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. In the 2014-15 academic year, the VCP will be 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.

Meet our VCP Teams!


We’re looking for any Yale student interested in launching a startup. (Faculty interested in launching a startup should go to the Faculty VCP page; details on the Social Venture Creation Program can be found below). 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.


Each team accepted into VCP receives:

  • $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 (2nd cohort: November 12; 3rd cohort: March 4) 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

Questions? Contact Kim Zaweski,

Check out our former VCP teams here.

Social Venture Creation Program

The Social Venture Creation Program (SVCP) was conceived to recruit, support, and help grow early-stage social entrepreneurial ventures at Yale University. The program will incubate innovative, practical, and sustainable for-profit ventures working to advance positive social change in domestic communities. Social ventures will work alongside other teams in YEI's academic year Venture Creation Program (VCP), a cohort-based program designed to advance startups in a variety of sectors. In addition to general programming, social entrepreneurs will receive tailored guidance from individuals in Yale's network. 

Participation in this program is by regular VCP application, which will be reviewed by YEI Staff and an independent operating board convened for evaluating social ventures. Ventures will receive up to $1,000 based on merit and need.

Meet Patrick Struebi, YEI's Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence!

**Got a social venture idea? Patrick Struebi is meeting for Office Hours. Sign up here!

SOCIAL VCP Application Procedures

Please note that in order to apply, you must  attend office hours with Patrick Struebi to request a copy of the VCP application.


SVCP Selection Metrics:

1. Social Impact: practical but ambitious strategy to generate measureable and outcome-based positive impact on society, beyond the benefits that accrue directly to those involved in the core transactions of the firm;

2. Innovation: compelling product or service, unique from established practices and systems; 

3. Scalability & Sustainability: the potential to expand or scale beyond the original beneficiaries/setting/industry, and to endure changing political and/or economic conditions;

4. Team: The leadership team must be committed and motivated, and possess skills to follow through with the initiative, or have a convincing plan to recruit additional members or advisors.

Questions? Contact Kimberly Zaweski,