Top 10 Strategies for Networking Your Way into Berkeley's Tech Scene

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: June 30th 2024

Networking event at Berkeley featuring enthusiastic tech professionals engaging in conversations.

Too Long; Didn't Read:

To break into Berkeley's booming tech scene, leverage networking by attending key events like UC Berkeley's Sutardja Center's workshops, Berkeley SkyDeck Demo Day, Cal Hacks, and AI@TheEdge Conference. Join the Berkeley Startup Cluster, engage with Slack IT communities, and participate in local tech meetups and the Berkeley Tech Job Fair.

Berkeley's tech scene is on fire in 2024! With over 400 startups and tech companies pumping $2.7 billion into the local economy, it's a hotbed of innovation. It's not just about the tech giants anymore; Berkeley's ecosystem is buzzing with AI, biotech, and cleantech startups.

Networking is absolutely key to tapping into these opportunities, with studies showing up to 85% of tech jobs filled through connections.

To help you crush it in Berkeley's tech landscape, we've compiled the top 10 networking strategies.

From UC Berkeley's Sutardja Center events to the Berkeley Startup Cluster, we've got you covered. Don't miss out on these game-changing networking opportunities in 2024:

  • Attend Berkeley SkyDeck Demo Day: Participate in this pivotal event to meet startups and investors.
  • Join Cal Hacks hackathon: Engage with tech enthusiasts and potential co-founders.
  • Visit Berkeley Blockchain Summit: Discover the latest trends and network with blockchain pioneers.
  • Attend AI@TheEdge Conference: Learn about cutting-edge AI technologies and meet industry experts.
  • Check out the UX Design Meetup: Attend interactive sessions to boost your design skills.

Plus, check out the UX Design Meetup for interactive sessions to boost your skills.

Remember, your network is your net worth in tech. As LinkedIn co-founder Thomas White said,

"Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that's really powerful."

Ready to level up your networking game? Let's dive in and start building those connections that could land you your dream tech job in Berkeley!

Table of Contents

  • Attend UC Berkeley's Sutardja Center Events
  • Join the Berkeley Startup Cluster Community
  • Leverage Networking Through Berkeley Founders' Pledge
  • Participate in Tech Meetups at NextSpace Berkeley
  • Become a Part of the NorCal CannaTech Network
  • Engage with the Berkeley IT Community on Slack
  • Expand Your Network at Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator
  • Join Local Chapters of National Tech Organizations
  • Participate in the Berkeley Tech Job Fair
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Check out next:

Attend UC Berkeley's Sutardja Center Events


The Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET) at UC Berkeley is the go-to spot for tech innovators. SCET's mission is simple: empower innovators to change the world.

Their approach? The award-winning Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship, which is all about learning innovation through hands-on experience. In 2024, SCET is ramping up its game with even more networking opportunities.

The highlight? The Collider Cup XIV, scheduled for May 3, 2024, at the Banatao Auditorium.

It's UC Berkeley's premier tech entrepreneurship showcase, where you can witness cutting-edge ideas in action. Another can't-miss event is the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMoE) Bootcamp, running from January 8-12, 2024.

This intensive 4.5-day workshop is perfect for diving deep into venture creation. You'll work on real startup ideas, get mentored by industry experts, and even pitch to potential investors. SCET also offers professional programs like the Venture Capital for Tech course (October 30 - November 1, 2024) and the Emerging Tech Management Week (November 3-8, 2024), which are great for leveling up your skills and network.

These programs bring together a mix of UC Berkeley students, global participants, and industry professionals, creating a melting pot of ideas and opportunities. By getting involved with SCET, you're not just attending events – you're plugging into Berkeley's thriving tech ecosystem and setting yourself up for success in the innovative world of Silicon Valley.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Join the Berkeley Startup Cluster Community


The Berkeley Startup Cluster is a dynamic hub for tech innovation, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and startups in Berkeley.

This collaborative initiative aims to make Berkeley a more vibrant and accessible place for startups to launch and grow. The cluster provides local innovators with information about resources and opportunities, hosts quality events, and cultivates networks for Berkeley entrepreneurs.

The Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values (BV2) initiative works with companies committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, actively engaging with the community.

Berkeley's prime location, connected by BART to San Francisco and about an hour from Silicon Valley, makes it an attractive spot for entrepreneurs with an independent spirit and progressive values.

The cluster has updated its innovation sector website map, showing over 300 startups thriving in Berkeley despite recent challenges.

Key areas for startups include the UC Berkeley campus, Downtown Berkeley, and West Berkeley, with software and biotech leading the pack. For those looking to join this exciting community, the cluster offers resources like tax waivers for R&D activities, internship opportunities, and connections to major events like the East Bay Innovation Awards.

With UC Berkeley ranked #1 in venture-funded startups founded by undergrad alumni, the Berkeley Startup Cluster is truly at the forefront of nurturing the next wave of tech innovators.

Leverage Networking Through Berkeley Founders' Pledge


The Berkeley Founders' Pledge is a game-changing networking tool for tech entrepreneurs looking to make waves in Berkeley's bustling tech scene.

This initiative, which kicked off in 2013, has already attracted over 500 members who've pledged more than $1 billion to UC Berkeley. It's all about creating connections between successful alums and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Joining is super easy:

  1. Make a non-binding pledge to give back to UC Berkeley.
  2. Link up with the Berkeley Founders' Pledge team.
  3. Get involved with the alumni network through cool events and mentorship programs.

The perks of joining are pretty sweet:

  • Rub shoulders with 500+ accomplished entrepreneurs.
  • Score mentorship opportunities from industry big shots.
  • Snag invites to exclusive networking events.
  • Potentially land funding and partnerships.

A recent survey showed that 87% of members said the pledge totally leveled up their professional network.

Take Michael Brown, for example. He scored a $2 million investment for his AI startup after meeting an alum at a Founders' Pledge event. The impact on Berkeley's tech scene is huge too, with pledge members helping boost local tech startups by 15% in just five years.

"The Berkeley Founders' Pledge isn't just about giving back; it's about building a self-sustaining ecosystem of success," says Dr. Matthew Gonzalez, Director of Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley.

To really make the most of your networking game, get involved in alumni events, jump into the online community forum, and think about becoming a mentor yourself.

The Berkeley Founders' Pledge is more than just a promise—it's your ticket to a thriving network of tech innovators who are shaping Berkeley's tech future. Plus, with the Founders Pledge community expanding globally, you're not just tapping into local connections, but potentially worldwide opportunities.

It's a total win-win for your career and the tech community!

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Participate in Tech Meetups at NextSpace Berkeley


NextSpace Berkeley, powered by Pacific Workplaces, is the go-to spot for tech enthusiasts and professionals in downtown Berkeley. This coworking space is not just about desks and Wi-Fi; it's a thriving community where innovation happens.

In 2024, NextSpace is set to host a ton of tech-focused meetups, offering a mix of networking opportunities that'll make your head spin. From web development to AI and everything in between, there's something for everyone in the tech world here.

What's cool about NextSpace is the variety of spaces they offer.

You can grab a flexible desk for $299 a month or snag a dedicated spot for $375 if you're all about that permanent setup life. They've even got private offices and meeting rooms for when you need to get serious or impress some clients.

The best part? It's all about community here. They host regular events that'll help you level up your skills and expand your network.

One of the most exciting things about NextSpace is the vibe and the people you'll meet.

Whether you're into coding workshops, startup pitch nights, or just grabbing coffee with fellow tech enthusiasts, you'll find your tribe here. And let's be real, in the tech world, who you know can be just as important as what you know.

For those looking to maximize their networking game, NextSpace offers different membership options that can give you an edge.

Plus, with their 24/7 access, you can work (or network) whenever inspiration strikes. They've even got free coffee and tea to fuel those late-night coding sessions or brainstorming meetups.

In a world where technology moves at lightning speed, staying connected is key.

NextSpace Berkeley isn't just a workspace; it's a launchpad for your tech career. Whether you're a coding newbie or a seasoned pro, the events and community here can help you level up in Berkeley's booming tech scene.

