Yale's entrepreneurial efforts spread across campus through lectures, social gatherings, and collaborations. Below is an overview of the leading entrepreneurial centers, a full list of centers, programs and resources can be found here.
The Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY) has the mission to inspire and support students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative ways to address real-world problems. CITY aims to draw existing university resources into closer partnership with each other; to complement curricular programs; and to provide new and effective avenues for students to develop the skills crucial to an innovative mindset: design thinking, problem-framing, creative synthesis, clear communication, and refined judgment.
Tsai CITY Innovation Advisors: The CITY Innovation Advisors are a crackerjack team of experienced graduate & professional school students who staff the CITY Startup and Nonprofit Accelerators, and provide coaching in innovation and entrepreneurship to Yale organizations and startups of all kinds, from businesses to student clubs to academic departments and centers. Innovation Advisors help select, manage, and fund the Accelerators' portfolios.
CITY Startup Accelerator: Have a killer startup idea? We'll help you test it, develop it, and turn it (maybe!) into a viable business. intensive, iterative, hands-on program delivering access to funding, workshops, mentors, and peer collaborators.
CITY Nonprofit Accelerator: Want to launch a nonprofit, civic, arts, social, community, or political organization?we'll help you design, refine, iterate, and launch it. intensive, iterative, hands-on program delivering access to funding, workshops, mentors, and peer collaborators.
The Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) supports entrepreneurs working on ventures that have a positive impact on the environment through speaker series, workshops and mentor office hours and funding opportunities.
Social Entrepreneurship Consultancy: This program is an opportunity for students to get involved with start-ups run by their peers by acting as social impact consultants. Students, in teams, to work to solve a pressing social or environmental challenge that the founders don’t have the expertise, time, or resources to address. In its first iteration, 13 students participated as consultants for three student-run ventures.
Yale Net-Zero Think Project: A research group exploring Net-Zero and producing content useful to the Yale Community and beyond.
Bright Lights, Green Sights: A speaker series that highlights voices of underrepresented leaders in sustainable entrepreneurship. The series seeks to expand popular understandings of sustainability beyond natural resource issues, and features change makers working to simultaneously reach long-term environmental, social, and financial goals.
Yale GreenLight: A series of ideation workshops with leaders of organizations at the intersection of business and the environment. Ideation workshops are highly interactive, fast-paced sessions designed to generate new and innovative solutions to complex challenges of that organization.
Environmental and Social Entrepreneurship Professional Skills Workshops: A series of professional skills workshops for environmental and social entrepreneurs ranging from advice on marketing and branding to the art of negotiation.
Mentorship and Coaching: CBEY staff are available for office hours or 1-1 coaching sessions and feedback on your venture or idea. Open to members of the Yale Community.
Both the Sabin and Sobotka prizes are awarded during the Startup Yale pitch competition held in April, while the Weyerhauser Grant is funded through an application due in February.
- Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize: Awards to students and/or faculty with the best ideas for products, services, projects, or programs that advance a more sustainable way of life. 1 prize of $25,000.
- Sobotka Seed Stage Venture Grants: For student and faculty ventures from departments across Yale University to launch new start-up ventures in the field of business and the environment. 1-2 grants of $10,000
Weyerhaeuser Research Grants: These grants supports interdisciplinary faculty research at the intersection of business and the environment to advance practical solutions to critical environmental challenges. 2 -5 grants of $10,000 to $40,000 (cover no more than 18 months of work).
The Yale Center for Engineering Innovation & Design (CEID) is Yale’s maker space. It has an 8,700 square foot design lab that includes an open studio, lecture hall, wet lab, and meeting rooms.
CEID Summer Fellowship (undergraduates): Summer Fellows pursue student-driven projects in teams of 2-4 at the CEID. Fellows receive a competitive stipend, a modest budget for supplies, access to equipment and materials, and project mentoring.
The studio is equipped with 3-D printers, hand-tools, electronics work stations, and a variety of materials for our members to use. Members have 24/7 access to our studio space, as well as to a state-of-the-art machine shop, wood shop, and wet lab during our regular staffed hours. Lastly, there are also events and activities held by the CEID that can be found on its calendar.
Note: You must be a member to use the CEID. More details here.
Based at the Yale School of Public Health, IHY is a group of Yale faculty, program directors and students focused on using the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to promote health and prevent disease. IHY offers funding and hosts health hackathons at Yale. IHY also has internships and an excellent collection of resources.
Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation Seed Stage Grants: This award is a precursor to the Aetna award for $25,000 offered as part of Startup Yale, held in April and is for startups focused on developing technological solutions to address health challenges that disproportionately impact low-income communities. 2 awards of $10,000, one to a team of students from Yale and one to a team from one or more other colleges in CT.
Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education: Awarded to the best student-led venture focused on social innovation in health or education. $25,000 award through Startup Yale competition
Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation: Awarded to the best student-led venture focused on developing a technology solution to address a health disparity challenge. $25,000 award through Startup Yale competition
Health Hackathons: InnovateHealth Yale is a driving force behind Health Hackathons at Yale. We sponsored the first Global Health Hackathon in January 2014 and, with the Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology, the first broader Health Hackathon in October 2014. While hackathons are usually tech-focused, Yale’s health hackathons put an emphasis on solving real world problems facing healthcare leaders globally, and here in the US.
CBIT is an interdisciplinary initiative to foster greater innovation in medical technology.
CBIT Seed Funding: Awards are for advancing a clinically driven biomedical innovation project. Applications are accepted twice a year (October and April) and winners are determined by a peer review committee. Several awards up to $30,000.
Yale Healthcare Hackathon: A healthcare hackathon is an event in which people with diverse perspectives such as clinicians, engineers, designers, software developers, business people, problem solvers, and patients will come together in one intense, fun-filled three-day weekend to develop solutions that could address challenges facing healthcare today. At this year's hackathon, you will form teams, collaborate within a limited time frame, and focus on a specific problem or idea in healthcare to come up with innovative, disruptive ideas and solutions. We believe that healthcare’s biggest challenges can be diagnosed and addressed effectively from multiple perspectives and look forward to having you attend.
Yale Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) mission is to facilitate the translation of research from Yale’s labs into products and services that benefit society.
Since its founding in 1982, the Yale Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) has built a significant portfolio of inventions and patents and has grown into an engine of regional economic development. Its mission is to facilitate the translation of research from Yale’s labs into products and services that benefit society. OCR is recognized as a leading force for catalyzing economic growth by identifying, counseling and nurturing early-stage technologies and guiding the transition into robust companies.
Programs (Grad Students and Postdocs only):
OCR offers opportunities for graduate students and postdocs to participate on multidisciplinary teams that provide strategy and leadership assistance for new ventures and other licensing opportunities. Students work 40 hours/semester and are paid $1,000/semester. Student leaders receive $1,500/semester.
Shared application for 3 opportunities – Application deadline is Sept. 10, 2017. APPLY HERE.
- Blavatnik Associates: Blavatnik Associates provide strategy and leadership around faculty applications to the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale which supports the commercialization of applied research and technology in the life sciences.
- Canaan-Yale Fellows: Canaan-Yale Fellows work in multidisciplinary teams to provide strategy and leadership around startups in Canaan Partner’s portfolio. Canaan Partners is a $4B global venture capital firm focused on seed and early-stage technology.
- YCCI Fellows: YCCI Fellows provide business planning, financial modeling, strategy assistance, competitive assessments, market sizing, business model creation and marketing plan development to faculty startups.
Business of Biotech: Business of Biotech is a workshop series that introduces grad students, postdocs and faculty to the core skills and building blocks to translate their research to the marketplace. This lecture and workshop series is designed to provide researchers in the life sciences with a comprehensive introduction to the bioscience business environment by exploring the process of transforming a scientific idea into a value-generating product. Workshops are held at Alexion, 100 College St., New Haven.
The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale supports Yale faculty in the commercialization of applied research and technology in the life sciences. The Fund and the progress of its supported projects are managed by the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) .
Blavatnik Associates are graduate students and postdocs chosen through a competitive application process who provide strategy and leadership around Blavatnik Fund applications.
A significant obstacle to the development of early-stage university discoveries is the lack of funding for the proof-of-concept and validation studies needed to demonstrate commercial potential. To overcome this barrier, the Fund provides funding and business development support to help validate nascent technologies and identify potential industry partners to advance these technologies to the marketplace. Pilot grants are eligible for up to $100,000 and development grants are eligible for up to $300,000.
Landscape Lab Seedling Awards: Our Seedling Awards support innovative ideas that make use of the West Campus landscape to push boundaries and explore issues of local, regional and global importance. From the forest to the stream to the lawn to the blacktop to the rooftops to the farm – Yale’s West Campus is a playground for the next generation of landscape shifting ideas. Up to 5 projects with a maximum award for individual projects of $2,000
The Dwight Hall Social Innovation Lab was launched in the fall of 2016 to provide intensive support, guidance, and training to students with an idea, whose passion will lead them to addressing a social need in an innovative way.
Program & Funding:
For students highly motivated to take action, the Lab will accept innovation proposals in January. Successful applicants will spend the semester testing their ideas, establishing relationships needed to be successful, and developing the infrastructure for their idea to be launched.
Dwight Hall will provide support for all teams accepted into the Lab throughout the spring semester to help them develop their ideas into concrete projects:
- A stipend of $500 per student, with a total cap of $1500 per team
- Individual project advisement and help developing a work plan for the semester
- Expert advisement in specific areas such as: legal, financial, marketing, and impact measurement
- Regular trainings open to all Dwight Hall constituents
- Support in identifying additional funding