SkyDeck Rebrands HotDesk Incubator to “Pad-13” Providing Greater Mentorship

BERKELEY, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 28, 2021 / UC Berkeley SkyDeck, the startup accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), is rebranding its incubator program to reflect its evolution over the past several years. Formerly known as “HotDesk,” SkyDeck’s incubator program which supports the needs and goals of early-stage startups is now known as Pad-13, referencing more directly SkyDeck’s mission statement, “Bring us your moonshots.” The number “13” refers to SkyDeck’s penthouse office located on the 13th floor of the SkyDeck building with its 360 degree views of the Bay Area where startups work on their groundbreaking ideas.

Twice each year, SkyDeck receives thousands of applications from around the world for its highly competitive accelerator program. From among these applicants, about 20 startups are selected to join the Cohort, and 100 more receive an invitation to be part of Pad-13.

Pad-13 takes SkyDeck’s former HotDesk program a step further with every single startup in the program now being matched with a key advisor or mentor. Previously, only startups in the accelerator program were able to access that benefit.

“Pad-13 is the perfect place for early stage startups to round out their understanding of running a startup and sharpening their skills as founders through our intensive programming,” said Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, Berkeley SkyDeck. “Now we are offering Pad-13 startups their own key advisors. We believe that this mentorship, plus access to our network, will help them to better refine their product and increase traction.”

Pad-13 participant startups receive rich benefits such as office space, advisor office hours and access to expertise in law, public relations, and accounting. In all, each Pad-13 startup receives the equivalent of more than $750K in resource benefits from 70 partners including AWS, Google Cloud, Stripe, Carta, Airtable, etc. SkyDeck also offers three recruiting fairs annually which draw 1500+ students.

One startup which went from the HotDesk [now Pad-13] incubator program to become one of the SkyDeck accelerator cohort participants is iDentical. “When I first joined SkyDeck, I had barely raised any money and I didn’t have a clear strategy for how to raise our seed round,” said Iris Wedeking, co-founder, iDentical and UC Berkeley MBA alumna. “Thanks to SkyDeck’s amazing coaching and connections, I was able to raise a $4.6 million seed round and build a strong team to reach our next major milestones.”

UC Berkeley is recognized as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, identified by Pitchbook as the No. 1 public undergraduate program for producing startup founders who go on to get venture funding. SkyDeck’s accelerator program is thriving, with a network of more than 350 advisors and mentors, nearly 1500 applications per batch and more than 800 investors attending their Demo Day.

Currently, SkyDeck is hosting its Batch 12 Cohort with the Cohort Demo Day on Sept. 28, 2021. For more information about SkyDeck, visit

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Berkeley SkyDeck is UC Berkeley’s global startup accelerator. Named in Forbes as a top five U.S. university accelerator, SkyDeck combines hands-on mentorship with the vast resources of an elite research university. SkyDeck is the only accelerator that provides funding for its startups via a public-private partnership, providing returns directly back to UC Berkeley from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, a dedicated investment fund supported by leading institutional VCs like Sequoia and Mayfield. To date, SkyDeck startups have raised more than $1.47 billion in aggregate. Participating startups have access to SkyDeck’s 350 advisors, 70 industry partners, and a network of more than 510,000 UC Berkeley alumni. For more information, see

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SOURCE: Berkeley SkyDeck

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