The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) was formed to help undergraduate and graduate Yale students start scalable new ventures. While starting as a stand-alone 10-week summer program in 2007, YEI has since expanded into a year-round University department acting as a portal for entrepreneurship on campus and offering programs and events year round that serve the entrepreneurial interest of students and the New Haven community.
The YEI Student Venture Incubator provides affordable office space and a vibrant startup community to eligible Yale student startups. Entrepreneurs have access to communal areas, dedicated desks, or graduated cubicles, providing flexible, dynamic space for companies to collaborate with teammates and other student entrepreneurs and to grow within the incubator through the early stages of their lifecycles. Kimberly Babbitt is the programs adminstrator.
The YEI Mentor Program supports innovation and entrepreneurial activity in the Yale community by matching student ventures, led by either graduates or undergraduates, with volunteer mentors who can share their proven experience and skills to help increase the probability of a startup's success.
Through hands-on mentoring, Student Ventures learn how to move ideas to the marketplace - how to hone their products or services, identify markets, build networks, and seek funding. Ventures in all stages of development are welcome to apply to participate in the program.
Relationships between mentors and potential entrepreneurs are established on the basis of each entrepreneur's needs and preferences, and the interests of the available mentors. Mentor services are offered without charge and entrepreneurs are assured impartial and unbiased advice by a code of ethics to which all mentors must adhere.
Mentors are selected for their expertise in business formation and operations and for their skills as advisors. They bring a wide range of experience as entrepreneurs, CEOs, and corporate directors.
The lead venture mentor is W. Weston Bray III.
At the discretion of the YEI staff, YEI student ventures may receive short-term assistance from a small and highly select team of graduate & professional school students with relevant business of technical experience. Assistance is administered through the YEI Associates and YEI Technologists .
In addition to its incubator and venture services, the YEI website keeps a list of student-run companies the organization defines as "in business," meaning they have raised capital or served their first costumer. Current companies listed include: AccuScholar, Alea Diagnostics, Book Saver, Career Cadence, Chairigami, Checked Twice , Cheeseboy , Cube Knowledge , Desmos , Effeciency 2.0 , Encedia Biochar , The Green Bride Guide , GSM Nation , Gurufi , Hadapt , Hopnear , Infinitronics , The Little Salad Shop , Oasys , oSnapps , Paper G , Pixtapes , Roammeo , SilviaTerra , SocialSci , StageGrade , StickK , TrazeTag , WakeMate , YouRenew .