A group of UC Berkeley students are launching a new program to help health-tech entrepreneurship flourish on their own campus. Dubbed Catalyst@Berkeley, this student-led incubator program is already looking to recruit applicants for its first batch of health-enthusiastic entrepreneurs.
For the duration of a semester, student teams selected for the program will get free education, guidance, resources and mentoring needed for them to build a function prototype, which is a key goal for Catalyst's founders. Aside from "winning teams," the Catalyst will also select four or five promising students who are expected to eventually join existing teams, keeping the opportunity open even to those who might not have a team at the time of the application process.
Teams selected for the program will get free education, guidance, resources and mentoring needed for them to build a function prototype.Once accepted, the student entrepreneurs will be talking to a bunch of people to help them vet and hone in on their ideas before the building process begins. Then a three-unit DeCal class begins, integrating Steve Blank's Lean Launchpad and Idea to IPO courses, Stanford's Biodesign program, and UC Berkeley CET's Method of Entrepreneurship curriculum.
Also as part of the program, each team will get at least $1,000 to help with prototyping and supplies costs. This, according to one of the Catalyst founders, is because they want to see teams coming out of the program with a working prototype and perhaps even a patent (IP).
The program is promising and seems in the right industry at the right time. It has also managed to garner some great advisors, including Divya Nag, who co-founded StartX Med and recently joined Apple to work on health-related initiatives; and Mike Cassidy, a Google X director, among others. Catalyst is also partnering with The Foundry@Citris.
The Catalyst@Berkeley was co-founded by Zach Zeleznick, Taner Dagdelen, Ashish Nag, Sivan Marcus, Deepika Bhatnagar, and Ori Hoxha.