Course Description

The University of California, Berkeley, is home to one of the best engineering programs in the world and a world-class athletic program. Cal is also #2 in the world for Venture-Backed Startups (and gaining) among elite universities. This course brings together and harnesses this excellence within an environment where diverse student teams will create technology-driven innovations to shape the future of sports.

Together, multidisciplinary teams of Berkeley Changemakers, future engineers, student-athletes, and students from a variety of majors will engage in active learning through the practice of entrepreneurship in identifying and addressing an issue in the field of sports–such as health and wellness, performance optimization, or Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

Using the Berkeley Method, teams will identify a problem and empathize with a target audience. Then, teams will ideate and develop a Minimum Viable Concept (MVC) for a business solution — potentially leading to an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) they can take to market. All the while, students will gain fundamental industry knowledge, entrepreneurial and changemaking skillsets, and mindsets.

In addition to the above, SportsTech is designed to be a fun, interactive, and dynamic learning experience in which students will thrive and develop life-long professional relationships. The class will allow students to combine their love for sports and technology and gain business experience and insights through developing new products and services that capitalize on technology’s potential to revolutionize the future of sports. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from and consult with industry leaders during their entrepreneurial journey.

As a Challenge Lab course, students will learn about and practice entrepreneurship through the development of their MVC. Additionally, SportsTech is also a Berkeley Changemaker course. So, students will also learn through engagement with Berkeley Changemaker’s three core pillars (the “3 Cs”): Critical Thinking (problem identification and solutioning), Communication (pitching proposed solutions to industry professionals), and Collaboration (leveraging team multidisciplinarity and diversity to advance innovation in sports).

Altogether, the overarching learning objectives of this course are:

  • To think critically and collaborate productively with a multidisciplinary team to create technology-driven innovations and solutions in the sports industry.
  • To communicate effectively about a proposed solution to a panel of industry experts.
  • To develop an entrepreneurial mindset, skillset, and toolset related to generating ideas, creating ventures, and pitching.
  • Research and learn about the business landscape of the sports industry and problems within the field that technology can help address.

So, if you’re a learner that is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship, sports, and technology and want to work with a team of brilliant colleagues to develop a business solution to some of the biggest problems in the industry, then SportsTech is the course for you!

About Challenge Labs

Challenge Labs are 4 unit courses for students of all academic backgrounds who seek a rigorous, interactive, team-based, and hands-on learning experience in entrepreneurship and technology. These courses use a unique pedagogy, The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, that involves the use of games, industry guest speakers, team exercises, videos and labs to cover the early part of the startup lifecycle. In these highly experiential courses, students form start-up teams to create technology solutions or services to address a broadly-defined problem posed by an industry partner or social challenge.


Headshot Christyna Serrano 2

Christyna Serrano

Dr. Christyna Serrano is an accomplished educator and entrepreneur specializing in learning innovation and technology. She’s a “triple bear” having received her BA, MA, and PhD from Cal. She now holds professional faculty appointments at UC Berkeley, in the Haas School of Business, Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET) in the College of Engineering, and, finally, at the Berkeley School of Education. As a faculty member, Dr. Serrano teaches courses from Critical Studies in Education to EdTech & Entrepreneurship, SportsTech: Entrepreneurship and the Future of Sports, and The Berkeley Changemaker Gateway.

When she’s not teaching at Cal (Go Bears!), she works as the Director of Early Career Online Business Education at the Graduate School of Business (GSB) at Stanford University and is a representative for Executive Education on the GSB’s DEI Council. Dr. Serrano also serves as the Director of Learning Innovation & Technology with Conectado, Inc, a new model for Latino inclusion in tech and the future of work via a digital Web 3 multiverse, or “Conectado-Verse.” Conectado is a virtual destination that brings together a community of, educational institutions, social impact organizations, and corporations to increase representation of Latinx and historically excluded groups in the tech field.

Dr. Christyna Serrano is a board member of two organizations – DECODE and Zick Learn – that focus on entrepreneurship education and adult learning, respectively. She guides customer learning pathways and user experience design in both cases.

Finally, Dr. Serrano is the founder of Critically Conscious Design, LLC, which creates educational programming that develops change agents for entrepreneurship and the future of education and work. Her current project involves the development of a gamified entrepreneurship curriculum for middle school students, which is being delivered at Astra Nova School, born on the SpaceX campus and now fully online. She is also working on a financial literacy curriculum for middle school students for delivery in Spring 2023.