Berkeley SkyDeck Europe opens applications for startups

Berkeley SkyDeck Europe, Milano has now opened the application for its upcoming acceleration program for European startups. The program was launched by UC Berkeley SkyDeck (the accelerator of the University of California, Berkeley), the Italian innovation hub Cariplo Factory, and the international real estate, infrastructure, and urban regeneration group Lendlease, and and is financially supported by the Cariplo Foundation and the Lombardy Region. SkyDeck Europe, now at its fifth edition, will take place in Berkeley and in SkyDeck’s first European headquarters, in Milan, Italy, at the Milano Innovation District (MIND).

New acceleration program with SkyDeck Europe

In line with Berkeley SkyDeck’s focus, SkyDeck Europe also centers its search for innovative solutions in aerospace, cybersecurity, B2B software as a service, enterprise software, fintech, generative AI, greentech, healthtech. Applications will be accepted through February 14th

Berkeley SkyDeck, Cariplo Factory, and Lendlease will select up to 10 startups that will have the opportunity to enter one of the best accelerators globally and have access to the 6-month acceleration program that will start in early May.

The program’s first quarter will be curated by the Berkeley SkyDeck team: startups will have the opportunity to participate both in-person – at Berkeley SkyDeck’s USA headquarters – and virtually. Its second quarter will be curated by the Cariplo Factory team and will take place both virtually and in-presence at MIND.

Each startup will be supported by 3 mentors (two from Europe and one from the United States), will have access to an international network of investors, and will be trained on fundamental topics such as go to market, product development and fundraising activities.

The program’s second quarter will offer the resources and networks of some of the best Italian Universities, selected through a tender by Cariplo Foundation. The Universities that will take part in the program are: Milan Polytechnic University, University of Milan, IULM Free University of Languages and Communication, University of Eastern Piedmont “Amedeo Avogadro”, University of Insubria, University Institute of Higher Studies of Pavia, and University of Bergamo.

Among the benefits of the coming cohort, each startup will receive an investment of €145,000 by the investment fund that is linked to the program and will have the opportunity to present their project to a network of international investors during a Demo Day in October.

This will be the fifth batch for SkyDeck Europe. In over two years, the program has received 2,578 application requests from all over the world and has supported the growth of 36 startups from Argentina, Armenia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK, USA. To date, these startups have received 5,2 million euros by the program and over 4 million euros from other investors and grants.

The goal of SkyDeck Europe’s acceleration program is to accompany the growth of startups over the years 2022-2024 and to connect them with qualified financial operators that can support them with equity investments. Indeed, SkyDeck Europe, created with the contribution of Lombardy Region and Cariplo Foundation, aims at shaping a strong European ecosystem of innovative companies.

On the one hand, this project’s objective is to improve research through the integration of methodologies and best practices, thanks to the collaboration of the University of California, Berkeley. On the other, it aims at strengthening the local ecosystem by pooling the skills of universities and local incubators through a model of widespread collaboration.

“When we established SkyDeck Europe, it was in the hopes of creating a program that would be the top European accelerator for world-changing startups, said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of Berkeley SkyDeck.”We are proud to continue supporting startups from around the world and look forward to evaluating this latest batch of applications to find the companies with the highest potential to change their industries or even the world.”

“We can only be very satisfied with the results of SkyDeck Europe, as after two years and five editions, its acceleration program has become an institution in the European and international innovation ecosystem, and is attracting ever higher quality companies – stated Anders Nilsson, SkyDeck Europe Program Leader at Cariplo Factory. – Our ambition is to keep growing: in the coming months we’ll keep widening our network in order to bring startups to market even more effectively.”

“We are thrilled with the results obtained by Berkeley SkyDeck Europe, which today reaches the fifth call for startups also thanks to the support of Lendlease. A unique acceleration path, which confirms the attractiveness of the MIND ecosystem for European and Italian innovation” commented Andrea Ruckstuhl, CEO Lendlease Europe.

“The SkyDeck project, which is innovative and projected into the future, is proving to be successful. Furthermore, the results that have been achieved so far prove the strength of the Lombardy ecosystem, which is capable of attracting, through this programme, both investments and young innovative ideas from all over the world. Ideas that become businesses, ideas that become assets for our supply chains. SkyDeck is a successful challenge that we reconfirm so that our territory will be fertile soil for the future” added Guido Guidesi, Councilor for Economic Development of the Lombardy Region.

SkyDeck Europe has proven to attract the attention of many talents who, thanks to their skills and ambitions, are contributing to the development of MIND and our territory in general – commented Carlo Mango, Director of the Scientific and Technological Research Area of the Cariplo Foundation. – This project demonstrates that the Italian research and innovation ecosystems can be attractive for European and international startups, also thanks to the fact that they can interact with local companies and universities.”

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