James G. Boyle, Ph.D., Managing Director

Jim Boyle is a co-founder and the Managing Director of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI), a business/educational unit within Yale University with the mission of mentoring students with new venture ideas. Prior to forming YEI, Boyle was previously responsible within the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) for the licensing and venture startup of a number of engineering-based technologies. Before joining OCR, he developed and actively managed the University's largest corporate research alliance, managing a large array of both Yale and external scientists in bioimaging-based collaborations. Earlier, Boyle co-founded and grew a predictive analytics consulting practice, providing both technical and pricing guidance on new product development to a wide array of Fortune 1000 companies in the scientific equipment industry.

Boyle began his entrepreneurial career while still a Yale graduate student, developing novel instruments for characterizing trace biomolecules with the support of the National Institutes of Health, and later commercializing these devices through a wide array of OEM partnerships as part of a Yale startup.


Brita BelliCommunications Officer

Brita Belli is working jointly with the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and the Office of Cooperative Research as their Communications Officer. She has a strong background in journalism and is the author of The Autism Puzzle: Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates (Seven Stories Press). She was the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine and her articles have appeared on the websites of the New York TimesNational Geographic and the Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Health News,,, Tech Page One and as well as in many print publications.

 Wes Bray          

William Weston Bray III (“Wes”), Lead Venture Mentor

Wes Bray is a professional marketer, former CEO, and proven entrepreneur. Over his 30 year career, Wes has worked for marketing companies such as Kraft General Foods, Pepsico and Marketing Corporation of America. He has co-founded, built and sold two marketing services agencies.  He served as CEO of one of the largest global marketing services agencies, Marketing Drive Worldwide. In 2004 he co-founded HipCricket, a mobile technology company, which he helped take public in 2007 and was acquired in 2011 by Augme Technologies. HipCricket is currently the leading mobile services company in North America. Prior to joining YEI, Wes was CEO of another technology start up, Retail Optimization Inc., a software-as-a-service company. Wes has a BA from Yale University and a MBA from Harvard University.


 Alena Gribskov


Alena Gribskov, Program Director

Alena Gribskov, Program Director, leads extracurricular programs to recruit, instruct, and support student entrepreneurs. As director of the flagship Summer Fellowship, she has designed YEI’s lean startup-based bootcamp program focused on imparting actionable tactics to create and launch new business ventures.  In addition to the Summer Fellowship, Alena has created new programs for entrepreneurial students such as the YEI Tech Bootcamp, a ten-week program to teach Yale students how to code web applications from the ground up, and “Start Something at Yale,” a series of extracurricular workshops on lean startup fundamentals and tactics for applying them to early-stage entrepreneurial pursuits.  Each academic year, she recruits to campus and hosts a number of successful entrepreneurs who share their entrepreneurial experiences, as well as networking events and skills workshops to connect and instruct Yale student entrepreneurs.

Alena has a B.A. from Yale University and was a Fellow at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, where she cofounded a digital publishing startup. Previously, she worked at the west coast office of Writers House Literary Agency, the leading independent book agency in the US.

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Margaret Lee, Venture Creation Program Coordinator

Margaret Lee, Venture Creation Program Coordinator, oversees the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute's Venture Creation Program (VCP), designed to incubate early-stage Yale startups throughout the academic year and during the summer. She is involved in VCP outreach efforts, applications review, programming, and instructing. Additionally, she serves as the main point person for YEI's newest incubator space in the heart of Yale's campus, managing membership and event programming. Margaret holds a B.A. from Yale University, and during her time at Yale, was a marketing intern with YEI, ran an international Model U.N. conference, and spent summers working at startups in Denver and London.


Erika Smith, Deputy Director

Erika Smith is the Deputy Director at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, where she helps to expand entrepreneurial opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni. Erika was formerly the senior director of investments with the Center for Innovative Technologies in Virginia. In addition to a strong early stage investment background, she has worked for a number of years in establishing ties with technologists at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and other universities and has taught commercialization courses on medical product development at the National Institutes of Health to the organization’s intramural research teams. Erika holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

 bill wiesler       

Bill Wiesler, Director of New Ventures

Bill Wiesler is the Director of New Ventures in the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) at Yale University, where he has been since 2002. Dr. Wiesler works with Yale faculty and students to form new ventures based on Yale technologies of all types, including biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, cleantech, and software. Since 2003, Yale has spun out 40 new companies that have raised over $550 million in venture investment. He has played a key role in recruiting entrepreneurs and capital for over half of these ventures and has held numerous Board and Observer seats. He currently serves on the board of P2 Sciences, a specialty chemicals company, and serves as a Board Observer of Oasys Water, a water desalination company, and of Hadapt, Inc., a database analytics software company. 

Prior to joining Yale’s OCR, Dr. Wiesler was with McKinsey & Company, where he served senior management at four of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies on a range of strategic and business development issues. Prior to McKinsey, Dr. Wiesler was with Radius Ventures, a startup and early-stage venture capital firm focused on the health and life sciences industry. Earlier, Dr. Wiesler had research positions at Cadus Pharmaceutical Corp., where he headed drug discovery, and at University of Colorado, where he was an American Cancer Society fellow. Dr. Wiesler is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and earned both an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.  

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Kimberly Zaweski, Operations

Kimberly Zaweski serves as the immediate point of contact and source of information to students, faculty and other members of the Yale community about the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and its programs and activities. Zaweski works directly on all events and YEI programs, including the summer fellowship, and academic year speaker visits.

Preceding her work at Yale University, Zaweski served as a Photo Editor at Weekly Reader Magazine, the educational magazine designed for elementary, middle school and high school students, where she worked directly with editorial and production groups, art directors and photographers in creating and managing photo lay outs.