First-of-Its-Kind San Francisco Conference Features Top Yale Entrepreneurs

The first Yale Entrepreneurs & Investors conference will be held May 9 at Say Media in San Francisco. The theme “Yale Ecosystem” covers what the university is doing to encourage Yale startups around the country and the ways that the network of Yale alumni can help provide startup support. The event features leading investors and entrepreneurs and promises to take attendees through the entire startup process, with expert talks on marketing, fundraising, hiring, selling and more. The day-long conference was organized by a group of high-profile Yale alums that includes Victor Wong, co-founder of ad-tech startup PaperG, and Donna Dubinsky, former CEO of Palm and current cofounder of Numenta, Inc., a software company creating a streaming analytics service based on a new approach to machine intelligence.

Speaking at the event will be other Yale luminaries in the entrepreneurship space, including Bing Gordon, partner at Kleiner Perkins and former CCO of Electronic Arts, providing advice from an investor’s perspective; and Jake Schwartz and Brad Hargreaves, cofounders of General Assembly, talking about the ways to build an entrepreneurial community. Jim Boyle, managing director of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, will lead off the day’s speakers alongside Kyle Jensen, the new lecturer and Shanna and Eric Bass Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the Yale School of Management.

"It's both timely and exciting to see so many Yale entrepreneurs being assembled in one place at one time,” says Boyle.  “Just as Yale is becoming more self-aware of innovation as a key part of its culture, the alumni entrepreneurs are becoming better organized as well."

The event drew immediate interest from Yale alumni across the startup and investment ecosystems, quickly selling out more than 200 tickets to alumni (there is currently a waiting list to attend).  The interest is indicative of the strength of the Yale West Coast alumni groups and the pervasive interest in building a more entrepreneurial Yale for its students and alumni across the country. That interest is being cultivated at the highest university levels. Yale president Peter Salovey has frequently made reference to his commitment to a more innovative Yale and has said: “I think innovation is part of our DNA. Yale has an entrepreneurial spirit.”

CONTACT: Brita Belli, Communications Officer, Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, (203)436-4933, brita.belli@yale.edu.