Innovation That Matters

Our Initiative

Every firm, organization, and investor is trying to navigate the changes that are occurring in the world today. What will be the new consumer behaviors and new business demands? What role will technology play? How will innovation and R&D change in the new environment?

We started this initiative to focus our teaching and labs on Innovation that Matters in order to answer the pressing questions that arrive in light of these economic, technological, and societal changes. We are using our first set of industry roundtables as mini-advisory boards to understand how Berkeley and Berkeley students can best engage in the topics of Innovation that Matter today, as well as how to best collaborate with industry partners in the process.

To help industry adapt at this critical time, we created the Innovation-X Network and Program focused on Innovation that Matters. How can companies innovate to create the biggest impact for industry and society now and in the future? Some current areas of interest include:

  • the work at home economy
  • the future of work
  • re-evaluating supply chain
  • healthcare disruptions
  • entertainment post-COVID
  • the future of the travel industry
  • education reset
  • social media as a news source
  • touchless society
  • the future of payments

The Innovation-X Program is beginning in summer of 2020 with a series of industry roundtables to innovate in these topic areas. Discovery Projects will emerge from these initial discussion, where we will leverage the resources of UC Berkeley faculty and students to create innovative solutions in collaboration with Network members that will guide the future of industry.

Innovation That Matters Roundtables

Topics include Work at Home Economy, Future of Work, Re-evaluating Supply Chain, Healthcare Disruptions, Entertainment Post-COVID, Future of the Travel Industry, Education Reset, Social Media as a News Source, Touchless Society, and Future of Payments

Open Platform

Participate in our open platform to share best practices, industry data, and results.

Discovery Projects

Work directly with UC Berkeley students in areas such as Data Science, Blockchain, Data Business Models, and other X-Lab Courses.

Featured Course

Innovation-X: Future of Industry Startup Lab

Advanced Topics in Entrepreneurship & Innovation
INDENG 190E/290 (3 Units)

Innovation-X is an advanced venture project course based on the Innovation Engineering framework, a first-of-its-kind method for guiding innovation projects. Students will learn about the future of key industries and emerging technologies with project tracks in mobile network applications, 5G and Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work, Reimagining Education, Future of Entertainment, Re-Evaluating the Supply Chain, Advanced Manufacturing 4.0 and other topics from the Berkeley Innovation-X initiative.



Ikhlaq Sidhu



Aleks Gollu

Upcoming Innovation-X Roundtables

Previous Events

  • 2/25 The Circular Economy and Sustainable Supply Chains

    In the past 20 years, our society has become increasingly accessible— in the span of a day, a person can travel across the world, simultaneously, if you prefer staying home,…

  • 1/28: US Innovation & Cross Border Opportunity

    How can outside business people access the myriad opportunities in innovation in the United States, Silicon Valley and beyond? What is unique about the culture in US innovation ecosystems and…

  • 11/12: Reimagining the retail economy from proximity to distance

    COVID-19 has accelerated a shift in retail that started with e-commerce 3 decades ago. As consumers adjust their habits to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in their daily lives,…

  • 11/5: Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

    Robots and automation, AI, smart systems, IoT-it’s all here and set to unleash a new industrial revolution. As Industry 4.0 expands, there is a path to shape the future and…

  • 10/15: Touchless Society

    Do you remember the last time you went out in public and didn’t think about what you touched? You could safely interact with elevators, ticket machines, ATMs, vending machines, and…

  • 10/1: Future of Work

    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially changed the human workforce. Large multinational corporations have re-organized into mostly remote workforces essentially overnight. Small businesses and retail are having to re-organize to…

  • 9/17: Tweet All About It! The Future of Journalism in the Age of News Entertainment

    Abstract: What role will technology and innovation play in the future of journalism? The field of journalism is currently in flux. Once thought of as an objective “view from nowhere,”…

  • 9/3: Re-Evaluating the Supply Chain

      Register   Transportation Execution is driven by Innovation in uncertain times. The Logistics Industry in the U.S. represents approximately 10% of the GDP or close to 2 trillion dollars.…

  • 8/20: The Future of Healthcare

    The scope of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new set of requirements to healthcare practice worldwide.  Curve-flattening and non-pharmaceutical intervention have now entered the lexicon and reflect healthcare’s broader…

  • 8/6: Fan Engagement and the Future of Entertainment

    Learn from the champs: The NBA’s world-beating approach to Digital (Fan) Engagement Last year Fast Company named the National Basketball Association (NBA) the 3rd most innovative company in the world.…

Innovation-X Network & Program

  • Bi-weekly Innovation that Matters Roundtables with guest speakers and a limited audience that probe the topic of innovation across various industries.
  • An Open Platform to share best practices, industry data, and results.
  • Opportunities to propose Discovery Projects for UC Berkeley students in Data Science, Blockchain, and other emerging areas.
  • Opportunities to enroll in new Sutardja Center Professional Programs like Up-Skilling@Berkeley: Data/AI and the Fall Engineering Leadership program.
  • Access to leading edge materials for technical insight and innovation culture including training materials in Applied Data Science, Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Engineering.


