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How to start a startup at Yale

Student Groups

Yale Entrepreneurial Society

A completely undergraduate run 501(c) 3 non-profit dedicated to promoting innovation in the Yale community. The club organizes the ELI Speaker Series, the semesterly Entrepreneurship Bootcamp workshop series, and the annual Yale Venture Challenge.

Startup and Entrepreneurship Club

Yale School of Management's community for those interested in the startup ecosystem.

Yale Women in Business

Undergraduate run organization supporting and promoting female leadership in business and entrepreneurship in New Haven.

Accelerators and Incubators

Yale Accelerator for Innovation Development (Y-AID)

Developed and run by the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR). This program is designed to help technologies in the earliest stages of development advance toward commercialization.

Tsai CITY's Accelerator

Runs every fall and spring semester, guides students and teams with innovative ideas through the process of building effective organizations, projects, and ventures through workshops, mentorship, and funding.

Tsai CITY Summer Fellowship

A multi-week intensive accelerator to incubate new companies, nonprofits, and initiatives. Undergrads and grad students welcome. The fellowship includes $15,000 for each team, along with a rigorous sequence of workshops, sprints, mentorship, coaching, and pitch opportunities.

Hackathons and Competitions


Invites a thousand students around the world to Yale to hack for 36 hours. Priority applications are due in early September and regular applications are due in early October each year. Prior experience not required.

Startup Yale

Startup Yale brings together Yale's biggest entrepreneurship awards in two days packed with pitches, prizes, and world-changing ideas.

University Resources

The Elmseed Enterprise Fund

Provides motivated entrepreneurs with access to one-on-one personalized consulting, business training, technical assistance, and a network of peer support.

Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale

Supports student innovation and entrepreneurship in the form of not only for-profit startups, but also nonprofits, civic and community organizations, arts and cultural organizations, cooperatives, social justice movements, student clubs, faith-based organizations, and any other field of endeavor that interests and motivates them. Tsai CITY programs include skill workshops, accelerators, bootcamps, retreats, and Intensives (https://www.city.yale.edu/city-intensives) (multi-session, cohort-based experiential learning opportunities that go deep on a specific topic).

Social Innovation Lab -

Provides mentorship, funding, workshops, and access to corporate services to help movements, non-profits, and socially driven organizations build vibrant, connected communities.

Climate Change Innovation Grants

Offers seed funding for innovative solutions addressing climate change. Up to five seed stage grants of $500 - $3,000 will be awarded.

Startup Yale Prizes

: Open to all Yale students and designed to generate world-changing ideas around health, education, environment, equality, sustainability, and technology. Cash prizes up to $25k across different categories.

Notable Courses

The Business of Venture Capital

Particular emphasis on how venture capitalists partner with entrepreneurs to finance technology startups.

Entrepreneurial Business Plan

This course is for six teams of five students each that want to write a business plan for their own real new start-up company.

MAKING IT: PRODUCT DESIGN & ENTREPRENEURSHIP - students are introduced to the many facets of product design and development while simultaneously working to conceive and develop a marketable product and business.



University-focused venture fund investing up to $2M in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US.

Dorm Room Fund

First Round Capital's pre-seed investing branch - providing up to $20k to student startups.


General Catalyst's pre-seed investing branch - student team building a large network of student founders.

Tsai City Funds

Tsai CITY offers three core funds that support students and student organizations, whether you have an early-stage idea or want to take an existing project to the next level.

Yale Startup Prizes

Yale's biggest entrepreneurship prizes are designed to support world-changing ideas from Yale students around health, education, sustainability, and technology. a.

Blue Ivy Ventures

A community of Yale alumni: investors, executives, entrepreneurs, and innovation enthusiasts with a connection to Yale University. At its core, it is a Yale alumni venture fund investing in Yale alumni-led companies.

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