Startup Disco Rocks Haas Innovation Lab

The Berkeley Haas Innovation Lab under Memorial Stadium pulsed with energy last weekend as 50 grad students gathered to generate ideas, form teams and learn Lean Startup basics.

Led by popular Haas Entrepreneurship Lecturer Jorge Calderon, the teams immediately applied their skills to a day of customer discovery on Saturday. Volunteer coaches assisted the teams in processing the interview results and many teams pivoted, multiple times.

Ideas ranged from advanced technologies including Drones, VR and microsensors to more practical problems such as solving commuting issues, disrupting home ownership and using excess capacity in shipping trucks.

What was most impressive, though, was the collaboration between teammates from different UCB schools. In addition to Haas, other Berkeley schools including Law, EECS and Journalism were represented, as was the UCB/UCSF Masters in Translational Medicine (MTM) program.  EWMBAs and even exchange students from Columbia and London Business School rounded out the intense, learning-filled weekend. Teams averaged 13 interviews each and some pivoted right up until the final presos on Sunday afternoon.

Bravo to the teams and special thanks to Jorge, TA Callie Ryan (EWMBA 17, Impact Disco alum) and all of the volunteer Disco Coaches who helped teams throughout the weekend. Stay tuned for how you can get involved in next spring’s Social Impact Disco weekend!