EP2: SkyDeck and "Student Startups" + a call-in from Tanthai at Dorm Room Fund


SkyDeck Demo Day + Internship Fair

SkyDeck, Berkeley’s on-campus accelerator, hosted their annual demo day on April 7th. The batch of 17 startups presented in an all-remote setting and consisted of companies like The Hurd Co, a company creating an environmentally-friendly pulp to make clothes from; Humm, manufacturing a patch that goes on your forehead using tACS to help sharpen memory, reading, and problem-solving by ~20%; and NuPort Robotics, a company retrofitting semitrucks with autonomous capabilities. Yahoo! Finance covered all of the presenting companies here. SkyDeck is also hosting an internship fair for prospective students on May 7th — sign up here.

Some unresearched takes that we explored on the show regarded a precedent of moving away from student startups

  • As SkyDeck batches have come and gone, we’ve seen less companies centered around solving common collegiate problems like notetaking, payments, ridesharing, replaced by companies working on disruptive AI, next-generation robotics and even super-sweet strawberries — “are students just burnt out?”
  • We explored the requirements necessary to become a SkyDeck startup and how much it’s worth given it’s slow veer away from fulfilling the role of the Berkeley accelerator

Office Hours with The House

Whether you’re current students or a number of years out of Berkeley, if you’re working on a startup, apply before April 22nd to put some time down with The House, an early stage fund empowering Cal founders.

A Call-in from Tanthai, Head of Design at DRF

In line with last week’s episode on HQ roles at Dorm Room Fund, we got our first call-in from Tanthai Pongstien, who is currently Head of Design at DRF and a current senior at Cal. We talk who Tanthai would be if not for HQ and try to get Brandon to apply — if you think you’d be better fit for the role than him, apply to HQ by April 18th!

Do One Better with Maitri and Gibson

Fast following our first guest, Maitri Shah ‘20 and Gibson Chu ‘20 hopped on for a little bit to talk about their launch of Do One Better, a free resource for sustainable and ethically-produced alternatives to daily-use products. This section of the show was much more dense than we had slotted time for, so we turned it into a bonus episode!

Take a Listen Here »