UC Berkeley Spring Courses 2021

Innovating Through Crisis
Challenge Lab
INDENG 185-002 (4 Units)

Class Description

Pandemics…Economic meltdowns…Wildfires…Hurricanes…Climate Change. Crisis is the new normal. Innovation is the answer. In order to thrive in this new normal, you must be prepared to lead in the creation of new solutions to emerging problems. It is not enough that you know how to run a regression model, write code, design a building, deconstruct language, write an essay, or create a financial model. You must be able to identify systemic problems hidden from view and develop financially and environmentally sustainable solutions. In this Challenge Lab, you will work with industry veterans to create technology solutions to the societal problems that have emerged from today’s crises. Students in previous Challenge Labs have turned their projects into industry leading startups like Eko and PrimeRoots. This course invites students from all colleges and schools to create companies of the future.

Students in this challenge lab may have the opportunity to continue to work on their startup through a specialized invite only acceleration and leadership program.

Challenge Lab

Challenge Labs (INDENG 185) are classes for students of all academic backgrounds who seek a rigorous, interactive, team-based, and hands-on learning experience in entrepreneurship and technology. This course uses a unique pedagogy, The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship that involves the use of games, industry guest speakers, team exercises, videos and labs to cover the early part of the startup lifecycle. Each Challenge Lab has a different theme. In this highly experiential course, students form start-up teams to create technology solutions or services to address a broadly-defined problem posed by an industry partner or social challenge.

See the article “Innovating through crisis: why now is the best time to start a company and positively change the world” for more information.


Ken Singer is the Managing Director and Chief Learning Officer at SCET as well as an instructor for SCET classes. He also provides strategic guidance to governments on “innovation ecosystem” development and education programs to universities. Ken has a strong background in product marketing of new technologies in the mobile enterprise and wireless technology/services business sectors. His specialties are in product lifecycle management: product strategy, development, marketing and testing.


In collaboration with leading educational and research facilities, The Robert and Kathleen Dobkin Intuitive Foundation is working to produce a collaborative environment that will foster a culture of communication and creativity between the educational process of technology, business, and entrepreneurship.