On October 7, 2021, UC President Michael Drake visited the UC Berkeley campus for the first time as the new president of the University of California. He had a busy schedule meeting with many student groups and leaders and emphasized that his aim was a visit for listening. Also, on his agenda that day was a visit to the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), Berkeley’s new home for innovation and entrepreneurship.
President Drake was able to explore the historic building and learn how the former home of an art museum is being reborn as a place where academia meets the art of entrepreneurship. As BBH Director Dr. Amy Herr explained, the resources put into the development of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub are a major investment not only for the campus itself, but for local, state and even international communities.
The type of entrepreneurship the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub is focused on is not solely about the potential for profit. Rather, the BBH seeks to use entrepreneurship as a means of solving real-world problems while also enriching the campus community and providing opportunities for academic and entrepreneurial growth.
On a particular point, President Drake and Professor Herr couldn’t agree more: engaging a greater diversity of undergraduates into the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem is a significant priority for creating positive impact.
As explained by BBH Managing Director Susan Jenkins, the BBH is the hub of two components — The Campus Programs and The Bakar Labs. With its opening in early November, the company-facing Bakar Labs incubator will provide the space, opportunity, and community for world-class startups to thrive. The Campus Programs at BBH will ensure that entrepreneurship becomes more widely accessible to students through in-residence programs at The Studio at BBH, and Graduate Innovation Fellowships for PhD studies.
President Drake has repeatedly expressed his ambitions for the University of California system to remain dedicated to accessibility and excellence for all. The Bakar BioEnginuity Hub certainly strives to be the manifestation of these values.
If students have the drive to change the world, they just need to bring their bold ideas and the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub will take care of the rest.