The entrepreneurial spirit is thriving at UC Berkeley. Rich Lyons, the Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer at UC Berkeley, led a fireside chat addressing entrepreneurship at Berkeley along with tips and recommendations for future entrepreneurial leaders. During the event, Dr. Lyons shared Berkeley’s recent #2 ranking for entrepreneurship by PitchBook.

According to Dr. Lyons, Berkeley has seen immense growth in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Dr. Lyons laid out seven advances in entrepreneurship at Cal, including the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH). This on-campus building converges the life sciences with physical, engineering, and data sciences. BBH is designed to facilitate the growth of new ideas by providing the environment and equipment for innovators to build connections. 

Other advancements include launching the A. Richard Newton Changemaker Series. In collaboration with the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship, this course invites industry speakers to share insights on industry developments, leadership, and innovation with UC Berkeley students. 

Dr. Lyons spoke heavily about ecosystem integration, mentioning the Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center (LSEC). The LSEC complements the other advances in entrepreneurship by focusing on the commercialization of life sciences discoveries, supporting the move from concept to company. Another pillar of ecosystem integration is through the Berkeley Research Infrastructure Commons (RIC), allowing industry collaboration on research facilities and services to conduct new product R&D in faculty labs temporarily. 

A final highlight shared was the Bakar Fellows Program. Designed to foster entrepreneurship collaboration, Bakar Fellows unites STEM by providing research support to translate their discoveries and innovations into commercial solutions. The fireside chat concluded with an intimate Q&A ranging from startup funding and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.