Build The Future

Using Startups and Technology to Solve Big Problems, Hosted by The House, in Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Learn More!

Hosted and Sponsored By:

What is this?

There’s no better place to explore building a startup than during your time as a student at UC Berkeley. Surrounded by ambitious & talented people and industry leading professors, there’s endless potential to create the next big thing. This course is designed to teach and inspire students to use their knowledge to build startups. We will be going over the basic building blocks of a successful startup and connect this knowledge to emerging fields. In addition, we will be providing an overview of the startup scene at Berkeley, pointing out resources ready to help students get a headstart.

Looking to take How To Build The Future in Fall 2017? Sign up here.

With Additional Support From:

Class Schedule + Speakers

The class will start in February at Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai hall, and be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8:30PM. The first day of class is Thursday Feb. 16th.

Auditing policy: Seats are reserved for registered students but empty seats will be filled in on a first come first serve basis.

Week Of Tuesday Thursday
2/13/2017 No Class Jeremy Fiance
Founder, The House, Forbes 30u30
2/20/17 2/21/17
Jason Wang
Founder, Caviar
Joseph Hellerstein
Professor, EECS, Founder, Trifacta
2/27/17 2/28/17
Holly Liu
Founder, Kabam
Amy Herr
Professor, Bioengineering, Herrlab
Kelly Gardner
Ph.D Bioengineering, MIT Top Innovator Under 35
3/06/17 3/7/17
Justin Kan
Cofounder of Twitch, Zero-F
Kurt Keutzer
Professor, EECS UC Berkeley
3/13/17 3/14/17
Jack McCauley
Cofounder, Oculus

Peter Boyce
General Catalyst Partners
Ryan Petersen, Sean Linehan
Co-founder + Director of Product Flexport
3/20/17 3/21/17
Marc Tarpenning
CoFounder, Tesla Motors
CITRIS Foundry
On Campus Startup Incubator
4/3/17 4/4/17
Jessica Mah
Founder, inDinero
Panel with Josh Elman
Partner, Greylock Partners

4/10/17 4/11/17
Kevin Hartz
Founder of Eventbrite, Founders Fund Partner

Free Ventures
On Campus Startup Incubator
4/17/17 4/19/17
Wednesday, 2:30 - 4:00PM
Vinod Khosla
Cofounder, Sun Microsystems, Khosla Ventures

Joseph Gonzales
Professor, EECS, Cofounder, Turi
4/24/17 4/25/17
Maran Nelson
Cofounder & CEO, Clara Labs
Shervin Pishevar
Cofounder Hyperloop One
Cofounder Sherpa Capital

Course Policies

Course Structure

The course meets twice a week. The first class of the week will feature an entrepreneur to share their experiences and knowledge in a particular area of building a startup. The second class of the week will tie that content into an emerging field that has high potential for disruption or introduce students to a startup resource on campus.


Assignments will include preparing well-drafted and insightful questions for each speaker on a weekly basis. Each homework will be worth 1 point and in order to pass the class, you must have at least 7 points by the end of the semester. There will also be a short paper (2 pages) at the end of the semester based on student’s comprehension of articles (i.e. Paul Graham’s Essays)


Attendance is mandatory and will be taken every class period. In the case of an absence, please notify us ahead of time; you can also keep up with the speaker series online as we’ll likely record them. Students with more than a total of 4 absences will be failed.


Grading will be based on attendance (30%), assignments (50%), course evaluation (10%), and paper (10%). Students must receive above 70% in the class in order to receive a Pass.


The class will have required articles for reading (will be disbursed later). These articles will be used to complete the written paper.

Outside of articles for the paper, there is no required reading in this class. We do have a couple of recommended books:

  • Zero to One (Peter Thiel)
  • The Hard Things about Hard Things (Ben Horowitz)
  • Hackers and Painters (Paul Graham)

Required Materials

A computer with internet access is required to complete assignment. If a student is unable to access a computer we will also take assignments on paper on a case by case basis.

About The Class

Build the Future is student run DeCal class founded by Jimmy Liu and Zuhayeer Musa. We started the class to serve as an important bridge for more students to explore entrepreneurial pathways. While there are a lot of entrepreneurial resources available at Berkeley, there is no easy introduction to the startup scene and we hope our course will pave the road for future founders.

We are hosted and sponsored by The House, a startup institute built for Berkeley, and home to Berkeley’s founders. The House helps build foundations for great businesses with a support platform providing founders at all stages with what they need, when they need it.

Founding Team + Contact

Facilitators and Founding Team:

Jimmy Liu


Zuhayeer Musa


Jon Khaykin


David Bui


Saad Khan


Add to e-mails

Faculty Sponsor: Scott Shenker

Special Thanks: Camaron Baradar, Nish Budhraja, Jeremy Fiance, Daniella Wenger, Jeffrey Wang, Blake Lafayette

Join How To Build The Future!

Admission to class is granted on a rolling basis until first day of class and we'll be in touch details on how to enroll

Applications closed