Community

It’s one of our core values. We love to contribute to our local community of entrepreneurs, provide mentorship, and host events.

CalFounders: UC Berkeley Alumni Group for Founders

CalFounders supports members of the Cal entrepreneurship community, both alumni and current students pursuing entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley, through hosting regular meetings throughout the Bay Area. CalFounders provides its 700+ members with a confidential environment to share their most pressing business issues. Teams range from freshly graduated founding teams of 1-3 members to experienced Founders with 25+ years of industry expertise. We are consistently moved by the passion and warmth of Founders within this community. Michael serves as Moderator and Gina as coordinator. Follow us on twitter at @CalFounders to learn how to sign up or to request details of our next gathering.

Berkeley SkyDeck

Members of Team Bee serve as Advisors at Berkeley SkyDeck, supporting Executive Director, Caroline Winnett, and the SkyDeck cohorts from admission to Demo Day. Tim has served as a SkyDeck advisor for over a decade. Michael participates in the interview vetting process, and Garrett and Michael mentor teams on strategy and product-market fit. As event sponsors, Bee Partners invites its personal network of 200+ Seed and Series A Investors to SkyDeck’s bi-annual Demo Day. We host Demo Day and adeptly facilitate Founder, Investor, and Corp Dev introductions.

Lester Center for Entrepreneurship

Michael readily invests his time and expertise in Founders and students alike through guest lecturing in classes, hosting mentoring sessions, and contributing to campus competitions. Class contributions include participating in an investment panels in ‘Private Equity: From LBOs to Emerging Markets’ course and ‘Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series: Startup War Stories’. Bee Partners also donates to the school’s annual alumni fundraising campaign, the Haas Gala.

CET: The Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology

The Pantas and Ting Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology is the premiere institution on UC Berkeley campus for the study and practice of 'technology-centric' entrepreneurship and innovation. Since 2005, SCET has served as the foundation of Berkeley’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and encompasses SkyDeck, the Fung Institute, the Engineering Leadership Professional Program, Global Venture Lab, and an extensive ecosystem of Silicon Valley and Global partners. We’re honored to support Cal’s outstanding engineering program through mentoring teams housed in the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET), geared primarily at students emerging from the EECS department. We’re active advisors through their Delta Prize program for early-stage ventures and also host ‘Meet a VC’ for SCET startups to engage in casual conversation over pizza.

The CITRIS Foundry

The CITRIS Foundry helps top entrepreneurs from the University of California build applied tech companies that make a significant global impact. CITRIS companies tackle big problems in industries ranging from cleantech to medical devices to consumer products and software. The Foundry typically accepts early-stage startups before they’ve raised money or chosen a go-to-market strategy. Bee Partners supports CITRIS through offering mentoring sessions for teams, serving as a judge at the mobile app challenge demo day and hosting 'Ask a VC' mixers.

LAUNCH: The UC Berkeley Startup Competition

LAUNCH is an elite startup accelerator and competition designed to transform early stage startups into fundable companies. It helps companies build out their teams, protect IP, connect with industry experts, get minimum viable products into customers’ hands, prove their scalable business model, pitch to investors, and become fundable. As a former participant, Michael empathizes with the incredible effort invested into every team that competes, and he's honored to now serve as a judge at LAUNCH Demo Day in which ~$100K of funding is given out to winners.

Big Ideas@Berkeley

Big Ideas@Berkeley is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have 'big ideas.' Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas@ Berkeley has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation. Michael serves as judge in the competition.

Innovate@Berkeley

We are honored to support the Innovate@Berkeley startup expo through Garrett’s role as a competition judge. This program is managed by campus fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Zeta, and brings together startups, students, angels, VCs, and press under one roof.

The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Expo

Unifying innovation & entrepreneurship, the Berkeley Entrepreneurs' Expo connects students, faculty, and alumni with campus incubators, accelerators, centers, departments, and organizations. Michael has frequently served as emcee. The Expo also includes an open job fair for startups posted through Bee Partners portfolio company Localwise. Localwise is the local job board that connects students and community members with jobs at local businesses and startups. At Localwise, they believe stronger local businesses create stronger local communities.

Free Ventures

Free Ventures is an initiative run for the students, by the students. Their mission is to free students from the constraints that hinder exploration, thereby allowing for the pursuit of high-impact ventures. Free Ventures gives funding to teams on a need basis, while taking no part of the venture and expecting no money in return. Bee Partners helps prepare teams for Demo Day; Michael serves as a Demo Day judge and as an Advisor and Sponsor of the program.

Alchemist Accelerator

The Alchemist Accelerator is a new venture-backed initiative focused on accelerating the development of seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises (not consumers). The accelerator’s primary concentration is around teams with distinctive technical co-founders. The accelerator seeds around 40 enterprise-monetizing ventures/year. Over 50% close institutional rounds within 12 months of their Alchemist Demo Day. Garrett serves as an Advisor and holds regular office hours to mentor and advise Alchemist teams.

UC Berkeley SkyDeck Founding Females

UC Berkeley SkyDeck hosts the annual Founding Females panel discussion and reception. The event is structured as an open forum for prominent female founders and investors to share stories of their experiences and offer advice. The event is designed to encourage networking and promote the universal mission for an equal representation of women and men in entrepreneurship.

Hansoo Lee Fellowship

Hansoo Lee, Haas School of Business alum (MBA 2010) and Co-Founder of Magoosh (Bee Partners I), lost his 15-month battle with non-smoker's lung cancer on March 4, 2013. Hansoo came to Berkeley-Haas to pursue entrepreneurship and once there, he encouraged prospective students to do the same. Hansoo pursued Magoosh, his venture, full-time for his summer internship, foregoing traditional paid internship opportunities. Based on the team’s progress that summer, Hansoo and his co-founder, Bhavin, had enough confidence to pursue Magoosh full-time after graduation. Hansoo believed that as a community, the Haas network should encourage entrepreneurship as a full-time internship option by providing students with a stipend and mentors for the summer. To honor his memory, the Hansoo Lee Fellowship was founded. The Fellowship provides a stipend and mentorship to help Berkeley-Haas MBA students pursue their venture full-time for their summer internship, as Hansoo did. Bee Partners is honored to be a financial sponsor of the Fellowship. Michael serves as a judge in the selection for new Fellows.

Larkin Street Youth Services

As investors in our community, Bee Partners is supports Larkin Street Youth Services with an annual contribution. Aaron Schwartz, Founder of Modify Watches in our Bee I portfolio, is a board member of this organization dedicated to helping homeless youth get off the streets. To learn more about Larkin Street Youth Services, please visit http://larkinstreetyouth.org/