Berkeley SkyDeck has started a partnership with the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, the multidisciplinary hub of the University of California, Berkeley, with a mission to provide significant support to hardware startups participating in the SkyDeck accelerator program. This collaboration offers startups access to premier facilities for prototyping and testing their products. Through SkyDeck, startups get access to advanced tools and pro advice at reduced costs, streamlining the transformation of groundbreaking concepts into tangible products.

The partnership grants projects enrolled into the accelerator Entrepreneur Maker Passes to the Jacobs Makerspace, enabling them to use a diverse range of top-notch equipment including 3D printers, electronics and textile labs, wood and metal shops, industrial robots, and more. Additionally, pass holders benefit from the vast expertise of the Jacobs Institute’s design specialists, workshops, training sessions, and affordable base materials from the Material Store. Equally exciting, opportunities for personal engagement between the two communities are also available, spanning an array of workshops and career discussions.

One project supported by the initiative is SpaceCAL, an innovative suborbital start-up. According to Taylor James Waddell, its Principal Investigator, the resources offered are great support for cutting-edge initiatives, with amazing savings potentially amounting to tens of thousands of dollars in the prototyping phase. “Adapting a research technology for a harsh and complex field takes a lot of prototyping and tests and requires a hands-on understanding of design for manufacturing,”said Waddell. “The SpaceCAL project was created to test a new type of 3D printing in space environments, and working with JIDI allowed us to be hands-on with our designs and quickly learn from our mistakes to create the perfect experiment.”

The partnership channels both institutions’ commitment not only to tech innovation but also to societal impact. By leveraging the resources of the Jacobs Institute, numerous companies can boost their progress, ultimately contributing to Berkeley’s reputation as a front-runner in fostering venture-funded startups. All the more inspiration to persevere in your entrepreneurial endeavors!

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