The Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at Berkeley Engineering celebrated its 10-year anniversary on April 21, 2015 by announcing a generous gift from Pantas Sutardja and Ting Chuk. The endowment will help hundreds more students invent products, start companies, and chart their course as industry innovators.
The benefactors, both graduates of Berkeley Engineering, have initiated a challenge to any donor to match their gift to the Pantas and Ting Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. The new gift will extend the Sutardja Center’s course offerings to a broader range of students, from first-year undergraduates to graduate students. The gift will also open up the Sutardja Center’s Venture Lab incubator to more student-led initiatives.
“We are profoundly grateful to Pantas and Ting for investing in the aspirations of our students,” said S. Shankar Sastry, Dean and Carlson Professor of Engineering. “Their generosity will magnify the impact of our students’ career paths by fostering entrepreneurial practice and by translating technological expertise into marketplace innovation.”
The center began as a single course in 2005 and developed into a robust program of courses and lectures that now serve more than 1,000 students each semester. It has led dozens of successful student startups throughout the years. Among them is Eko Devices, which recently closed a $2 million funding round for its digital stethoscope attachment.
Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu, Director Ken Singer, and IEOR Department Chair Phil Kaminsky designed the “Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship” to teach students how to launch and sustain technology ventures. Lauded as a national model by the National Science Foundation, the curriculum uses game-based learning to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset.
Pantas Sutardja (B.S. ’83, M.S.’85, Ph.D. ’88 EECS) is the cofounder of Marvell Technology Group, a semiconductor company with operations worldwide. Ting Chuk (B.S. ’85 EECS) was a design engineer at Rockwell and Xerox, among other companies. The two are active in the life of the College of Engineering and were cornerstone benefactors to CITRIS (the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society), a multi-campus institute headquartered at Berkeley Engineering. Their two sons are currently undergraduate students in the college.
“We heard about the CET program and were so curious to learn more about it that we sat in on one of their classes,” said Pantas Sutardja. “We were very impressed with the enthusiasm of all the students and their ability to articulate and present their projects. Berkeley has such strong academic credentials. We hope that our support will enable more Berkeley students to take what they learn here and create a culture of innovation wherever they go.”
The Sutardja Center’s First 10 Years: Milestones
2005 With Ikhlaq Sidhu at the helm, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology opens, offering one course to engineering undergraduates.
2007 Enrollment scales up to hundreds of undergraduates per year.
2008 The Venture Lab, an incubator for student start-ups, opens. While not taking an equity stake or providing seed funding, the Venture Lab offers guidance and mentoring on taking an idea to market, from developing a business plan to finding capital.
2009 The Global Venture Lab launches, bringing together entrepreneurship educators, researchers and practitioners from worldwide academic institutions.
2010 The center formulates a teaching curriculum that integrates depth in technical knowledge with breadth in management and business skills, leading to the launch of Berkeley Engineering’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.
2011 The center launches the Engineering Leadership Professional Program, a Silicon Valley offering that prepares top-performing engineers for executive roles.
2012 SkyDeck, one of the first research university startup accelerators, opens in Berkeley, building on the Venture Lab’s model of fostering entrepreneurship through industry engagement.
2013 The center’s Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship gains international recognition as a successful model for teaching technology entrepreneurship.
2015 The naming of the Pantas and Ting Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology recognizes the cornerstone commitment of benefactors Pantas Sutardja and Ting Chuk.
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