The Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology officially opened its doors on Friday, August 26th. Students, faculty, and a wide range of contributors and executives gathered to celebrate the long-awaited inauguration of the Center.
Special guests included long-standing supporters and friends of the SCET Pantas Sutardja and Ting Chuk, the the Dean of the College of Engineering Shankar Sastry, and the international academics, researchers and entrepreneurs present on the Berkeley faculty that represent the success of the Center’s Global Partnerships Program.
Dean Sastry was the first one to take the podium. “The risks to innovate and change people’s lives, and take the necessary risks for doing so is at the heart of what it means to be an engineer”. Sastry spoke of a vision shared by many in the audience who believe in the power building a bridge between in-classroom learning and pragmatic applications.
Appropriately, the development of the Berkeley method of entrepreneurship was the axis that guided the conversation last Friday. According to Founding Director Ikhlaq Sidhu, entrepreneurs must hold the right combination of theoretical foundations and real-world experience in order to be able to make a tangible and sustainable impact.
This is the vision that the Sutardja Center embodies and that has grown since Dean Richard Newton and Ikhlaq Sidhu laid the foundation for this initiative eleven years ago. It all started with only one course to engineering undergraduates; now, students not only have the ability to learn and practice entrepreneurship by enrolling in classes that range from product management to data analytics, but are also given the opportunity to shape the vision and purpose of the Center itself by joining its rapidly growing team. This is the global technology powerhouse that overlooks the Berkeley campus from its new location at Cal’s Memorial Stadium while keeping innovation close to its core at the College of Engineering.
The SCET is now at the center stage of a period of renewed potential. This made its Grand Opening feel like a two-fold celebration: the welcoming of a brand new chapter, and the reward for the talent and effort of everyone that has brought it this far.