao Auditorium at Sutardja Dai Hall.
Monday, December 5
Banatao Auditorium at Sutardja Dai Hall
Data Analytics Lab: 10AM
Clean Energy Lab: 12:30PM
Social Entrepreneurship Lab: 2PM