Blog: mentor corner

Nov
07
2013

By Brita Belli

bill schnoor

Bill Schnoor (BA ’80, Law ’83), the newest member of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Advisory Council has been supporting YEI since it began. In fact, years before YEI was formed by the Yale Office of Cooperative Research, Schnoor was waiting for tech entrepreneurship to gain momentum at the university. In his legal work with startups he’d long noticed the power of harnessing university-based research and talent to practical commercial opportunity at schools like Stanford and MIT, and wanted to encourage a similar approach at  Yale.

“Those schools were encouraging practical application of knowledge,” Schnoor says.

He currently serves as co-chair of the Technology Companies Group and the Clean Technologies Practice at Goodwin Procter in Boston. Schnoor recognized that supporting student entrepreneurs was important beyond the immediate image boost and financial gain: It would give those enterprising students an enduring connection back to Yale.

Seeing YEI take off and grow into a recognized force for launching successful startups has been gratifying, Schnoor says, who adds: “I’m seeing the ecosystem build momentum and the trajectory is great.”

He mentions YEI’s Tech Bootcamp—a 10-week programming camp for Yale students run in partnership with the Yale ITS Student Technology Collaborative—and increased academic-year programming, including the ongoing Venture Creation Program for nascent startup ideas—as particular bright spots. In his role on the Board, Schnoor will encourage YEI to continue to develop and push out more ingenious Yale companies, regardless of where they choose to take root. Success, he says, is in the numbers.

“If Yale embraces the MIT-Stanford view, ‘We want all students and faculty to feel empowered to launch companies,’” over time more will stay in New Haven in absolute terms, even if many or most ventures choose to relocate elsewhere,” Schnoor says. “You have to approach it with an attitude of abundance – let 1,000 flowers – or startups -  bloom.”

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Apr
01
2011

This month's mentoring corner features insights from YEI's inaugural Lead Venture Mentor, Victor Budnick. Victor has been working with teams for the past year and now offers advice for those looking to mentor student entrepreneurs.

People, who themselves have successfully launched or led their own businesses, frequently bring a wealth of contacts, leadership skills and expertise to guiding novice entrepreneurs. However, a key strength shared by experienced entrepreneurs--a bias to action—is exactly the kind of mindset which can undermine the ability to mentor.

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Mar
01
2011

Each month, YEI features the startup advice of one member of our mentor network. This month’s column is contributed by YEI’s newest corporate partner, the accounting firm of Bailey Murphy & Scarano, LLC. Among their helpful offerings for new entrepreneurs is a basic manual that covers “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Opening Your Own Business," available on request.

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Feb
01
2011

Each month, YEI features the startup advice of one member of our mentor network. February’s mentor is Susan Froschauer, formerly the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, which, under her leadership, has raised more than $148 million in private equity and grew a pipeline of clinical stage programs and an antibiotic drug discovery process. She sits on YEI’s Operating Board and is an advisor to Encendia BioChar and Iron Ventures.

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Jan
07
2011

Each month, YEI will feature the startup advice of one member of our mentor network. Our inaugural mentor is Retail Optimization CEO Wes Bray, a seasoned entrepreneur with an extensive range of consumer and B2B marketing experience, both client and agency side, as well as a member of YEI’s Advisory Council.

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