Highlights from Berkeley SkyDeck’s digital demo day – TechCrunch

Highlights from Berkeley SkyDeck’s virtual demo day – TechCrunch


With 17 startups collaborating, Berkeley SkyDeck’s Demo Day isn’t the biggest cohort we’ve seen by any stretch. The gathering of corporations is, nevertheless, outlined by a variety of focuses, from pioneering diabetes therapies to retrofitting autonomous trucking, curated by the SkyDeck’s small group and a variety of advisors.

Based in 2012, the accelerator is concentrated on creating early-stage corporations tied to the College of California system. Candidates have to be affiliated with both one of many 10 UC faculties or their nationwide laboratories in Berkeley, Livermore and Los Alamos. Notable alumni embody micromobility unicorn, Lime, and supply robotics agency, Kiwi.

In 2020, SkyDeck — together with a lot of the remainder of the world — went digital.

“Whereas flight restrictions did trigger some worldwide founders to tug loopy hours from our dwelling international locations to take part within the periods, digital periods allowed extra members of our groups to take part that might in any other case not have been ready to take action,” the accelerator’s organizers stated in a TechCrunch put up final 12 months. “We’re additionally listening to chatter that Demo Day will probably be bigger than ever earlier than as a result of digital occasions are far more scalable.”

The 17 startups presenting at the moment had been whittled down from 1,850 candidates, in keeping with the accelerator. Being a member of the cohort includes six months of launch  help from SkyDeck, coupled with up $105,000. “In six months, you’re going to pitch on stage at demo day, to an institutional investor in your business,” Government Director Caroline Winnett tells TechCrunch.

Right here’s a more in-depth have a look at six highlights from this Demo Day.

Picture Credit: EndoCrine Bio, Inc.

Constructing on applied sciences developed within the stem cell analysis labs of UCSF, EndoCrine is seeking to commercialize a greater approach to uncover and develop medication. Particularly, the startup is hoping to enhance diabetes remedy past customary insulin injections.

“EndoCrine’s proprietary human stem cell-derived islet platform revolutionizes the drug discovery and improvement course of, saving years of time and thousands and thousands of {dollars} often spent by pharma corporations,” CEO Gopika Nair stated in an announcement supplied to TechCrunch. “Our modern answer opens an thrilling period of personalised medication in diabetes.”

The corporate says SkyDeck helped it take the earliest steps out of the lab and into startup mode.

Picture Credit: NuPort Robotics Inc.

NuPort Robotics is among the many most mature of the 17 startups included right here. Actually, in mid-March, the startup signed a partnership with Canadian Tire and the Ontario authorities, as a part of a $3 million funding in an autonomous middle-mile trucking answer.

Slightly than constructing autonomous trucking from scratch, NuPort’s answer is designed to retrofit semis with autonomous applied sciences.

“This ends in operational value discount by eliminating the necessity to substitute their current fleet and yields a safer, extra environment friendly and sustainable transportation system,” CEO Raghavender Sahdev tells TechCrunch.

Picture Credit: The Hurd Co.

The Hurd Co.’s aim is easy: cut back the environmental impression of clothes corporations by serving to to take away timber from the method. Particularly, the corporate creates cellulosic fiber pulp from agricultural byproducts. That is designed to bypass tree-based agrilose, which is used within the manufacturing of all kinds of materials, together with rayon.

“Attire manufacturers are scrambling for brand new, low-impact cloth that can permit them to satisfy their bold sustainability objectives,” CEO Taylor Heisley-Cook dinner tells TechCrunch. “We utterly eradicate timber from the provision chain with a hyper-efficient course of that dramatically reduces manufacturers’ impression on the surroundings.”

The corporate says its course of makes use of half the water and considerably much less power than customary processes. The expertise was developed by Hurd’s CTO, Charles Cai.

Picture Credit: Humm

I received’t lie, that is the one within the batch I’ve essentially the most questions on, having seen a variety of corporations declare their wearables can improve reminiscence.

Right here’s what CEO Iain McIntyre has to say: “It’s splendid for actions that rely on reminiscence, like studying, downside fixing or multi-tasking. The Humm patch makes use of tACS (transcranial alternating stimulation) and in medical analysis research, the Humm patch noticed a measurable (+~20%) enchancment towards placebo.”

It’s an fascinating underlying expertise, and the advisors — which embody a variety of college professors within the sciences — actually see industrial potential. There are some lingering questions round tACS.

Quoting Scientific American from January: “The potential therapeutic results of tACS on reminiscence, meals craving and different neural processes have been examined in dozens of research previously. Questions have been raised about whether or not this technique truly exerts any significant adjustments within the mind, nevertheless.”

Undoubtedly concerned about seeing extra about this one and maybe taking it for a spin when the product ships, later this 12 months.

Publica

So far as elevator pitches go, Publica could have the perfect one of many present. “Publica is Shopify for Digital Content material.” Primarily, the corporate needs to be a direct conduit between content material creators and shoppers.

“Publica is a service that allows authors and content material creators to have their very own customized storefront to share, market and promote e-books, audiobooks and another sorts of digital content material with no intermediaries,” CEO Pablo Laurino tells TechCrunch. “Within the period of D2C and marketplaces, Publica helps authors and content material to realize that on their very own storefront, providing authors full management over their model and possession of the relationships.”

The system helps creators make their very own personal digital storefront to promote all kinds of merchandise, together with audiobooks and e-books. The location is already up and operating, with greater than 1,200 shops created by 250 shoppers.

Picture Credit: Serinus Labs

Serinus is creating a warning system for detecting failure in lithium-ion batteries.

Per CEO, Hossain Fahad, “Battery security is the largest problem within the EV business at the moment. Serinus Labs’ proprietary LiCANS expertise supplies early warning indicators to forestall catastrophic battery failure in electrical automobiles.”

The tech makes use of fuel sensing to detect early traces of vented gases that happen previous to battery failure.



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