The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute has just announced the newest admits to its 2014 Fellowship—nine teams that represent a cross-section of Yale students, faculty and innovative new ventures. The teams will each receive $15,000, expert mentorship, lean startup training, introductions to investors, trips and meals as part of the fellowship experience. With intensive work and guidance, teams are expected to bring their startups ready to launch by the end of the 10-week fellowship.
This year’s fellowship teams are recognized for being advanced both in concept and early development, and three of them have faculty cofounders. “This year, we were especially impressed with the quality of applicants,” says YEI Managing Director Jim Boyle. “The 2014 fellows are particularly notable for the maturity of the concepts, which range from a new sports drink to a monitoring device for scoliosis patients to a website and app for tracking urban development. And we’re excited to have an increasing number of faculty turning to YEI to commercialize their technologies alongside Yale students.”
This year’s Fellowship is working with several tech teams, including one for a mobile mesh network that would reduce demand on cell towers; a team that is designing a superior dynamic random access memory (DRAM) architecture; a team developing a video game to address public health problems such as HIV and drug abuse; and another that’s creating a production-quality Software Defined Networking system—an open platform for centralizing control of data center networks.
Sustainability is also a hallmark of this year’s teams, which include startups built around: tracking real estate development in cities for more sustainable growth; developing an organic, non-GMO sports drink; producing organic cotton dress shirts; and providing fresh, locally sourced Chinese food wraps.
There are currently 75 active YEI companies that have raised over $79 million in funding and created over 300 jobs. Successful student-launched businesses include PaperG, a San Francisco startup that creates customized display ads for clients including Hearst, Tribune and Time Warner Cable, and Panorama Education, a startup that uses customized surveys to help improve K-12 schools and which received $4 million in seed funding from Mark Zuckerberg’s Startup:Education and other investors last year.
Fellows will be working primarily at YEI’s incubator space at 55 Whitney Ave., beginning on May 25—although early aspects of the program, such as lean startup training and legal incorporation, are already underway. The fellowship will conclude with a Demo Day on July 24 in which trained and polished teams will present their businesses before a room full of the Yale community, mentors, advisors and influential investors.
The 2014 YEI Fellows: