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, and is financially supported by the Cariplo Foundation and the Lombardy Region. The acceleration program, now at its fourth 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 August 24th at this link:


Berkeley SkyDeck, Cariplo Factory, and Lendlease will select up to 10 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 November 6th.


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. Each startup will be supported by 3 mentors (two from Europe and one from the United States), will have access to an international network of investors, and will be trained on fundamental topics such as go to market, product development and fundraising activities.


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 the investment fund that is linked to the program and will have the opportunity to present their project to a network of international investors during a Demo Day in April.


This will be the fourth batch for SkyDeck Europe, Milan. In two years, the program has received over 1,600 application requests and has supported the growth of 27 startups from Argentina, Armenia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK, USA. To date, almost 4 million euros have been invested in these startups.


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.


“It is important to SkyDeck to continue to be a part of the incredible innovation taking place across Europe and support top startups with the resources and access we have available through the UC Berkeley ecosystem. We are confident this next batch of startups will continue to raise the bar and we look forward to catapulting them to great heights as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey”, stated Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of SkyDeck.


“The SkyDeck Europe, Milan acceleration program continues to break records, demonstrating how relevant the European ecosystem is in the international innovation landscape. Indeed, in the two years since its launch, we have selected, prepared for the market and invested in 27 startups from all over the world – stated Anders Nilsson, SkyDeck Europe Program Leader at Cariplo Factory. – We are very satisfied with these achievements and, thanks to our network of advisors, universities and companies, we are confident that we will bring startups to market even faster and more effectively.”


“The acceleration program created by SkyDeck Europe, Milan is one of a kind and has proved to be a formidable driver of innovation in the European context. In the Lombardy region, and in MIND especially, it has found an ecosystem in which to take root and grow – added Andrea Ruckstuhl, Head of Continental Europe at Lendlease. – In addition to supporting the startups as seed investors and venture capitalists during their acceleration period, we constantly commit to promoting the development of this ecosystem and its ability to attract technological innovation, investments and skills.”


“These numbers confirm both the effectiveness of the project and the great capacity of the Lombardy system to attract innovative skills and investments from all over Europe. By working together with Universities and the Cariplo Foundation, we are demonstrating that we can be attractive for investments and fresh ideas that we want to implement in Lombardy”, stated the Councilor for Economic Development of the Lombardy Region, Guido Guidesi.


“SkyDeck Europe, Milan is demonstrating that the Italian research and innovation ecosystem can be very attractive for both European and international startups – commented Carlo Mango, Director of the Scientific and Technological Research Area of the Cariplo Foundation. – This acceleration program has proved to attract the attention of many talents who, thanks to their skills and ambitions, are contributing to the development of MIND and our territory in general. Indeed, a distinctive element of this initiative is the fact that startups, local companies and universities (which contribute to the program through their network, know-how, and laboratories) communicate and influence each other.”