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Student Exploration Fund

The Student Exploration Fund is to allow students to explore innovation and entrepreneurship. If you have just an idea that might solve a real-world problem, the Student Exploration Fund is for you. We want students to swing for the fences. Grants can be up to $500 with the Student Exploration Fund. 

*Please note: Your team must include at least one full-time Yale student who is enrolled in a degree-granting program at the university. Funding is only available when the fall and spring semesters are in session. 

Funding can be used to pay for materials and software or to pay individuals to complete services that are not a core function of an idea, initiative, or venture (ex. Legal and accounting fees). Funding cannot be used to pay individuals for their time as a stipend, wage, to conduct research, or to pay for living expenses.

To receive funding from the Student Exploration Fund, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a feasible line-by-line budget that does not include items already included in perks available to students at Yale
  • A testable hypothesis as to why their idea might solve a real-world problem
  • A plan for an experiment that will test their hypothesis
    • Tests may include:
      • Customer/User Interviews
      • Email Sign-ups (not from friends & family)
      • A product or service that solves part of the larger problem
      • Anything else that can prove that the real-world problem exists
    • Tests may not include:
      • Only gathering stats and published research
      • Only conducting interviews and data from friends & family

Decisions for the Student Exploration Fund are made on a weekly basis and are decided only on the information within the application. A member of the Tsai CITY team will reach out via email once a decision is made. Students may apply multiple times to the Student Exploration Fund.

If approved, students receive:

  • Up to $500 in funding
  • Access to others who have received Student Exploration Funds with a channel in Circle

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Matt Gira at

Want to take a look at the application before you dive in? Download a PDF version.

2023-24 Funding Application

*The application process has closed for the 2023-2024 academic year. Subscribe to our newsletter for more updates about funding and other programs/events happening at Tsai CITY.