We were proud to honor our outgoing cohort of Startup Semester students at their graduation ceremony, held on Friday, May 8, 2020. Our Spring 2020 cohort features 18 students, hailing from 5 different countries. The event highlighted short speeches by three participants — Anushka Purohit, Anupam Tiwari and Anant Mishra — who reflected on their classes, Startup Semester, and their overall experience as UC Berkeley students. 

In addition to the masters of ceremonies, SCET’s director for Global Academic Programs, David Law, and the Global Programs Coordinator, Ricardo Rodriguez, the program also included remarks by SCET Chief Scientist & Faculty Director, Ikhlaq Sidhu, Chief Learning Officer & Managing Director, Ken Singer, Director of Global Engagement, Susan Giesecke, and Lecturer and Industry Fellow, Rick Rasmussen. The SCET leadership team was able to lend words of wisdom about the challenges and opportunities surfaced by COVID-19, share thoughts about the program, and advise the outgoing class on the importance of “paying it forward.” 


Participating students and universities in our Spring 2020 Startup Semester class include: 

1. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in China

Anushka Purohit

Anushka was part of a team that developed a COVID-19 tracking app near the beginning of the pandemic. Her team was a finalist at SCET’s flagship end-of-semester competition — the Collider Cup — with the real state accessibility project “Real Deal.” Anushka also completed Form+Fund from Berkeley Law. Read more about Anushka's experience in this reflection article.

2. Ruprecht-Karls University, Heidelberg in Germany

Sophie Wohlbier

Sophie’s team was a finalist at SCET’s flagship end-of-semester competition — the Collider Cup — for their project “Tamarin,” which was focused on on-demand liquidity. “Tamarin” was born in the Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge Lab

3. Ulsan National Institute for Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea

HyeYeun Chu and SangJung Moon.

4. Aalto University in Finland

Henrik Helenius and Johannes Salmisaari.

Henrik and Johannes spearheaded a project called “Droppe.fi,” a start-up which uses efficient supply-chain interactions to reallocate health and hygiene resources to those who need it most. Through this initiative, they were able to reallocate millions of COVID-19 health supplies. Both students also completed the Step program and Form+Fund from Berkeley Law.

5. SRM University, Chennai and Amaravati, India

Anant Mishra, Abrar Syed, Anupam Tiwari, Jahangir Abbas, Rishvanth Katragadda, Jaideep Cherukuri, Sajan Kumar, Padma Teja, Neel Desai, Sagun Suryavanshi and Seeram Gopinath.

Anupam was part of a team that developed a COVID-19 tracking app near the beginning of the pandemic. His team was a finalist at SCET’s flagship end-of-semester competition — the Collider Cup — with the real state accessibility project “Real Deal.” Jaideep and Sagun were part of a winning hackathon team during their stint as Startup Semester students, while Sreeram completed Form+Fund from Berkeley Law

6. From Study Abroad Foundation and previously studying Visual Arts in New York

Shu-Han (Felix) Ho

SUS Spring Graduation 2020 1

Our impressive cohort of global students also penned descriptive blog posts about their experiences, as part of the Startup Semester “Silicon Valley Immersion” class. 

“If one aims to build a multi-million dollar company then this is definitely the place to be. No matter what background we’re coming from or at what stage of life we’re currently at. We just need to have that thriving passion in us, rest assured we’ll be driven along the way of advancing our idea/vision from stage 0 to 1. I was just a sophomore student with few technical skills prior to this program and I can arguably say things have completely pivoted after being a part of this, it has definitely groomed me to be a better person in this competitive world,” wrote Jaideep Cherukuri. 

Read more about his experience here

“I would say that spending a semester at Berkeley is a once in a lifetime opportunity which one shouldn’t miss if given a chance. You would be surprised about your capabilities and the extent to which you can push yourself to get things done. You get to meet amazing professors and students, you get to be a part of amazing clubs and communities and you get to learn and experience different ways and methods which would surely help you in your future endeavors,” wrote Sai Rishvanth Katragadda.

Read the complete blog post here.  

People here don’t just believe in what you say until they try and apply their knowledge, skills to prove another person wrong. And I see this as a great thing as it creates a space for innovation and crazy ideas. And I think this is the reason why most of the start-ups which start from here end up being either acquired by a big company or become a big company to acquire start-ups from UCB “Your friendly neighborhood Silicon Valley,” wrote Sajan Kumar.

Click here to read the full Medium post. 

Congratulations to the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Startup Semester Spring 2020 class!