Guests Rock the Fall 2019 Emerging Tech and Social Impact Challenge Lab!


January 22, 2020

Disruptive Technolgoy and Social Impact challenge lab

The last couple of blog posts highlighted student projects from the respective Challenge Labs. Instead of doing it in this post, we have this amazing video showcasing outstanding projects from last semester compiled by Justin Wong

The video highlights student video blogs where they ruminate on their entrepreneurship journey, and it also includes clips of their final start-up pitches. We had only featured the top teams and projects, but still ended up with 14 minutes of footage! Thanks to Ripple for assistance with the course, and we always appreciate the partnership with Berkeley Haas School of Business and Blockchain@Berkeley for their help with blockchain content, and mentoring and encouraging students to take the next step and apply to the Blockchain Xcelerator

But the highlight of the semester for me and the folks who filled out the course surveys was the Guest Lecturer and the Guest Speakers we had this semester!

How often do you get a chance to co-teach with a woman who was an executive in Silicon Valley, founded several successful start-ups and then ran for Congress? Not only was Rachel Payne accomplished as fellow co-instructor, but her social impact expertise took the course to another level. And she commuted to teach the course from Los Angeles! Students learned about sustainable development goals, models, theory of change, and how to measure outcomes for their sustainable enterprises powered by emerging technology. 

The list of guest speakers, mostly from Rachel’s network, was equally impressive, and it was one of the most fun components of the course for the students. Real life lessons (successes and bloopers), demos, and lots of stories filled every one of the 12 weeks of instruction. I am highlighting a few of our visitors here:

And did we mention that team Calypso from Fall of 2019 placed third overall In the SCET Collider Cup?! Their start-up working on disrupting the college debt industry got great reviews, and they went on to meet with advisors and investors. Other teams did well, too, and most picked blockchain as their disruptive technology. Immutability and decentralization lend themselves well to the cause of creating a social impact, after all!

A huge thanks to the guests and the teaching team of Rachel Payne, Justin Wong, and Chanel Shum!