The OnRamp course is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate student social entrepreneurs and changemakers to receive support as they design and implement their own social change projects and social startups.

The course is designed as a follow-up program for Big Ideas participants, but is also open to all students who are already working on early stage projects. The OnRamp bridges the gap between early stage ideation (e.g from design classes, research, or competitions) and off-campus implementation.

Students apply to the course with their own existing early-stage projects and ideas.


Social Innovator OnRamp Course at UC Berkeley (4 units)


Dr. Jennifer Walske (LinkedIn)
Dr. Sophi Martin (LinkedIn)
Plus industry experts in areas such as product design, product launch, social enterprise, and social investing.

Time: Wednesdays 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Fall 2017)

Where: Blum Hall (B100), at the Blum Center for Developing Economies

The class will use a mix of theoretical frameworks, practical hands-on assignments and mentorship guidance to help student teams make their social innovation idea a reality. The focus is on both understanding and measuring social impact and on practical implementation. Established social entrepreneurs regularly visit the class and offer mentorship and advice.

In previous semesters, the course has included graduate and undergraduate student teams working on the most pressing social and environmental challenges in the Bay Area and around the world, including low-cost mechanisms for reducing post-harvest loss for Kenyan farmers, apps for supporting healthy emotional development in kids, and responsible funding mechanisms for Oakland college students.

This course presents an ideal opportunity for past or prospective BigIdeas participants to gain the necessary skills and networks to fully realize their idea.

Applying to the OnRamp

Students are encouraged to apply together in groups of two or more to get the most out of this action-based class. You may recruit a friend to join! Apply here.


The class is open to all students at UC Berkeley. Apply to this class with your new ideas or early-stage initiatives. This includes projects that you have already begun through participation in the Big Ideas@Berkeley or other classes or competitions; or through research, work or volunteer experiences. New ideas are also eligible.


For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Walske, UC Berkeley Blum Center, or 415.722.0439.