My classmate and friend, Andrew Collier, recently put together an awesome event on entrepreneurship and sustainability issues in the water sector. He kindly agreed to write a few words as a guest blogger:
On Wednesday, September 21st, roughly 60 students gathered together for a Water Entrepreneurs Workshop to explore and discuss business challenges and opportunities in the wastewater sector. The event was co-hosted by the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) and Imagine H2O, and drew on the insights of six terrific panelists including Shilen Patel (Veolia, North America), Chris Morrison (Nalco), Bradley Mart (Fogbusters), Rachel Saperstein (Hydrovolts), Paul Straub (Claremont Creek Ventures), and Rachel Sheinbein (CMEA Capital).
As a first-year Haas student, I was excited to help plan this workshop. I have an academic background in earth and atmospheric sciences and have been working in sustainability consulting for the past 3.5 years. I was drawn to Haas because of its strong focus on social and environmental impact (BERC, Net Impact, Center for Responsible Business, Global Social Venture Competition, etc.).
One goal that I have for my time at Haas is to emphasize the importance of water issues within the BERC community by building bridges to outside organizations like Imagine H2O. Since BERC has a far-reaching network that includes students, alumni, faculty, and industry professionals, it provides a terrific platform to enable this sort of cross-collaboration. The workshop served as one tool to facilitate knowledge sharing and problem solving amongst students, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Andrew, this was a great workshop and I learned a lot. Thank you!
Guest Post: David Breger, Co-President of the Berkeley Digital Media and Entertainment Club (DMEC) gives us a peek into the different events hosted by clubs at Haas. This recap is cross posted on the DMEC Blog.
One of the best things about DMEC is our extremely passionate and fun alumni base. Because the Club is less than a decade old, DMEC alums are recent alums that are awesome to hang out with and are always working on the most interesting things.
Case in point: a couple weeks ago was our First Annual DMEC Past & Present Scotch Tasting. Sponsored by Johnny Walker, we held the event at the Yardbarker offices in San Francisco, started by two DMEC co-founders, Pete Vlastelica and Jack Kloster.
The night began with appetizers and cocktails, where dozens of DMEC members and alums alike had the chance to talk and catch up with one another. Then began the scotch tasting. The Master of Scotch explained to us the differences between the five types of Johnny Walker scotch we tasted that night: Red, Gold, Black, Green, and Blue. It was a great chance to interact with DMEC students and alums working in the digital media and entertainment industries over some fantastic scotch!
One of my favorite courses at Haas School of Business right now is an elective course called “MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur”. It is jointed hosted by Haas School of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. Basically each week one guest speaker was invited to give one hour speech, either at Bechtel Engineering Center in the College of Engineering, or Arthur Andersen Auditorium in Haas School of Business. Most speakers are successful entrepreneurs or venture capitalists (usually these successful VCs used to be great entrepreneurs as well.).
This web page at CET center lists all the schedule and each speaker’s name and photo. Among all the speakers so far, I particularly enjoyed following speakers:
From left to right:
- Ted Hoff, Inventor of the Microprocessor. I enjoyed his story of inventing the first generation CPU Intel 8086/8088.
- Maurice Gunderson, Senior Partner, CMEA. Mr. Gunderson is a veteran in energy industry.
- Charles Giancarlo, Managing Director, Silver Lake. Mr. Giancarlo used to be one of the most influential people at Cisco, LinkSys and Avaya. He is really a senior executive with tons of experiences in Telecommunication, computer network and IT industry.
Just today Oct 20th, the speaker is a cool young guy Charles Huang, co-creator of Guitar Hero.
As I am an international student, I was not familiar with the name of Guitar Hero before the speech. Now I learned it is a very popular music video game in the U.S.
Actually “MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur” is just one of the many ”Speaker Series” courses under the same umbrella of MBA 294 series:
MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur
MBA294.2 Real Estate
MBA294.3 Careers in Marketing
MBA294.4 Market-Based Approaches to Poverty
MBA294.5 Investment Management Spkr Series
MBA294.6 Microfinance Speaker Series
MBA294.7 Managing Internet & Digital Media
MBA294.8 General Mgt. & Strategy Spkr Series
MBA294.9 Careers in Consulting
MBA294.11 Education Leadership Speaker Series
MBA294.12 Private Equity Speaker Series
MBA294.13 Careers 101
MBA294.14 Topics in Technology
MBA294.15 Health Care Speaker Series
MBA294.16 Alternative Energy Speaker Series
Haas MBA body is pretty much diversified, so many classmates are taking other MBA 294.x Speaker Series, and it seems that almost everyone is enjoying it!
Back in March, my partner and fellow-classmate, Antony Passemard and I presented in the semi-finals of the 2009 Berkeley Business Plan Competition. With several days of intense preparation under our belts, we faced the panel of judges – some of the most high profile individuals from the venture capital industry – with confidence. Three hours later, the winners had been declared; we were moving on to the final round.
Antony Passemard, Sanjit Mitra
Haas MBA 2009
What’s unfolded through the course of the semester has been an unforgettable and unparalleled experience. The competition has been a big highlight of our two year journey at Haas, especially given the slim shot at making it this far (top 8 out of approx. 110 teams). The final round is in less than a week, and the excitement of presenting our venture idea – this time in front of both VC’s and the broader Berkeley community – is exhilarating.
Provided is a link to the competition website, which is open to the public on Thursday, April 30, 2009 from 6 pm onwards at the Andersen Auditorium on the Haas School campus. It promises to be a wonderful evening!
Last week I visited the incubator for the first time. The incubator is a place (in the basement of a hotel) the Lester Center provides to students who are working on their startups.
I was there because my classmate Thomas, who is working on MojaMix
with Norberto, was conducting tastings for various cereal mixes. I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to eat and opine (my favorite activities).
This was Thomas and fellow taster Kristina:
After five bowls of cereal, I strolled around the incubator to check out the space. Since it was early in the morning, most of the cubes were unoccupied. Nonetheless, I could still feel the entrepreneurial spirit in the air.
It must be so exciting to be starting a business…
This post on behalf of Nicole Ballin, the co-organizer (with Hansoo Lee) of Ideas@Cal, an entrepreneurial idea generation event.
The Entrepreneurs Association hosted their annual ideation event, “Ideas@Cal” on Friday October 24th. The Haas School of Business was joined by students from the Engineering School, Life Sciences and School of Architecture to form a truly multi-disciplinary audience. Jerry Engel of the Lester Center, urged the crowd to “think big” and take advantage of the myriad of resources offered by our world-class institution and Cal’s proximity to the epicenter of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.
Students were encouraged to use the Ideas@Cal event to form teams and generate ideas for the upcoming Cal B-Plan Competition and Global Social Venture Competition with a combined $90,000 in prize money on offer! Then it was on to the main attraction – a fun and informal “speed dating” session within various industries of interest. Budding entrepreneurs with ideas were looking to build out their teams, searching for participants with skills and experience in their area of interest. Others were surfing the crowd, looking for exciting opportunities to contribute to developing a business plan.
Five newly formed teams registered their groups with the Ideas@Cal team and were awarded gift certificates to the local coffee shop to encourage their follow up meetings. All said and done, the event was a great success and we’re looking forward to hosting the next event that will explore ideation theory in depth with a visiting industry expert.