The Berkeley Startup Cluster (BSC) is a neighborhood organization focused on growing Downtown Berkeley's cluster of tech-oriented startups and established companies as well as entrepreneurs, mentors and early stage investors. The BSC is a collaboration among UC Berkeley, the City of Berkeley, the East Bay Green Corridor, the Downtown Berkeley Association, the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and private sector companies.
The organization's goal is to make Downtown Berkeley -- a commercial area that is walking distance to the Cal campus -- a thriving center for technology-oriented startups and established firms, investors, entrepreneurs and supporting businesses.
The BSC was inspired by the vision of innovation from UC Berkeley and the Berkeley National Lab driving local economic development; and doing it in a way that offers the additional benefit of bolstering the University's research and education mission.
Currently, the BSC is pursuing three primary initiatives:
- Growing the number of Berkeley Startup Cluster companies by promoting office space near the campus that is conducive to startups;
- Building community, relationships and opportunities for the Berkeley Startup Cluster companies by organizing networking events; and
- Bolstering UC Berkeley's research and education mission by connecting the Berkeley Startup Cluster community to the innovation ecosystem that has UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Lab at the center.
The BSC intends to become the natural home for startup companies spinning out of the UC Berkeley Campus and the Berkeley National Lab. The long-term goal is to retain more of the innovative companies that are born in Berkeley. In turn, these firms will increase jobs here, augment the City's tax base, and improve the commercial climate for other businesses -- including retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.
The greentech sector of the BSC is also a key part of the East Bay Green Corridor's cradle-to-scale strategy for business development. If the BSC can keep UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab greentech spin-outs in Berkeley, then these young companies are more likely to stay in the vicinity as they expand into larger office and manufacturing spaces -- in west Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Oakland, Richmond and San Leandro (i.e. the cities of the East Bay Green Corridor).