Blog: summer fellow success story


michael inwald

Name: Michael Inwald

Startup: Cheeseboy

Industry: Food service / franchise

Summer Fellowship Year: 2009

Michael Inwald (SOM '10) opened his first Cheeseboy: Grilled Cheese to Go joint — offering grilled-cheese takeout — in Milford, Connecticut, in 2009. Cheeseboy was selected for the YEI Summer Fellowship in 2009, while Inwald was an SOM student.


  • Started by using $20,000 of his own funds to operate grilled cheese stands at county fairs around Connecticut.
  • Named “Generation Next Entrepreneur to Watch” by CNNMoney.
  • Has sold more than $5 million in grilled cheese sandwiches to date.
  • Named by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2013 as a top 50 “Breakout Brand.”
  • Currently has 11 locations across New England, employing over 130 people.
  • Has given away over 40,000 sandwiches through a charity project with Paul Newman’s Serious Fun Network.
  • Sold its 1 millionth sandwich in July 2013.

**Remember: Applications for this year’s Summer Fellowship are due on Wed., Jan. 22 at midnight. Think you could be the next YEI Success Story? Learn more and apply here!

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max uhlenhuth

Name: Max Uhlenhuth

Startup: SilviaTerra

Industry: Forest Management

Summer Fellowship Year: 2010

Max Uhlenhuth (YC '12) was one of the founders of SilviaTerra, which created technology to collect forestry data from satellites, cutting out the need for traditional on-the-ground methods that were highly time consuming, inefficient and expensive. The patent-pending program is able to analyze millions of acres of forest inventory at unprecedented speeds.


  • Max started the company in 2009 as an undergraduate at Yale with Zack Parisa (FES '11) and Chad Oliver, Yale forestry professor and director of Yale's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.
  • He was the former president of Yale Entrepreneurial Society and a web startup founder.
  • SilviaTerra won the $25,000 Sabin Envirosummer nmental Venture Prize in 2010.
  • By 2012, SilviaTerra had earned revenue upwards of $200,000 from five different timber company clients.
  • The startup was a finalist in the $25,000 Lippman Prize in 2012.
  • SilviaTerra won a $5,000 Best Technology Business Plan prize from Connecticut Innovations in 2010.
  • In 2012, Forbes named Max one of America’s top college entrepreneurs.

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In the lead up to the 2014 YEI Summer Fellowship (applications go live Dec. 2 and are due Jan. 22) YEI presents a look at some of our success stories – founders who developed their startups during past YEI Summer Fellowships and have gone on to reach new heights in their respective industries.

Up first… Justin Borgman!

justin borgman

Name: Justin Borgman

Startup: Hadapt

Industry: Big Data

Summer Fellowship Year: 2010

Justin Borgman (still pursuing his SOM degree) is the CEO and cofounder of Hadapt —a tech company working on better ways to rapidly analyze huge chunks of data such as big databases or image and video files. The technology allows businesses to better process big data, such as web traffic, in order to better understand consumer behavior and preferences.


  • Justin started Hadapt as a Yale SOM student along with Yale computer science professor Daniel Abadi as part of the Technology Commercialization Program run by YEI and the Yale Office of Cooperative Research.
  • He's a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of MA at Amherst where he received a B.S. in Computer Science.
  • Hadapt was a finalist in the “Startup to Watch” category during the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s 2013 awards.
  • Justin was awarded one of the Boston Business Journal's "40 Under 40" awards in Oct. 2013 as part of the next wave of talent in the Boston community.
  • Hadapt was named one of 14 big data startups to watch by Business Insider and one of the "hottest startups" by the New England Venture Capital Association.
  • The startup received $9.5 funding through investments in 2011 and is based in Cambridge, MA.
  • Hadapt went on to raise $17 million in total from the Cambridge offices of Bessemer Venture Partners and Atlas Venture and Norwest Venture Partners of Palo Alto.

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