UC Berkeley Launches Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology; CET to Focus on Innovation and Leadership in a Changing Global Marketplace
"UC Berkeley will continue to attract the absolute brightest students, researchers, engineers and scientists to California from around the world. CET is extending our commercialization-oriented outreach to businesses to engage with these students and researchers," said Richard Newton, dean of the College of Engineering.
“Entrepreneurial skills will be a critical ingredient for technical leaders.”
The new, multidisciplinary program will prepare technology students for leadership in a changing global economy. The CET emphasizes going beyond traditional engineering skills to include an understanding of business issues, such as knowing how to recognize opportunities, assess viability and work independently in international teams.
"In an era of globalization, the creation of new products, services and ventures will require us to coordinate resources and harvest innovations on an increasingly international scale," says Adjunct Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu, the Center's founding director. "Entrepreneurial skills will be a critical ingredient for technical leaders." Sidhu, a former entrepreneurship program director and engineering professor at the University of Illinois, has been granted over 50 U.S. patents including seminal work in IP telephony, 3G wireless, data networks and interfaces for personal digital assistants (PDAs).
CET has widespread support from the business community. Board members include venture capitalist Allen Morgan, managing director of Mayfield; Jim Davidson, managing director and co-founder of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners; Michael Marks, CEO of Flextronics, a leading electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider; and Tom Byers, academic director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Flextronics CEO Marks is also serving as a co-instructor. Sponsors working with Berkeley to fund and develop the CET include Foundation Capital, the Michael E. Marks Family Foundation, Perkins Coie LLP, Claremont Creek Ventures, ONSET Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.
"We've been very pleased with support from the high-tech community. CEOs have spoken to packed audiences, clearly demonstrating demand for the new CET approach," said Jon Burgstone, founding CET faculty chair and adjunct professor of engineering.
CET founding faculty and board members include Jon Burgstone, co-founder and former CEO of SupplierMarket; UC Berkeley Industry Fellow Stacey Lawson, founder and former president of InPart; CET Director Ikhlaq Sidhu; College of Engineering Associate Deans David Dornfeld and Paul Wright; Management of Technology (MOT) Program Director Drew Isaacs; Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department Chair Lee Schruben; and College of Engineering Dean Richard Newton.
The CET is administered by the College of Engineering and primarily serves undergraduate engineering and science students today, but CET is available to the entire Berkeley campus for undergraduate entrepreneurship education. The program is affiliated with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and collaborates closely with the Berkeley Management of Technology program, the Haas School of Business and the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to provide interdisciplinary business and technical coursework.