The Berkeley InSITE chapter is up and running. Our first class of fellows is comprised of 21 graduate students from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences that includes management consulting, investment banking, tech, startups, law, biotech, non-profits, and marketing.
Our companies – all Berkeley based – also exhibit the wide range of research and entrepreneurship so representative of the Bay area;
WeFinance: Social money lending platform focused on the borrower’s social network
SimpleButNeeded (SBN): Mobile tracking technology used to perform key activities such as tracking assets, inspections, and other safety / compliance requirements for labs.
Convo: Project Management software that distills the most effective enterprise social networks, task manager / project management / productivity apps for agile software teams.
Kuveda: Big data analytics web tool for evidence based cancer treatment recommendations using a patients unique molecular profile.
Having started in January (Spring semester) our inaugural class of fellows was tasked with completing a “super-project” for their clients, timed for only one semester. Our 5 teams of ~5 have been fiercely working to learn their clients and their clients’ products, scope their projects, and hit the ground running as far as deliverables go. All teams, despite not a few challenges, have been successful in establishing a good open channel of communication with their clients and most importantly have been working to keep all team members engaged.
The Berkeley chapter emphasizes 3 principles: Professionalism, Cohesiveness and Collaboration. We try to work with our fellows on a weekly basis, to help them through their projects and any challenges presented by the client or the team. We encourage the teams to help each other as much as possible, since we believe the transfer of knowledge between our fellows will enrich them and be their greatest takeaway from this experience. And we emphasize the importance of a good project experience for the fellows above all else.
In addition to the projects, we’ve had the opportunity to host a happy hour where fellows had the opportunity to hear from InSITE Board Chairman Paul Tumpowski about his experience as an InSITE fellow and entrepreneur.
A number of the Berkeley and Stanford fellows also participated in a Mock Term Sheet negotiation hosted by InSITE alum Owen Kirshner at offices of Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe.
The Berkeley InSITE chapter, fits in next to a wide range of entrepreneurial activity on campus; from courses like Steve Blank’s Lean Launch Pad, Toby Stuart’s Entrepreneurship, Drew Isaacs’ Opportunity Recognition and Whitney Hischier’s Start-Up Lab to organizations like The Foundry, Skydeck, HVF, BEA and many others.
We look forward to benefiting the program from these collaborations and leveraging the rich startup and VC ecosystem here in Berkeley and across the Bay Area as InSITE grows on the west coast.