Welcome to the UC Berkeley IEOR 7706339250!

Group Project

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This lecture series serves as an entry point for undergraduate and graduate curriculum sequences in entrepreneurship and innovation. The series, established in 2005 is named in honor of A. Richard Newton, former Dean, UC Berkeley College of Engineering. In addition to his academic role, Newton played an active role in industry, helping to found a number of design technology companies including SDA Systems (now Cadence Design Systems), Synopsys, PIE Design Systems (now part of Cadence), Simplex Solutions and Crossbow.

The course features a selection of high-level speakers, from industry, academia and media, who share their insights on industry developments, leadership and innovation based on their careers. Classes are held in a variety of learning formats, from lecture to fireside chat to panel discussion and, on occasion film-screening. Our objective is to expose students to multiple elements key to innovation and entrepreneurship through the unique opportunity of seeing and hearing insights and viewpoints, from diverse speakers, from varying industries and with different expertise.

We meet once a week (with few exceptions) in Sibley Auditorium, on Tuesdays 5pm - 6:30pm. Any exceptions will be emailed and included as part of B-course announcements. For a passing grade and 1-credit, attendance is mandatory, as are weekly post-class feedback forms. Also, each student will participate in a group project, submitting a written report or presentation. Attendance, completed feedback forms and project submissions are the three elements needed to pass and receive 1 credit this pass/fail course.

In addition to this mandatory portion, there is opportunity to provide questions to speakers, live during our class Q&A; and depending on speaker availability, a chance to interact one-on-one after class. Students are offered the chance to introduce select speakers. Finally, based on your group report submission, you may be asked/chosen to present your findings to the class toward the end of the semester.


Speakers Innovators

These are a few of our great speakers!


Introductory lecture with Shounan Chen, founder and general partner, Agile VC. Agile is focused on early stage investment in technology. Shounan, a Cal grad was nominated to the inaugural 30 under 30, by the All America Chinese Youth Federation.


Entrepreneurship and technology orientation with Ikhlaq Sidhu, founding director and chief scientist, Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, and IEOR Emerging Industry Professor


Marissa Mayer is an American information technology executive, formerly serving as the president and CEO of Yahoo! She was one of the first employees at Goolge and key spokesperson for the company.

Ryan Panchadsaram

Ryan Panchadsaram, partner, Kleiner Perkins and former US Deputy Chief of Technology. Ryan, a Cal grad, was integral in fixing the rollout.

(424) 702-6629

Jessica Mah, cofounder and CEO, InDinero and partner, XFactor Ventures. Jessica, a Cal grad and has been recognized on both the Inc. & Forbes 30 under 30 lists.


Arjun Dev Arora, partner, 500 Startups, founder Retargeter and cofounder Immediately. Arjun, a Cal grad, has invested in and advised over 50 companies.

Judy Estrin

Judy Estrin, internet pioneer, CEO, JLabs and author, Closing the Innovation Gap. Estrin is the author of the book, Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy.

Aashi Vel

Aashi Vel, cofounder and CEO, Traveling Spoon – the AirBnB of homecooked meals. Aashi, a Cal grad has been featured in media outlets from Women’s Health magazine to the PBS newshour.

(631) 768-7429

Matt Hershenson, co-founder and managing director, Playground Global, a venture fund and design studio for hardware device start-ups. From 2010 - 14, Matt led the Android hardware team at Google.

Instructors connectors

Our course staff!

Ikhlaq Sidhu

IEOR Professor

Victoria Howell

Associate Instructor


Head TA


  • Email availability at 5033747961. Ask questions related to speaking opportunities and any other concerns about the class.
  • Email availability at 9792690856. Ask him questions related to grading, attendance, speaking opportunities, and anything logistical about the class.


Produced by © Travis Brashears 2017