You are here
Post-Doc Program Helps Bring Research to Market
Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneur Program (BPEP) was created by, and for, postdocs at UC Berkeley. The group fosters entrepreneurship in the UC Berkeley postdoctoral community, making healthy collaborations within the University of California community to move innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace.
They aim to:
- Provide postdocs with an entrepreneurship toolkit.
- Collaborate with local business leaders to foster mentoring.
- Assist in the building of (bio-)technology start-up companies.
- Provide an information platform bridging technology and commercialization.
- Assemble cross-disciplinary teams (scientists and MBAs) to compete in the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition (Bplan).
In November 2010, as post-doc Naresh Sunkara was working to launch a startup based on his research, he came up with the idea of establishing an organization aimed at fostering entrepreneurship in Berkeley's postdoctorate community. WIth the support of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) office, he collaborated to set up an advisory board of faculty members from UC Berkeley, QB3, and the Berkeley Haas Entrepreneurship Program (formerly Lester Center for Entrepreneurship.) In April 2011, fellow postdocs, Justin Elstrott, Fenna Sillé and Xiaoqi Feng, who shared the same values and ambition, joined him to run the program. In January 2012, Bahram Bahrami and Niranjana Nagarajan joined the BPEP committee, and with the expansion of the team, BPEP has been able to extend its base, launching a website to serve as a portal to the entrepreneurial resources on campus and hosting intensive workshops as well as informational seminars.
BPEP alumni have started a number of companies, with many of them succesfully joining prestigious incubators.
BPEP has been a great resource for me as I embark on my own entrepreneurial adventure. Since spring of 2015 I have attended multiple BPEP organized events, including: “Ph.D. to Startup Workshop”, “Government Funding for Your Startup”, “How to Raise Seed/Angel Money for Early Stage Startups”, “Basics of Starting a Company: How to Pick Co-founders and a Team”, and “Bench to Market: Idea Evaluation and Commercialization for Product Market Fit”. The events were all well organized with excellent panelists and ample time for audience participation and networking. Insights from these events have helped smooth my transition from postdoc to entrepreneur with government funding. I strongly encourage anyone with even the slightest interest in entrepreneurship to attend a BPEP event. - Peter Frischmann
Here are a few of the startups whose founder swere empowered by what they learned during BPEP workshops :
- X-Therma (Mark Kline and Xiaxi Wei) - Patrick Soon-Shiong award
- Angilytics (Xiaoding Zhuo) - Haas School of Business' LAUNCH, 2016 cohort
- Nosocom Solutions (Naresh Sunkara, UC Berkeley) - The Foundry@CITRIS, 2016 cohort
- Nelumbo (Lance Brockway, UC Berkeley) - Cleantech to Market, 2016 cohort
- Sepion Technologies (Peter Frischmann, LBNL) - Cyclotron Road, 2016 cohort
- Synvivia (Gabriel Lopez)
The talks by entrepreneur speakers gave me a lot of information on best practices and lessons learned from their experience, which are really helpful for me to assess my next steps and avoid making mistakes. I also made a lot of great connections with fellow entrepreneurs, who gave me inspirations and useful contacts. - Xioading Zhuo