Free Ventures is a startup launchpad for Berkeley students, providing resources and a framework to build ideas for products or services into companies.
THE FREE VENTURES STORY
We are a program run by students, for students. 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. Free Ventures has been an instrumental part of Berkeley’s startup ecosystem in its formative years, helping it to develop into the most robust college startup scene in recent years. In the process we’ve built the most comprehensive pre-seed program for Berkeley startups, tailored to each team’s specific needs and purely pro-bono.
Each day our team actively works with our venture capital sponsors, resource partners, The House, Dorm Room Fund, and other groups to build the strongest community of Berkeley founders, providing startups with a full stack of resources to guide them from ideation to investment. We have helped our 40 alumni teams raise over $25 million from top firms such as Y Combinator, Greylock, KPCB, and SVAngel. Collectively they’ve gone on to tackle problems in VR, drones, IoT, neuroscience, AI, real estate, and renewable energy, to name a few.
We provide our teams with...
We believe a university ecosystem is the ideal place to start up, and Cal is one of the best. But there's still a huge need for a strengthened community on campus to bring students together to tackle meaningful challenges.
Three years ago we founded Free Ventures with the vision of eliminating students' excuses for not pursuing a project or startup. We gave students course units to work on their startups, provided small amounts of capital, and brought in alumni entrepreneur mentors to guide them on their way. We supported brilliant students in turning an idea or project into a scalable business, and in doing so sparked venture-backed businesses that would not otherwise exist.
We envision a world where Berkeley students spend less time on class projects and more time on building tools that create a positive impact on people's lives and the world. By connecting students with the right resources, motivation, and support, students can be empowered to build more, and do more.