YEI Announces 2015 Fellows


The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute has announced the winners of this year’s YEI Fellowship, a 10-week summer program for accelerating ventures at Yale which provides $15,000, mentors, access to corporate partners and the support of a network of like-minded peers and experts. The chosen ventures represent diverse industries—including mobile apps, snack food, healthcare, medical devices and even furniture. “Our Fellowship teams are a reflection of all the domains of expertise of all parts of Yale,” says YEI Managing Director Jim Boyle. Boyle founded YEI in 2007 as a means of providing startup acceleration to students with innovative new business ideas. The YEI Fellowship remains YEI’s signature program, even as YEI has vastly expanded its academic year offerings to provide early-stage venture support, consultants and resources for faculty entrepreneurs.

The 11 startups in this year’s Fellowship represent schools across Yale, including Yale College, School of Management, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Medical School, the Law School, the Divinity School and School of Architecture as well as Yale faculty. They were chosen from a record 58 applications representing 138 applicants.

“We have a terrific group of students and faculty participating in this year’s Fellowship,” says Margaret Lee (YC ’14), YEI Membership Program Manager, who is overseeing the program. “These startups are offering exciting new solutions to pressing problems from coral reef degradation to inefficient management of patient health records to illiteracy among low-income populations. During the Fellowship, we’ll match them with mentors in their industries, and provide them with strategic business guidance to get these ventures ready to launch.”

2015 YEI Fellowship Teams:

BATA (Georgiana Wagemann YC ’15; Tess Maggio YC ’16): A nutritious, tasty, high-protein, bean-based snack that is vegan and gluten-free.

Bite (Jeff Hong SOM ’15; Stas Nikiforov): A digital menu that allows diners to place orders as desired, request checks and split bills.

Coral Vita (Sam Teicher FES ’15; Gator Halpern FES ’15): A startup dedicated to restoring the world’s coral reefs through highly efficient coral farming and coral installation.

Grovio (Sachith Gullapalli YC ’17; James Stewart): A low-cost unmanned aerial system to capture and analyze data that will help farms monitor crop health and optimize fertilizer inputs.

Hotspot (Jasjit Singh YC ’12; Tyler Hutchinson (YC ’15): An app that enables brick-and-mortar businesses to profitably buy traffic by rewarding social mobilizers who text their friends to meet up at their venue.

Hugo & Hoby (Frederick Kukelhaus SOM ’16; Benjamin Young SOM ’16): High-quality, highly customizable and sustainably manufactured furniture.

PatientBank (Paul Fletcher-Hill YC ’15; Feridun Mert Celebi YC ’16; Kevin Grassi MED Resident; Graham Kaemmer YC ‘16): A health record bank for storing patient health records that is both highly secure and easily accessible by patients, authorized users and healthcare professionals.

Revai (Jesse Rich SOM ’16; Jen Gaze SOM ’16; John Geibel, Professor of Surgery (Gastrointestinal) and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology; Vice Chair, Surgery; Director, Surgical Research; Joseph Zinter, Associate Research Scientist and Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science): A medical device that supplies organs in transport with fluid, extending the time donor organs can be safely stored and transported.

Saphlux (Chen Chen SOM ’16; Jung Han, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Yale): A high-efficiency, high-power, low-cost LED chip expected to be 10X better than current products.

StoryTime (Phil Esterman YC ’17; Henok Addis YC ’17): A web app that sends children’s stories and early-learning activities by text message to parents without books at home.

Umi (Khalil Tawil LAW ’17; Jason Gilliland LAW ’17): A home-cooked food delivery service that aims to unite home chefs with eaters in communities across the globe.

Brita Belli

Brita Belli is the Communications Officer for the Office of Cooperative Research and the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. Prior to joining OCR, Brita was an editor and freelance writer whose work has appeared on the websites of the New York Times, National Geographic, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Health News,,, as well as in many print publications. She is the author of The Autism Puzzle: Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates (Seven Stories Press).

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