CS198: How To Build The Future

Using Startups and Technology to Solve Big Problems

Apply Now!

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.

With Support From:


Class Schedule + Speakers

Classes are on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 8:00PM, the venue is still TBD. The first day of class is on 1/30.

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

Past speakers video and notes are available here.


Homework will be released every Tuesday and due the following Tuesday at the end class.

Course Policies

Course Structure

The course meets once a week on Tuesdays. Each class of the week will feature either an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, or professor to share their experiences and knowledge in a particular area of building a startup.


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 2 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.

Team + Contact


Cathleen Jia

[email protected]

Harika Kalluri

[email protected]

Gurshaan Madan

[email protected]

Zabin Bashar

[email protected]

Thomas Liao

[email protected]

Add @berkeley.edu to e-mails

Advisors: Jimmy Liu, Zuhayeer Musa, Cameron Baradar

Faculty Sponsor: Scott Shenker

Join How To Build The Future!

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

Applications NOW OPEN!