UC Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator Marks 3 Years & Calls for 2022 Cohort Applicants— January 2022 Update
As we approach our three year anniversary, we are excited to share with you our progress and vision for the future for the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, a partnership formed by the Blockchain at Berkeley student club, Berkeley Engineering, and our Haas School of Business.
Non-dilutive, mission-focused, #1 —
First and foremost, we continue to uniquely operate as a non-dilutive, education-focused accelerator, attracting the highest quality teams that often would not otherwise join an accelerator or give up equity for a small investment.
Our mission is simply to provide education and opportunity creation for our students and the entrepreneurs from around the world who join us. No UC Berkeley affiliation is required.
We provide this accelerator as a platform and hub to connect people globally, to responsibly move this technology forward, and to create the most skilled talent pipeline with the best innovators in the world.
We also bring to our teams the international recognition of UC Berkeley, recently ranked as the #1 university in the US for blockchain and the #1 university in the US overall, including the many top-ranked disciplines across Berkeley Law, the Haas School Business, Berkeley Engineering and the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation.
Our blockchain ranking was accomplished through the efforts of many, including our notable faculty and their research, our #1 student club Blockchain at Berkeley (founded in 2016), the Xcelerator (founded January 2019), and groundbreaking curriculum, such as the open-sourced DeFi MOOC that has taught hundreds of Berkeley students & thousands in more in over 30 countries with in-depth DeFi instruction & fireside chats with the founders of Curve, Electric Capital, Circle, Forte and more here.
$400+m follow-on funding —
The Xcelerator has received over 600 applications in the last three years and has had the pleasure of working with 65 teams in 4 cohorts from every part of the world, including 5 student-led teams. Those teams have gone on to raise over $400 million in follow-on funding.
While COVID pushed all of our programming online and took away the in-person collaboration we greatly missed, we connected on Slack and Zoom over the past 2 years and still built deep relationships / partnerships with both our 2020 and 2021 cohorts — it was truly a paradigm shift to see all we accomplished virtually! With many founders from all 4 cohorts, we are still in touch on a weekly basis in our Xcelerator & Blockchain at Berkeley Slack, sharing their news & wins on our Twitter, and inviting them to speak in our courses.
We were also fortunate to close the 2021 programming in November with an in-person VIP Happy Hour in San Francisco, a lunch at the UC Berkeley Faculty Club, and a hybrid Demo Day on the beautiful Chou Hall top floor. While not promoted publicly, Demo Day drew over 200 students and investors in-person and almost 100 virtual attendees. The event also featured a Career Fair where our teams and sponsors could recruit talent at Berkeley and in our networks. More info on the 2021 Demo Day here and to request our YouTube recording and team decks, visit us here.
The future —
And, we are excited about the prospects for the future. At Demo Day, UC Berkeley’s Prof. Dawn Song previewed the new Berkeley Center for Responsible, Decentralized Intelligence — RDI. Berkeley RDI will have three pillars — research, education, and community/entrepreneurship, and the Xcelerator will be part of the community/entrepreneurship pillar. Through our partnership with RDI, we look forward to increasing the resources for our teams with greater mentoring, expanded hybrid programming, including research-related events, and curated connections to investors, partners, and user communities.
Thank you…..we greatly appreciate the Communities & VCs who have funded our teams, the many mentors who have donated their time, the students from Blockchain at Berkeley who lead so much of this effort as Fellows and co-directors, and the many people that have participated in our community events and programming.
And, we are honored to have worked with the amazing teams that have been part of our 4 cohorts — SP19, FA19, 2020 and 2021 — over the past three years — we have learned so much from each other, and we will continue to do so as we create the future!
We invite any blockchain startup around the world doing groundbreaking, innovative work to apply here and join us at UC Berkeley for the 2022 Xcelerator Cohort! Happy New Year!