City partners with startup accelerator Berkeley SkyDeck to bring seven innovation companies to Sacramento

The City of Sacramento has partnered with Berkeley SkyDeck, the startup accelerator program from the University of California Berkeley, which will bring seven startup companies to Sacramento to work with the City to identify investment opportunities.

Berkeley SkyDeck will refer the city a minimum of seven program alumni a year at no fee. All the startups’ founders are alumni of one of the UC campuses and are evaluated through a rigorous process. Berkeley SkyDeck currently accepts less than 3% of applicants.

The City of Sacramento’s Urban Technology Lab (SUTL) will work with these companies to navigate the regulatory environment and connect with potential customers and business partners in the public and private sector. The City also will introduce these startups to the local workforce, with the ultimate goal of growing industry in Sacramento and creating more new, high-paying jobs in the region.

The City already has shown that it is a strong partner for emerging tech companies. Its currently working with Kiwibot, the food delivery robot company from Berkeley that will test the product in Sacramento. The City also has been working closely with autonomous vehicle company Phantom Auto.

“Our new partnership with Berkeley SkyDeck reflects how Sacramento is emerging as a statewide leader in the testing of new and emerging technologies,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “The steady flow of young companies looking to prove their products in our city could eventually pay off with new jobs and new investment in growth industries that could further diversify our economy and provide opportunity for young people growing up in our neighborhoods.”

“We are excited to formalize our first large-scale innovation agreement,” said Louis Stewart, the City’s chief innovation officer. “This is all part of our effort to put Sacramento on the map as an innovation hub where startup companies know that the City is open, and that we’ll partner with them to help develop, test and showcase their programs. I look forward to leading the City’s efforts alongside our partners to assist the companies in finding success in Sacramento.”

“SkyDeck is building the global hub for entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley, bringing in the best startups from Berkeley and from around the world,” said Caroline Winnett, executive director of SkyDeck. We are very proud and excited to share our incredible startup companies with a vibrant and nearby city like Sacramento. Today, we are thrilled at the prospect of partnering with the City to help build its reputation as seat of technology and innovation. We look forward to creating sophisticated, cutting-edge business opportunities to attract talent and bring new jobs here.”

The Berkeley SkyDeck program is just one of the strategies that the City is utilizing to bring new and innovative companies, infrastructure and jobs to the region. Last year, the City launched the Sacramento Urban Technology Lab framework to engage stakeholders across the region to transform Sacramento into a living laboratory where future technologies can be developed, tested and scaled.

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