Startup incubator Skydeck wins Catalyst Award

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Skydeck, an incubator for Cal startup businesses, won the Catalyst Award from the East Bay Economic Development Alliance last month.

Skydeck aims to help startups run by UC Berkeley affiliates move from the idea phase to realization by providing them with resources such as office space so that they can remain in the community and benefit the local economy.

“Berkeley Skydeck received a Catalyst Award for its city, university, and private business partnership,” read a statement from East Bay EDA. “It was also recognized for its commitment to support start-ups.”

Launched last January, Skydeck is the product of a partnership between the office of UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor of research, the Haas School of Business and the College of Engineering.

Skydeck has significant advantages distinct from other incubators due to its connection to UC Berkeley, said Mitch Gordon, Skydeck’s entrepreneur in residence and CEO of Go Overseas, a company currently operating from the Skydeck offices.

The university’s name provides a level of prestige for the startups and Skydeck, and UC Berkeley’s alumni base also provides a valuable mode of networking, he said.

The Catalyst Award exists to honor individuals, organizations and companies that have operations or headquarters in the East Bay and recognizes contribution to the East Bay economy and contribution to a culture of innovation according to Scott Peterson, deputy director of the East Bay EDA.

Award winners receive a trophy made on a 3-D printer and a profile in the San Francisco Business Times, Peterson said.

This was the first year the East Bay EDA presented the nine Innovation Awards, one of which included the Catalyst Award. Going forward, the group intends to make the the awards process an annual affair.

There were more than 85 nominations for this year’s Innovation Awards, according to a Karen Engel, executive director of East Bay EDA.

Contact Christine Tyler at [email protected]