Thierry Lu, the Program Manager at the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA), with startups from the Fall 2019 batch

Earlier this week I caught up with Thierry Lu, the Program Manager at the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) and Trade Commissioner for Global Affairs Canada. The Canadian Tech Accelerator is a federally funded program created to prepare and catapult high-potential Canadian startups into Silicon Valley. It was enlightening to have this opportunity to hear Thierry’s perspective around developments in tech innovation in Canada. At the end of this month, SkyDeck will be co-hosting the demo day for the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA). The event is open to investors and the public. …

by Sibyl Chen

Last week I caught up with cofounders of DocuVision, Rama Veeraragoo and Mahmoud Hafez. In spring of 2019, DocuVision joined SkyDeck’s accelerator cohort program. I had just joined SkyDeck as head of program right before the selection process began and vividly remember their interview. I was impressed by Rama’s pitch and the vision he shared. It’s every bit as gratifying sitting on the accelerator side seeing the DocuVision team go through the startup journey and exit. Too often, startups never get to that point. …

7 Top Tips from 3 Berkeley SkyDeck Interns

The coronavirus may have cut short our time in the SkyDeck penthouse, meeting face-to-face with startup founders and fellow SkyDeck interns, but it has not diminished our experience interning for one of the top startup accelerators. In this trying time, we have come to realize how dynamic and adaptable both companies and interns must be. Along the way, we’ve picked up a few helpful tricks that may guide future interns in navigating a virtual internship.

  1. Take Initiative!

With any internship, what you put into is what you’ll get out of it, and this is still the case when working remotely…

Michael Bloomberg, a dark horse candidate, is the best shot we have at a less divided country

by Sibyl Chen

Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a campaign rally in Monterey, CA (Jan 17, 2020)

January 18, 2020

It seems like a distant memory now. On November 8, 2016, I stood with some 200 people in a crowded bar in San Francisco. A few of us had organized an election night party for a group of civically minded and politically engaged friends. One of the lead organizers thought he was being clever when he called the event, “Champagne or Cyanide? It’s Election Night.” Lots of people showed up dressed to the nines as if it was a New Year’s Eve party and anticipating that we were going to be celebrating Hilary Clinton’s…

By Sibyl Chen

When I founded my own startup in 2014, I hadn’t heard of Berkeley SkyDeck. Even though I was a Berkeley alumna, no one was really talking about SkyDeck then. Fast forward a few years, SkyDeck has been steadily growing its presence and making a name for itself in the startup world.

Intending to transition into VC last year, I was asked by a friend of mine who is an advisor at SkyDeck if I might be interested in taking a look at the accelerator world, and introduced me to Chon Tang, SkyDeck’s Fund Manager. Every time I…

As we near the end of 2018, I thought I might share a remix of W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939”, which I wrote this summer after visiting the Whitney Museum’s exhibit Where We Are. The poem reflects so much of what has been weighing on my mind.

June 9, 2018

I stand in this grove
In this open Mendocino land
Promising, but unclear
As the clever question implores
Of a bizarre & extraordinary year:
Waves of uncertainty yet hope
Hovering over the lights of Vegas
And darkened corner of North Korea,
Ubiquitous are our digital lives;
The unmentionable creep on privacy
Offend our rights…

[Travelogue] A Tale of Two Worlds: Nepal & Tibet

In the clutches of modernity and government

One of many stunning vistas from my trek around the Annapurna Circuit.

Two weeks ago I returned from a month long trip traveling around Nepal and Tibet. The trip was prompted from an initial conversation some years ago by friend Darren who had trekked Mt. Kilimanjaro and described it as being one of the best experiences he’d ever had. Subsequently, another friend Kat who had trekked both Mt. Kili and the Himalayas, offered her verdict that trekking around the Annapurna Circuit offered an unrivaled opportunity for spiritual awakening. …

Sibyl Chen

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