UC Berkeley Announces Accelerator Program
UC Berkeley has announced on January 28, 2019, that they will be launching a blockchain accelerator program. This adds them to the ever-growing list of universities around the world that are offering courses in blockchain such as New York University and the University of Geneva.
The program will be called the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator and is being funded by the Berkeley X-Lab Fund. The idea behind the program itself was put forward by the Berkeley Engineering’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, the Haas School of Business and Blockchain at Berkeley.
“With such a nascent technology as blockchain, we see that a lot of subject matter experts and people making an impact in the blockchain space are students. Blockchain at Berkeley strives to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in our students, so we are excited to help lead this initiative and assist the next generation of blockchain innovators,” said Gloria Zhao, president of Blockchain at Berkeley, who explained the reason behind the program.
Details About The Program
Considering how lucrative a job in the blockchain field is becoming, and the immense shortage of qualified talent, a program like this would be beneficial for students.
In terms of eligibility, projects from all over the world can enter and the winning entries will receive 12 weeks training, support, and mentorship from entrepreneurs, alumni, faculty, investors, and students. After this is done, a demo day will be held where the final products will be displayed.
The University has the advantage of location as it is located in California, which is home to the global tech center that is silicon valley which also ties into the emerging blockchain industry. This program, however, will not focus solely on theory but will give attention to practical solutions that have use in real-life.
“UC Berkeley, Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area have become the worldwide hub for the development of blockchain technology,” said Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu, founder, and director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. “Currently, there is a lot of hype in the space, but we believe that this new accelerator will give innovators the tools they need to separate hype from reality and pursue ideas that solve pressing business problems and create valuable new ventures.”
The university is also home to Blockchain at Berkeley, which is the largest University-based blockchain ecosystem which is dedicated to blockchain education and has over 100 student members and has gotten over 70,000 sign-ups for their online courses.