UC Berkeley's non-profit, student-run incubator
We are a program run by students, for students. Each semester the brightest UC Berkeley student founders apply to Free Ventures to bring their dissertation research, side projects, or innovative products to market. As the only non-profit student-run incubator on campus we aren’t pressed for returns or exits. Instead, we spend our full time cultivating relationships with top undergraduate and graduate student groups, and craft highly individualized paths for founders with the support of top venture capitalists, resource partners, founders, and thought leaders from the Valley. In so doing, we make entrepreneurship accessible to Berkeley students of all backgrounds by empowering them with the support to innovate and build.
By tailoring our batch program to founders across industries and academic background — ranging from undergraduates to MBAs and PhD researchers, with engineering, the liberal arts, and other disciplines represented — Free Ventures fosters a unique range of perspectives in each batch. This shines through when our companies collaborate over the course of our 3-month program and beyond, and is duly reflected in the wide diversity of partners, investors, and thought leaders from the Valley that engage with our program and founders. We uniquely offer students academic units to work on their startups and provide small amounts of equity-free capital — in addition to a full suite of other resources — to enable students to spend less time in the classroom and more time building.
OUR batch companies RECEIVE:
Our track record
Our founders have gone on to become Forbes 30 Under 30, build companies that are changing the world, and continue to develop the college startup scene by creating The House. We have helped our 53 alumni teams raise over $30 million from top firms such as Y Combinator, Greylock, KPCB, and Accel. Collectively they’ve gone on to tackle problems in neuroscience, drones, IoT, VR, AI, real estate, bioengineering, FinTech, and renewable energy, to name a few.
Selected portfolio (last funding round): DataShark (Pre-Seed), Spotlight (Raising Series Seed), Gainful (YC Winter ‘18), Onederful (YC Winter ‘18), Fiat Lux Labs (Pre-Seed), Genetic Foresight (Pre-Seed), Pavlov (Pre-Seed), Blitz eSports (Greylock-led Seed, YC Summer ‘15), Wildfire (YC Summer ‘17; Series Seed from Accel, Greylock), Pantheon VR (YC Winter ‘17), Rooster (Series Seed), Lioness (Series Seed), Glints (Series A).