Entrepreneurs from Overseas Head to Haas to Compete, Learn

More than 40 teams from around the world will gather in October for the Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, a joint effort of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Intel, as the center continues to grow its global footprint training innovative, high-impact entrepreneurs.

From Oct. 6 to Oct. 9, the Lester Center will host 28 teams from 20 countries for the Intel Global Challenge competition at UC Berkeley. And from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11, the center will welcome 14 teams from seven countries for an inaugural Technology to Market Accelerator.

Now in its ninth year, the Intel Global Challenge showcases business opportunities with the greatest potential for a positive impact on society through the commercialization of novel computing technologies.

This year’s competitors include a Slovakian team addressing Internet authentication and security, a Japanese team with a patented rechargeable energy storage device, and a Bahraini team developing a cloud-based rendering service for animation studios and 3D artists.

Representing the U.S. is Cal team Eventable, which was a finalist and won the People's Choice Award at the UC Berkeley Startup Competition in April. Its technology offers an innovative marketing platform for brands and retailers to communicate with customers and to convert online visitors into in-store shoppers.

The grand-prize winner will receive $50,000. First-place awards of $10,000 each will be given in three computing industry categories—Internet, mobile, and software; social innovation; and hardware.

The program begins on Sunday, Oct. 6, with a trip to Stanford for speakers, workshops, and networking. On Monday, Oct. 7, teams will visit Intel headquarters in Santa Clara and the Plug and Play Technology Center in Sunnyvale. Tuesday, Oct. 8, includes the semifinals, , a fireside chat with renowned UC Berkeley entrepreneurship educator Steve Blank, and a networking event. A poster session at International House from noon to 1 p.m. is open to the public.

The competition culminates Wednesday, Oct. 9, with the finals (open to the public from 9 a.m. to 12:30 at the Clark Kerr Conference Center), venture capital/investor "speed dating," and an private awards dinner, with keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

The first-ever Intel Technology to Market Accelerator (T2MA) is a natural extension of the Intel Global Challenge, says Lester Center Executive Director Andre Marquis. "We took our expertise in educating and accelerating science and technology-based startup teams across the country as part of our National Science Foundation Innovation Corps and created a custom version that we scaled globally with the support of the Intel Foundation," Marquis says. "The teams here are the very best from those we taught online this summer across 11 different countries and 15 time zones. T2MA is an amazing way to deliver the training and business connections we give our UC Berkeley students to the best young entrepreneurs around the world."

The two programs overlap when the market accelerator teams attend Wednesday’s finals.  The 14 accelerator teams of two or three students each, fresh off a seven-week online class designed to help them improve the viability of their ideas, will then practice their pitches on Thursday, Oct. 10, and deliver their Lessons Learned in  Silicon Valley on Friday, Oct. 11.

For more information on the Intel Global Challenge, visit www.entrepreneurshipchallenge.org. For more on ITMA, see t2ma.org.