So why not check it out? Your next big opportunity could be just a meetup away.

Become a Part of the NorCal CannaTech Network


The NorCal CannaTech Network is shaking up Berkeley's tech scene, blending cannabis and tech in ways you wouldn't believe. This network isn't just big - it's huge, with over 5,000 members across NorCal.

For tech folks in Berkeley, it's a game-changer. Since weed became legal in California, tech jobs in the cannabis industry have shot up by 57% since 2019. That's a whole lot of opportunities for the taking.

The network's got some awesome ways to connect:

  • Monthly Meetups: Usually packed with 150+ people
  • Annual CannaTech Conference: A massive event with 2,000+ pros
  • Online Forums: Where 10,000+ users chat daily

If you're into tech in Berkeley, you've got to get in on this.

The network's a melting pot of talent:

Role Percentage
Software Devs 40%
Data Scientists 25%
Biotech Experts 20%
Hardware Engineers 15%

Jessica Williams, who's killing it as CTO of a major cannabis tech startup in Berkeley, says,

"This network's been key to our success. We've found amazing tech and top talent here."

She's not alone - 78% of members say joining has boosted their careers.

Even UC Berkeley researchers are getting in on the action, working on 30% of the network's cool projects. NorCal Cannabis Company is another major player, developing premium brands and products from seed to sale.

They're all about using tech to optimize everything from cultivation to distribution. For a different angle, check out Vangst, the top job platform for cannabis, connecting 1,500+ companies with the best talent.

And don't miss the NorCal Cannabis Show in September 2024 - it's the place to be for networking, learning, and scoping out the latest industry tech.

By jumping into this scene, Berkeley tech enthusiasts can mix their skills with one of California's fastest-growing industries. It's not just about jobs - it's about being part of something huge.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Engage with the Berkeley IT Community on Slack


Engaging with Berkeley's IT community on Slack is a game-changer for tech networking. To join, head to the Berkeley IT Slack workspace and sign up with your email.

Once in, you'll connect with over 5,000 IT pros. Hot channels include #general-it, #cybersecurity, and #data-science. A recent survey shows 78% of Berkeley IT folks use Slack as their main networking platform.

UC Berkeley's School of Information uses Slack for their entire community - students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

It's like a digital hub for all things tech and info science.

To level up your Slack game:

  1. Introduce yourself: Drop a line in #introductions about who you are and what you're into.
  2. Stay active: Jump into convos and ask smart questions.
  3. Hit up virtual events: Don't miss out on Slack webinars and AMAs.
  4. DM for deeper connections: Reach out one-on-one when you click with someone.

The Berkeley Tech Network found that users who dive into at least three channels and post 5-10 times weekly are 65% more likely to make solid professional connections.

To maximize your networking, try this mix:

What to Do How Often Impact
Ask questions 2-3 times/week High
Share cool stuff 1-2 times/week Medium
Help others out 5-7 times/week Very High

Remember, it's not about collecting contacts; it's about building real connections.

As William Garcia, a Berkeley IT veteran, says,

"Slack isn't just an app; it's where our community lives online. Bring your curiosity, offer help, and watch doors open in Berkeley's tech scene."

By consistently engaging in the EECS Slack community, you'll grow your network, stay on top of local tech trends, and maybe even land some sweet opportunities in the heart of California's innovation hub.

Just keep it real, stay curious, and you'll be networking like a pro in no time.

Expand Your Network at Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator


The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator has been crushing it since 2019, making waves in Berkeley's blockchain scene.

This non-dilutive accelerator has backed 110 global teams, helping them secure over $620 million in follow-on funding. It's a team effort between Berkeley's Haas School of Business, SCET of Berkeley Engineering, and Blockchain at Berkeley.

The Xcelerator offers a killer program packed with focus weeks on raising capital, go-to-market strategies, and branding, led by industry pros. They're not just about the tech; they're building a community that's changing the game.

The Xcelerator has become the third pillar of Berkeley RDI, fulfilling its mission around community and entrepreneurship. With more than 60% of teams raising follow-on funding, it's easily one of the best university-based, non-dilutive blockchain accelerators globally.

