Steps to launch a startup: 1. problem 2. Idea / discovery 3. Build a team 4. Prototype 5. Pitch to investors 6. Scale 7. Impact

Assembly instructions

7 steps to building a business at Berkeley

May 1, 2017 by Keith Mcaleer
This article appeared in Berkeley Engineer magazine, Spring 2017

In January, with state bill AB-2664, the State of California awarded Berkeley $2.2 million to boost innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.

According to a 2016 report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, companies affiliated with the University of California have created more than 38,000 jobs and added over $20 billion in value to California’s economy. At Berkeley alone, 536 students have launched 468 companies since 2010 — by far the most of any public university and second overall.

So what is Berkeley’s secret? For starters, the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship out of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Silicon Valley industry challenges, alumni mentorship, SkyDeck and CITRIS Foundry acceleration and incubation, access to world-class faculty and students and labs such as the CITRIS Invention Lab and the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation — all have helped aspiring inventors leverage Berkeley’s startup ecosystem while their ideas gain traction.

While there is no one way to launch a startup at Berkeley — every entrepreneur’s journey is different — there are common steps, as Oski demonstrates.


Maker spaces

  • Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation
  • CITRIS Invention Lab
  • Etcheverry Machine Shop
  • Marvell NanoLab
  • Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center


New venture education

  • Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology
  • Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership
  • Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology Program
  • Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program
  • Blum Center Social Innovator OnRamp
  • Startup @ BerkeleyLaw



  • Big Ideas at Berkeley
  • SCET Colliders
  • Cal Hacks
  • Learn2Launch

Accelerators & incubators

  • SkyDeck
  • CITRIS Foundry
  • Bay Area NSF Innovation Corps
  • Cleantech to Market
  • QB3

Student groups

  • Free Ventures
  • Sigma Eta Pi
  • Venture Strategy Solutions
  • Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association

Alumni networks

  • Cal Founders
  • Berkeley Founders Pledge
  • Berkeley Startup Network

Venture capital

  • AB-2664 UC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Expansion
  • Berkeley Angel Network
  • House Fund
  • Dorm Room Fund


  • Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA)
  • Office of Technology Licensing (OTL)
  • Berkeley Post-doc Entrepreneurship Program (BPEP)
See for more information about the Berkeley entrepreneurship ecosystem.