This course is cross-listed with the EWMBA Program


COURSE TITLE:  Startup Disco




INSTRUCTORS: Jorge Calderon




MEETING DAY/TIME:  Friday, November 3-Sunday, November 5

Please note the unorthodox timeframe of this course.  You must attend all three sessions of this course in their entirety in order to earn a passing grade.




CLASS FORMAT:  Activity based lectures, readings and flipped classroom media content to deliver instruction






Class Summary:

Previous students have said Startup Disco is one of the most worthwhile and memorable courses they have taken through Haas.


This is a high-octane, fun, single weekend course for graduate students who are interested in meeting other innovators and getting hands-on experience developing a new start-up concept.


The course pedagogy leverages the Purpose-Driven Design Process and a combination of other Lean Start-up Method and Berkeley Entrepreneurship Tools.  The pace and mindset is inspired by other “hackathon” and startup weekend formats.  A structured roadmap is used to help guide students through a sprint formation and ideation process.  Startup Disco uses activity based lectures, readings and flipped classroom media content to deliver instruction.


Students will begin the course by developing, advocating for and then prioritizing a long list of ideas, which are narrowed into venture teams based on student votes.  At the end of the course, each team will present their validated concepts and their next steps plan to a panel of experts.


Students are expected to commit to the instruction and development activities that span from Friday at 4:30 pm to Sunday at 4 pm.


Startup Disco is an interdisciplinary course and encourages students from Haas FTMBA and EWMBA programs, and students from any of the other graduate programs throughout UC Berkeley to participate.


This course is a great prequel for those planning on taking an advanced entrepreneurship course or applying to one of Berkeley’s venture competition or accelerator programs.


For Fall 2017, all industry and themes are welcome, but ideas should address a large urgent opportunity.  (This is an open edition of Startup Disco, in the Spring semester we offer Impact Startup Disco which is exclusively for impact only venture development.  Impact concepts are welcome in this open Startup Disco).

Class Objectives:

·         Learn the basics of getting a start-up concept to problem-solution fit

·         Deepen your understanding of the problem/opportunity you seek to address

·         Learn the importance of team composition and team dynamics in building a start-up

·         Get to know future co-founders and teammates



Jorge is a career entrepreneur, management consultant, venture investment professional & educator.  Mr. Calderon is the Founder and CEO of Eddily, an EdTech company rebuilding the bridge between college and careers.  He is currently on leave from Impact Strategy Advisors (ISA), a boutique social venture & investment design consulting firm where he was the founding Managing Director.  Jorge’s practice focused on helping capital sources & operating companies transform intentional social purpose into economic & positive impact value.  Mr. Calderon has broad expertise in a variety of social themes, including education, economic development, diversity/inclusion, job creation, poverty alleviation, access to food, technology for change and the field of impact investing.  Jorge is the author of the Purpose-Centered Design methodology and its related activities and frameworks.  He is also a lecturer at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business, where he built the Social Lean LaunchPad and Startup Disco curricula, is a Fellow within Berkeley’s Institute for Business and Social Impact, is part of the faculty team for the LAUNCH accelerator, was previously the Faculty Director for the GSVC, and is actively working on developing a campus based inclusive innovation program.  Mr. Calderon previously founded Springworks, a program lab that was committed to developing paths for women and minorities in innovation related careers.  Earlier he was the founding Director for the West Coast office of a tech focused seed stage venture capital firm and has had roles in top tier management consulting, banking and technology companies.  Mr. Calderon is a University of Michigan graduate and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.