The Xcelerator's structure is designed to give startups a real edge, offering education, mentorship, and resources without taking equity.

They host industry-specific events, provide office hours, and even help with pitch coaching and investor meetings. Plus, they've got a talent pipeline that exposes startups to an audience of 20,000+ through their newsletter, website, and social media.

The latest cohort just wrapped up, showcasing their innovations at Demo Day 2024. If you're looking to break into blockchain, this is where it's happening.

Whether you're a seasoned dev or just getting started, the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator is the place to be for anyone serious about making their mark in the blockchain world.

Join Local Chapters of National Tech Organizations


Berkeley's tech scene is a goldmine of networking opportunities, especially through local chapters of national tech organizations. The Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) department at UC Berkeley hosts several active student organizations that are perfect for tech enthusiasts.

  • Eta Kappa Nu (HKN): offers free tutoring and maintains an archive of past exams - super helpful for acing those tough EECS classes!
  • Association of Women in EE & CS (AWE): empowers women in tech through various academic and professional events.
  • BERKE1337: the university's dedicated cybersecurity group.
  • Robotics@Berkeley: the place to be for those interested in robotics.

These groups not only provide networking opportunities but also hands-on experience with cutting-edge tech.

Beyond campus, Berkeley's tech ecosystem is thriving.

Remember, joining these organizations isn't just about padding your resume - it's about immersing yourself in Berkeley's innovative tech culture and potentially kickstarting your career!

Participate in the Berkeley Tech Job Fair


The Berkeley Tech Job Fair, a crucial event for aspiring tech professionals, is set to take place on September 9, 2024. This virtual fair, running from 11 am to 3 pm PDT, offers a unique platform to connect with diverse employers.

To make the most of this opportunity, it's essential to prepare thoroughly.

  • Update your resume and Handshake profile
  • Research attending companies
  • Craft an engaging elevator pitch
  • Test your tech setup beforehand – a stable internet connection and a quiet environment are key

During the fair, be enthusiastic and inquisitive.

Ask thoughtful questions about company culture and growth opportunities. Take notes on next steps and follow up within 24 hours with a thank-you email. The Berkeley tech scene is competitive, so standing out is crucial.

  • Tailor your resume to highlight relevant skills and quantifiable achievements
  • Consider attending pre-fair workshops like the "Step Into Tech Fair" to gain insights into on-campus tech opportunities. This event introduces students to roles in IT customer service, marketing, data analysis, and UX design.

For those interested in legal tech, the BCLT 1L Tech Law Recruiting Fair on November 13, 2024, is worth checking out.

Remember, these fairs aren't just about landing a job - they're about building lasting professional relationships in Berkeley's vibrant tech ecosystem.

Nucamp's Job Hunting bootcamp can provide additional support in honing your networking and interview skills, ensuring you're well-prepared for these crucial events.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the key events to attend for networking in Berkeley's tech scene?

Key events to attend include Berkeley SkyDeck Demo Day, Cal Hacks hackathon, Berkeley Blockchain Summit, AI@TheEdge Conference, and the UX Design Meetup.

What is the Berkeley Founders' Pledge, and how can it help my tech career?

The Berkeley Founders' Pledge is a networking initiative that connects successful alumni with up-and-coming entrepreneurs through events, mentorship programs, and funding opportunities. It helps tech professionals grow their network and gain valuable industry connections.

How can I get involved with the Berkeley Startup Cluster?

You can get involved by attending events, utilizing resources for startups, and engaging with the community. The cluster provides information on tax waivers, internship opportunities, and access to major innovation events.

What are the benefits of joining the NorCal CannaTech Network?

Joining the NorCal CannaTech Network offers access to monthly meetups, an annual conference, and online forums. It connects tech professionals with opportunities in the cannabis industry, which has seen significant job growth since 2019.

How can participating in Slack channels benefit my networking efforts in Berkeley?

Joining Slack channels helps you connect with over 5,000 IT professionals in Berkeley. By engaging in conversations, attending virtual events, and offering help, you can build valuable professional relationships and stay updated on local tech trends.

You may be interested in the following topics as well:


Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.