20 startups got a chance to pitch at the largest-ever Berkeley SkyDeck demo day.
Launched in 2012 as a modest accelerator for student-run businesses, SkyDeck has flourished since its inception. To date, the program has mentored 300 startups, which have gone on to raise $800 million via 27 funding rounds and 10 acquisition deals.
SkyDeck works with two cohorts of companies per year for six months each. apart from the mentorship and the chance to pitch their ideas to potential investors, startups will receive $100,000 seed funding in exchange for 5 percent equity. This will be the second batch of startups receiving funding – a practice that began earlier this year.
To participate in SkyDeck’s accelerator program, startups must have at least one founding member attending any of the University of California campuses as an undergraduate or graduate student. Faculty members are also able to apply. Executive director Caroline Winnet said they plan to invest half that fund’s profits back into the university.
The biggest success stories from SkyDeck include Lime, the bike- and scooter-sharing startup, Kiwi Campus, a robotics startup focused on last-mile delivery, and TDK-acquired Chirp Microsystem.
The twenty startups that pitched their ideas are:-
- Bungee: Led by three former Amazon employees, Bungee helps e-commerce businesses mine geo-specific data to create a recommendation engine for price, promotions and inventory.
- Chameleon Biosciences: A startup focused on revolutionizing gene therapy to treat rare diseases.
- CoolJamm: An automated music producer and recommendation engine that uploads directly to YouTube.
- DropEx: A business networking app and relationship management system.
- Eye Level.AI: Founded by a group of former IBM Watson employees, Eye Level.AI provides an analytics-driven platform to assist chatbot owners to monetize current users and attract new ones.
- Empire Biotechnologies: The company is developing therapies for gastrointestinal issues, specifically short bowel syndrome. Empire’s drug is used to control the absorption of nutrients through the digestive system.
- Humm: A developer of wearable cognitive performance enhancement hardware created by a group of researchers at the University of Western Australia.
- Peanut Robotics: The startup’s consumer-facing robot can grip household items to assist with cleaning at hotels, offices and airports.
- Perfect Dashboard: An AI-powered online marketplace for connecting SaaS products to small businesses.
- PredictEV: Focused on the sports and esports market, PredictEV is a blockchain-powered social network for fans to bet on sports with cryptocurrency.
- Predictim: An AI-powered platform that accesses a person’s trust and reliability. The purpose is to eliminate risk for members of the sharing economy. Basically, it will help you figure out if your dog-walker is a murderer.
- Researchably: Targeting medical research, pharma sales and outreach teams, the startup provides a research-based medical advice system.
- Seamless Microsystems: Designs and manufactures semiconductor chips for consumer medical imaging, 5G networking LIDAR in autonomous driving and more.
- SimpleDataLabs: The creator of Prophecy, a predictive analytics platform focused on business analysts and executives.
- Skyloom: The company wants to improve space-to-Earth communications and unlock “the true economic potential of low Earth orbit” with its spaceborne infrastructure.
- Snipfeed: With 44,000 weekly active users, Snipfeed helps Generation Z mobile users avoid misinformation online with its AI-powered news and information recommendation engine.
- SoftRides: Using AI and a smartphone’s image sensor to detect distracted driving behavior and alert you in real time.
- The SMBX: A provider of a mobile marketplace that connects small businesses with people interested in investing in them.
- ThinkCyte: The company has invented new imaging technology combined with machine learning, called Ghost Cytometry, to analyze and isolate cells for drug discovery, cell therapy and clinical diagnostics.
- Triton: A software platform that helps media companies tailor content to each individual reader or viewer. Triton is currently running pilots with Vanity Fair and The CW.