Venture Creation Program

The Venture Creation Program was created to catalyze and support the growth of new, early-stage ventures at Yale University. It is dedicated to providing resources for entrepreneurial teams to commercialize promising, unique products or services, for which there is a customer or market demand. The VCP is a cohort-based program, where each team attends an orientation at the beginning and pitch night at the end, is expected to make transformative progress on their ventures throughout the program, and presents regularly on their progress and lessons learned to VC Advisors, YEI staff and mentors and other VCP teams.

Interested?

We’re looking for Yale students, postdocs and faculty interested in launching a startup. Ideally you’ll have a clear view of an unmet market need, a core team, an initial business model and a coherent plan for use of YEI resources.

Please note that in order to receive access to the application, you must attend office hours with YEI staff/mentors where you will receive a copy of the application.

Benefits

Students accepted into the VCP receive:

  • $1,000 in funding
  • A dedicated Venture Creation Advisor or a dedicated staff member for Yale technologies
  • A mentor from YEI’s mentor network of entrepreneurs, investors, and experts
  • Opportunities to pitch the venture at regular new venture pitch nights
  • Drop-in work space in the YEI incubators during the academic year. 
  • Access to workshops and office hours with YEI’s corporate partners, including legal, accounting, branding, marketing, and web development firms
  • Access to/meetings with YEI's VC/angels/foundations network
  • Access to apply to SBIR Consultant resources as provided by Connecticut Innovations (up to $5,000)
  • Access to Venture Creation Consultants
  • Eligibility to apply for New Venture Pitch nights
  • Special consideration for YEI Fellowship ($15,000)
  • Eligibility to apply for  YEI Innovation Fund ($100,000)

Each accepted team agrees to:

  • Attend the cohort’s orientation and VCP Pitch Night
  • Attend at least 1 YEI learning workshop per month
  • Dedicate at least 5-10 hours per week to advancing the venture outside of programming
  • Meet with their Venture Creation Advisors AT LEAST once/month
  • Fully use resources provided
  • Provide regular updates on their venture and progress to their VCA and/or YEI staff over the lifecycle of the venture (including post-VCP)

Teams will be evaluated on the following selection metrics:

  1. Compelling and unique/differentiated product or service
  2. Validated customer/market demand
  3. Reasonable initial business model hypothesis
  4. Team has skills to build this product/service or compelling plan to recruit additional members
  5. Demonstrated team commitment and motivation

Faculty accepted into the VCP receive:

  • $2,500
  • A mentor from YEI’s mentor network of entrepreneurs, investors, and experts
  • Drop-in work space in the YEI incubators during the academic year. 
  • Access to workshops and office hours with YEI’s corporate partners, including legal, accounting, branding, marketing, and web development firms
  • Access to/meetings with YEI's VC/angels/foundations network
  • Access to apply to SBIR Consultant resources as provided by Connecticut Innovations (up to $5,000)
  • Access to Venture Creation Consultants
  • Eligibility to apply for  YEI Innovation Fund ($100,000)

Each accepted team agrees to:

  • Dedicate at least 5-10 hours per week to advancing the venture outside of programming
  • Fully use resources provided
  • Provide regular updates on their venture and progress to YEI staff over the lifecycle of the venture (including post-VCP)

Teams will be evaluated on the following selection metrics:

  1. Compelling and unique/differentiated product or service
  2. Validated customer/market demand
  3. Reasonable initial business model hypothesis
  4. Team has skills to build this product/service or compelling plan to recruit additional members
  5. Demonstrated team commitment and motivation

Questions? Contact Erika Smith, erika.smith@yale.edu.