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 in December 2021 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 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. To these, two new areas of interest are now added: blockchain / crypto and astro / aerospace.


Applications will be accepted through August 31st 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 in Silicon Valley. The 6-month acceleration program will start on November 1st: its first quarter will be curated by the Berkeley SkyDeck team (offered both in-person and virtually) and its second quarter by the Cariplo Factory team. The second quarter of the program will take place at MIND, Milano Innovation District, and 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 second batch for SkyDeck Europe, Milan. The first batch consisted of 9 startups that took part in the acceleration program that started in May. They were chosen from 571 candidates: 27% of the applications came from Italy, 18% from the USA, 8% from the UK, 6% from India, 5% from Spain, 5% from Germany, 2% from France, Switzerland, and Russia (and 23% from other countries).


The goal of SkyDeck Europe’s acceleration program is to accompany the growth of startups over three years and to connect them with qualified financial operators that can support them with equity investments. Indeed, SkyDeck Europe, created with the contribution of Regione Lombardia and Fondazioen Cariplo, 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.


“Expanding our operations in Europe is strictly connected to our mission at Berkeley SkyDeck: to continue the tradition of excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation that makes UC Berkeley one of the top public universities in the world” stated Caroline Winnett, Executive Director di SkyDeck.


“We are excited to launch this second call for startups for SkyDeck Europe, Milano and welcome new Italian and European startups who want to enter an acceleration program that has a global reach – said Enrico Noseda, Chief Innovation Advisor of Cariplo Factory. – SkyDeck Europe, Milano aims to become the reference hub for startups across Europe. Thanks to top-level advisors, a solid network of academic and business partners, and a dedicated fund, the accelerator is already a game changer for the European ecosystem.”


SkyDeck Europe, Milano accelerates MIND’s ecosystem, as the latter benefits from the contamination between ideas and projects. It also pushes innovation in Italy and Europe a bit further – explained Andrea Ruckstuhl, Head of Continental Europe at Lendlease.  – Besides, we are proud to support the acceleration of startups with the capital we have raised in Italy and abroad through our first startup-focused venture capital fund.”


“The Lombardy Region supports this program with 1.5 million euros since it can give a boost to innovation in areas that are strategic for the competitiveness of the Lombardy economic system. It can catalyze and enhance the ecosystem of companies, universities, investors, and institutions and become a reference point for the development of new skills. It can attract new talents and startups in Lombardy – stated Councilor for Economic Development of the Lombardy Region, Guido Guidesi, who also addedThis is our message to young people: take up your challenge in Lombardy. We have carried out this project together with strategic partners, with confidence. The results are proving us right and the high number of applications from all over the world have demonstrated, on the one hand, the potential of this project, and on the other, the attractiveness of our territory from an economic and entrepreneurial point of view. We are getting ahead of the times.”


“We are very satisfied with the first results of the SkyDeck Europe, Milano project as it has been shown to attract startups from all over the world to our ecosystem of research and innovation. We are confident that this second round of applications will give a further boost to this trend – commented Carlo Mango, Director of the Scientific and Technological Research Area at Cariplo Foundation. – We are also pleased to see that startups are activating open innovation processes with local companies and universities. Universities represent an asset since they are contributing with networks, skills, and laboratories to the acceleration program of SkyDeck Europe, Milano.”