Training the Innovators

Internships, Post-doctoral Fellowships, and Visiting Scholar Appointments in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Recent Graduates with PhD, Masters, and MBA Degrees

This initiative is based on the notion that graduate degree holders with innovative ideas can substantially boost their capacity for transformative impact, commercializing ideas, founding and growing startup companies, creating jobs, and serving as mentors and inspirational role models if they are exposed to the concept and practice of entrepreneurship in world class universities, established companies, startups, and accelerators and incubators in Silicon Valley.

To promote the above objectives, we propose to select and train outstanding graduates with Masters, MBA, and PhD degrees from all disciplines, especially STEM related fields, who are interested in establishing idea intensive businesses. Trainees will be selected through a rigorous online application process, and provided with the opportunity to spend between 6 to 9 months at UC Berkeley, alternating between conceptual training at the Haas School of Business and practical and hands-on training in Silicon Valley. We anticipate 10-20 individuals coming to Berkeley on an annual basis as part of this initiative.

Participants will learn to transform pure and basic research as well as promising ideas into flourishing business enterprises through receiving training on:

  • Surviving the Valley of death—the gap between research discovery and the point in which commercial potential can be demonstrated. Since venture capitalists are unlikely to take the risk at the very early stages of discovery, participants will be instructed on the necessity and mechanisms for finding resources to support themselves while conducting the additional research necessary to transform their basic discoveries into marketable products or services.
  • The legal, regulatory, managerial, business, and marketing practices that are required to make a startup company successful. While at Berkeley, the bulk of their time, effort, and energy will be spent on participating in a set of programs designed to provide education and mentorship on what it will take for them to get their fledgling ideas off the ground, create, and grow new companies.
  • The distinction between as well as the utility of incubators and accelerators and how to select and use them properly and get the most out of them.
  • How to connect with a network of angel and venture capital investors and sell their ideas to them.