Innovation-X Roundtable on Supply Chain: Perspectives from Industry Speakers

By Mallika Luthar | September 30, 2020
Posted in
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InnovationX: The NBA, Fan Engagement, & the Future of Entertainment

By Kyle Giffin | September 28, 2020
Posted in

Until now, sports games were simply cancelled if no live audience could be there. Without the shouting, cheering, chanting, and hype generated by an audience, games can feel empty & emotionless. Due to the pandemic, massive sports franchises like the NBA have had to innovate new ways to maintain audience…

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Takeaways from Innovation-X Roundtable: Reevaluating the Supply Chain

By Keith McAleer | September 25, 2020
Posted in

The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially disrupted the global supply chain. Within a matter of months, the transportation, logistics, and manufacturing industries have gone through rapid and accelerated transformation. New questions and opportunities are now coming up for the future of the supply chain. How has the role of the supply…

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Shomit Ghose’s Inaugural Best of SCET Berkeley Talk-Crisis as a Catalyst

By Mallika Luthar | September 22, 2020
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Takeaways from Innovation-X Roundtable 2: Reimagining Education

By Suyash Jaju | July 31, 2020
Posted in
covid-19 education

The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially disrupted education. Within a matter of months, schools have gone almost fully online, accelerating virtual education, and with it bringing new questions and opportunities for the future of learning. Will disruption allow students to attend university at cheaper rates and learn more tangible skills to…

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Take-Aways from the Innovation-X Roundtable: Innovation in Times of Change

By Suyash Jaju | July 16, 2020
Posted in

Black swans are rare and unpredictable events that create a huge impact on the ways we live and work. During the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals and companies have to adapt to a new normal for daily life. Which industries are thriving and which are struggling in the new normal? What will…

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Higher Education and the Zoombie Apocalypse

By Shomit Ghose | July 9, 2020
Posted in ,

Virtualization Comes for Higher Ed Murder hornets. The Great Toilet Paper Panic. And New York Magazine’s thought-provoking interview with NYU’s Scott Galloway on the coming disruption to higher education.  All serve to mark the calamitous year of 2020.  Just as the Internet has virtualized the retail industry, it’s now begun…

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Inspiring Innovation: 2020 Summer Reading List

By Suyash Jaju | July 7, 2020
Posted in

Inspiring Innovation: 2020 Summer Reading List The faculty, staff, and mentorship network at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology have compiled a list of 10 fascinating and applicable summer 2020 reads for any innovator or entrepreneur!   (Looking for more reading? Check out our 2019 Summer Reading List!) Artificial…

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Innovation-X Learning Opportunities for Professionals

Interested in deeper engagement? Our professional programs help executives and industry leaders learn about the latest trends in technology innovation and how to make their companies more innovative.

  • Engineering Leadership Professional Program - This program builds on the core skills of technical managers, engineers, and scientists. It is focused on technology firm situations and is condensed into only 4 1/2 months. video
  • Silicon Valley Innovation Leadership Week - Responsible for leading your company's innovation? This program guides leaders to transform their organizations with new insights on strategy, disruptive technologies and creating innovative cultures. video
  • UpSkilling @ UC Berkeley: Data-X Global -Today's companies require employees with the latest data science skills to gain insight on their customers, operations, and growth through their data. Join our instructor-led, professional-only track, guided by Berkeley faculty and industry experts. video

Who's Involved

The Berkeley Innovation-X Network is a collaboration between industry professionals, academics, and companies all seeking to innovate in ways that will have the biggest impact for society.

Spotlighted Members

Ting Chuk, Board Member, Sutardja Center
Peter Cnudde,
Industry Fellow, Sutardja Center
Keval Desai,
General Partner, InterWest Partners
Charles Fan,
Founder and CEO, MemVerge
Shomit Ghose,
General Partner, Onset Ventures
Charlie Giancarlo,
CEO, Pure Storage
Aleks Gollu, CEO, 11Sight
Stefan Heuser, Former Vice President, Samsung
Christine Ho, CEO & Co-Founder, Imprint Energy
Andrew Laffoon, CEO & Co-Founder, Mixbook
Nir Merry,
Vice President, Applied Materials
Cosmos Nicolaou, Principal, CloudEng LLC
Mike Olson, Former CSO, Cloudera; Chairman of the Board, Berkeleyside
Kim Polese, Chairman, CrowdSmart
In Sik Rhee, General Partner, Vertex Ventures
Ori Sasson, General Partner, Primera Capital
Ikhlaq Sidhu, Chief Scientist & Faculty Director, Sutardja Center
Pantas Sutardja, CEO, LatticeWork
Marc Tarpenning,
Co-Founder, Tesla Motors

By the Numbers

Network Members

Network Members represent firms that want to focus on Innovation That Matters to adapt their innovation practices by working with UC Berkeley faculty and students.


In the 2019-2020 academic year, the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at the University of California, Berkeley educated nearly 2,000 students at UC Berkeley in innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, representing diverse majors from business to social science to engineering.

Venture Projects

UC Berkeley students and professionals developed more than 300 projects this academic year in emerging technology areas such as blockchain, data science, sustainability, meat alternatives, internet of things, and other areas.

Innovation-X Network Partners

About Us

Since 2005, SCET has created the foundation of Berkeley’s entrepreneurship ecosystem which includes SkyDeck, the Fung Institute, the Engineering Leadership Professional ProgramGlobal Venture Lab, and an extensive ecosystem of Silicon Valley and Global partners.

The Center is also known for developing the Berkeley Method, an internationally recognized approach to teaching technology entrepreneurship to undergraduates, innovation to Ph.D. students, and technology firm leadership to professionals and executives. As part of the Berkeley innovation ecosystem, the Sutardja Center also collaborates closely with the Jacob’s Institute for Design, the Haas Business School, and the CITRIS Foundry.

If you are interested in new ventures or innovation on the Berkeley campus or beyond,  SCET is the place to be. The Center is located within the College of Engineering of UC Berkeley, specifically the Department Industrial Engineering & Operations Research.