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AUC Venture Lab

AUC Venture Lab is a university-wide initiative of the University of California, Berkeley to promote entrepreneurial activities.
AUC Venture Lab
Leadership team

Grover Hollway (Managing Director)

Mina Seetharaman (Executive Director)

David Cohen (Director of Strategy and Business Development )

Headquarters
California, United States
Established
2015
Social Media
Summary

AUC Venture Lab is a university-wide initiative of the University of California, Berkeley to promote entrepreneurial activities. The Venture Lab is a unique collaboration between the campus and the business community, bringing together the resources of the university and the venture capital industry. The lab provides resources, mentorship and guidance to entrepreneurs, students, and faculty who are working on innovative ideas, products, and services. 

The Venture Lab also serves as a platform for connecting entrepreneurs with resources such as venture capital, business mentors and advisors, and early-stage funding. The lab is open to all innovators, regardless of their background or affiliation with the university. The lab also offers workshops, seminars, and other events to help entrepreneurs learn the skills needed to launch a successful venture.


History

The AUC Venture Lab is a student-run venture accelerator located at the University of California, Berkeley. It is a unique program that provides students with access to the resources and mentorship they need to turn their innovative ideas into successful ventures.

The AUC Venture Lab was founded in 2015 by a group of UC Berkeley alumni and faculty. The team is committed to creating an environment of support and guidance for students who are interested in creating and launching their own companies.

The Lab provides a variety of resources, such as mentorship, workshops, and funding, that enable students to develop their ideas and launch viable businesses. The Lab also helps students connect to the large network of alumni and investors in the Bay Area.

The AUC Venture Lab has already helped launch more than 30 companies and has been featured in the press and in various publications. In addition, the Lab has held several events and programs, such as the annual Venture Summit, which brings together venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and students from around the world to discuss the latest trends in the venture capital industry.

The AUC Venture Lab is an invaluable resource for students in the Bay Area and beyond. By providing access to resources, mentorship, and an expansive network, the Lab has helped countless students turn their innovative ideas into viable businesses. As the Lab continues to grow, it will continue to open the doors of opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.


Investment criteria

As part of its investment process, AUC Venture Lab evaluates startups based on a set of criteria that are designed to identify promising ventures that are likely to succeed and create value for investors.

  • Innovation and Differentiation: AUC Venture Lab looks for startups that offer innovative products or services that are unique and differentiated from competitors in the market. The startup should have a clear value proposition and a competitive advantage that sets it apart from others.
  • Scalability: AUC Venture Lab prefers startups that have the potential to scale their business rapidly and reach a large customer base. This requires a viable business model, a clear path to revenue generation, and a plan for expansion into new markets.
  • Strong Team: The startup team is critical to the success of the venture, and AUC Venture Lab evaluates the team’s experience, expertise, and passion for the business. A strong team should have a mix of skills, including technical, business, and industry expertise, as well as the ability to execute on the business plan.
  • Market Size and Opportunity: AUC Venture Lab looks for startups that address a large and growing market opportunity. The startup should have a clear understanding of its target customers and market size, and the potential to capture a significant market share.
  • Traction and Milestones: AUC Venture Lab prefers startups that have already demonstrated some level of traction, such as customer acquisition, revenue generation, or product development. The startup should have clear milestones and goals for the next 6-12 months, as well as a plan to achieve these milestones.
  • Sustainability and Impact: AUC Venture Lab also considers the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact of the startup’s business model. The startup should have a sustainable and responsible approach to business, and the potential to create a positive impact in its industry and community.

Values
  • Innovation: AUC Venture Lab is committed to supporting startups that are innovative and disruptive, and that have the potential to create new markets or transform existing industries. The organization values creativity, experimentation, and risk-taking, and encourages startups to think outside the box and pursue bold ideas.
  • Excellence: AUC Venture Lab strives for excellence in all aspects of its work, from the quality of its investments to the support and services it provides to startups. The organization values professionalism, expertise, and attention to detail, and aims to foster a culture of excellence among its staff, mentors, and portfolio companies.
  • Collaboration: AUC Venture Lab recognizes the importance of collaboration and partnership in building successful startups and driving economic growth. The organization values teamwork, communication, and cooperation, and seeks to foster a collaborative ecosystem that connects startups with mentors, investors, and other stakeholders.
  • Inclusivity: AUC Venture Lab is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the startup ecosystem, and values a culture of openness and respect for different perspectives and backgrounds. The organization seeks to support startups that are led by underrepresented founders and strives to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all entrepreneurs.
  • Impact: AUC Venture Lab believes that entrepreneurship and innovation have the power to create a positive impact and drive social and economic development. The organization values startups that have a clear mission and vision for creating meaningful and sustainable impact in their industries and communities and seeks to support ventures that align with its values of sustainability and social responsibility.

Mission

The AUC Venture Lab's mission is to empower the African American community to create, launch, and scale tech companies through our incubator program in the Bay Area. They provide access to high-quality mentorship, resources, and funding to help African American entrepreneurs build successful tech companies. They focus on creating a strong network of Black founders, investors, and professionals to foster collaboration and innovation in the tech ecosystem. 

They believe that by creating a supportive and inclusive environment for early-stage entrepreneurs to succeed, they can create more equitable and diverse outcomes in the tech industry.


Portfolio

The organization’s portfolio spans a range of industries, including fintech, health tech, edtech, e-commerce, and more, and includes both early-stage startups and more established ventures.

Here are some examples of companies that are part of AUC Venture Lab’s portfolio:

  • Odiggo: Odiggo is an online marketplace that connects car owners with certified mechanics for car maintenance and repair services. The platform allows car owners to book appointments, compare prices, and track the progress of their repairs while providing mechanics with a reliable source of business.
  • Vezeeta: Vezeeta is a digital healthcare booking platform that allows patients to book appointments with doctors and healthcare providers online. The platform provides patients with real-time availability information and user reviews and helps healthcare providers streamline their appointment scheduling and management.
  • MaxAB: MaxAB is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects small grocery store owners with suppliers of fresh produce and other food items. The platform uses AI-powered algorithms to optimize inventory management and delivery logistics, helping store owners to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
  • Harmonica: Harmonica is a dating app that is designed specifically for the Muslim market. The app uses a matching algorithm that takes into account users’ religious and cultural preferences and allows users to connect with potential matches in a safe and respectful environment.
  • Baramoda: Baramoda is an online fashion marketplace that features clothing and accessories from a range of independent designers and brands. The platform provides a curated shopping experience and helps designers and small businesses to reach a wider audience.

References
AUC Venture Lab
Leadership team

Grover Hollway (Managing Director)

Mina Seetharaman (Executive Director)

David Cohen (Director of Strategy and Business Development )

Headquarters
California, United States
Established
2015
Social Media