Berkeley SkyDeck Europe, Milano Opens Applications for its Next Cohort Class

Berkeley SkyDeck Europe, Milano has now opened the application for its upcoming acceleration program for European startups. Berkeley SkyDeck Europe, Milano was launched by Berkeley SkyDeck (the accelerator of the University of California, Berkeley), the Italian innovation hub Cariplo Factory, and the international real estate, infrastructure and urban regeneration group Lendlease. The acceleration program, now at its third edition, will take place in SkyDeck’s first European headquarters, in Milan, Italy, at the Milano Innovation District (MIND).


In line with Berkeley SkyDeck’s focus, SkyDeck Europe also centers its search for innovative solutions in agritech, energy, enterprise software, biotech, greentech, etc.  Applications will be accepted through February 17th at this link:


Berkeley SkyDeck, Cariplo Factory, and Lendlease will select up to 12 startups that will have the opportunity to enter one of the best accelerators globally and have access to the 6-month acceleration program that will start on May 2nd.


The program’s first quarter will be curated by the Berkeley SkyDeck team: startups will have the opportunity to participate both in-person – at Berkeley SkyDeck’s USA headquarters – and virtually. Its second quarter will be curated by the Cariplo Factory team and will take place both virtually and in-presence at MIND, Milano Innovation District, in the famous “The Hive” building. The program’s second quarter will offer the resources and networks of some of the best Italian Universities, selected through a tender by Cariplo Foundation. The Universities that will take part in the program are: Milan Polytechnic University, University of Milan, IULM Free University of Languages ​​and Communication, University of Eastern Piedmont “Amedeo Avogadro”, University of Insubria, University Institute of Higher Studies of Pavia, and University of Bergamo.


Among the benefits of the coming cohort, each startup will receive an investment of €145,000 by Lendlease’s private investment fund and will have the opportunity to present their project to a network of international investors during a Demo Day at the end of the program.


This will be the third batch for SkyDeck Europe, Milan. The first and second batches consisted of 18 startups from Italy, Germany, France, Armenia, Ukraine, Switzerland, UK. They were chosen from 1161 candidates. To date, 1.3 million euros have been invested in the 9 startups that completed the first acceleration program in October. The startups of the second call, on the other hand, will complete the program in April.


The goal of SkyDeck Europe’s acceleration program is to accompany the growth of startups over the years 2022-2024 and to connect them with qualified financial operators that can support them with equity investments. Indeed, SkyDeck Europe, created with the contribution of Lombardy Region and Cariplo Foundation, aims at shaping a strong European ecosystem of innovative companies. On the one hand, this project’s objective is to improve research through the integration of methodologies and best practices, thanks to the collaboration of the University of California, Berkeley. On the other, it aims at strengthening the local ecosystem by pooling the skills of universities and local incubators through a model of widespread collaboration.


“Our Milan program is now a year old, and this first year has wildly surpassed our expectations and goals, said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, SkyDeck. “It is fantastic to be closer to the innovation taking place across Europe while still fully supporting our startups with the resources available through the UC Berkeley ecosystem. We are confident this new crop of applicants will continue to raise the bar and we look forward to the ingenuity that will come from the next cohort.


“In just one year, SkyDeck Europe, Milano has reached its third call and has selected 18 European startups that are taking part in its acceleration programs in Italy and the USA. This is an important result for a project that aims to become the reference point for startups from all over Europe – said Enrico Noseda, Chief Innovation Advisor of Cariplo Factory.  – We can only be proud of the goals we are achieving thanks to top-level advisors, a solid network of academic and business partners and a dedicated investment fund.”


We are humbled by this result, which confirms that our vision of MIND and the city of the future is achievable and widely shared. We strongly believe in the power of collaborative culture, which enables innovation through sharing ideas, network, and skills: this project represents a unique opportunity for Italy to attract talents and investments at international level by implementing on a large scale the core values and principles of the knowledge economy– explained Andrea Ruckstuhl, Head of Continental Europe at Lendlease.


“SkyDeck Europe has proven to be a successful project, capable of making Lombardy even more attractive from the point of view of innovative startups. This initiative that can give a boost to innovation in strategic sectors for the competitiveness of the Lombard economic system, catalyzing and enhancing the ecosystem of companies, universities, investors, and institutions, becoming a point of reference for the development of new skills and an attraction point for new talents and startups. For all these reasons, the Lombardy Region immediately believed in the project by investing 1.5 million euros” – stated Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombardy Region.


Thanks to this project, our ecosystem of research and innovation is proving to be attractive for ambitious, international startups too” – commented Carlo Mango, Director of the Scientific and Technological Research Area at Cariplo Foundation. – Besides this, the source of the greatest satisfaction for us are the dynamics of contamination amongst the selected startups, local businesses, and our universities, which contribute to the program through their network, know-how, and laboratories, representing a high-value differential element”.