The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute has announced seven teams that have won acceptance in this summer’s YEI Fellowship, an 8-week program for accelerating promising ventures at Yale. The teams represent a spectrum of innovative new business ideas—from consumer products to social ventures, from healthcare tech to apps—from across the Yale ecosystem, including the Medical School, School of Management, Yale College and Yale School of Music.
“We love to see the diversity of ideas from across campus,” says Kassie Tucker, Program Director at YEI. “The selected teams all have a vision for how they can realistically move these ideas forward. All have invested serious time into their early ventures and have the potential to really make gains with the support of Fellowship resources.”
These resources include $15,000 in funding, designated mentors with expertise in each team’s respective industry, educational workshops, access to corporate partners, dedicated space at the YEI incubator and opportunities to pitch to investors. Key to their growth is also working alongside peers engaged in entrepreneurship, participating in a supportive community that shares strategies and cheers one another’s successes.
Health and food-related ventures continue to be popular choices for Yale’s budding entrepreneurs. This includes a faculty-student venture called Alva Health which is developing a wearable device for stroke detection and a social venture called Penta that is repurposing prosthetics in the U.S. for use in Vietnam. Food ventures include Kitchen Table, a startup developing healthy frozen meal kits, and an energy bar startup called Verb Energy.
This year’s Fellowship also includes a venture from Yale School of Music—a culmination of the connection forged between the school and YEI in 2015—specifically a class called “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Collaboration.”
“It’s always exciting to see new ventures develop from unexpected places,” says Tucker. “Entrepreneurial thinking is an asset no matter what your area of interest or career path.”
YEI is reserving guaranteed slots in the YEI Fellowship for winners of three of Yale’s four $25,000 entrepreneurship prizes. These include the Miller Prize from YEI, which supports student tech ventures, as well as the Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education from InnovateHealth Yale, and the Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize from the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Those prizes share an application and a deadline—March 30, 2017—and winners will be selected at a major event called Startup Yale on April 21 at Yale School of Management.
THE 2017 YEI FELLOWS:
Alva Health (Sandra Saldana-Ortega, PhD SOM ’17; Kevin Sheth, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology and of Neurosurgery; Hitten Zaveri, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology; Ronald Coifman, PhD, Phillips Professor of Math and Computer Science) Alva Health is developing a wearable solution for monitoring neurological disorders.
Kitchen Table (Zoe Lloyd FES/SOM ’17, Nilofer Ahmed SOM ’16) Kitchen Table makes it easy to eat healthy meals at home with frozen stovetop meal kits available in retail stores.
Penta (Victor Wang YC ’18, Henry Iseman YC ’18, Trang Duong) Penta is a social venture that aims to address limb disability in Vietnam through collecting and repurposing used prosthetics in the US.
Practice Portal (Chris Garwood Music ’17; Igor Lichtmann Music ’18;; Abhi Nayar YC ’18) Practice Portal is an online community of musicians who share and improve their practice methods through livestream.
SepsisDx (Melissa Davis SOM ’17; Ankur Kapadia SOM ’17; Prashant Krishnakumar SOM ‘16; David Kaufman, MD, YNHH) SepsisDx is a phone application based electronic checklist and decision-support tool that aids clinicians in the treatment of sepsis.
Up For (Brahm Gardner YC ’17; Jackson Simon YC ’19) Up For is a social media platform that allows users to connect spontaneously in person through a posting menu system.
Verb Energy (Matthew Czarnecki, YC ’18; Andre Monteiro YC ’18; Bennett Byerley YC ’19, Isaac Morrier YC ’17) Verb Energy seeks to provide a healthy, tasty, convenient and affordable everyday source of energy for people leading active and engaged lifestyles.