Skip to main content

Student Milestone Fund

The Student Milestone Fund is to help students build all or part of a solution to at least part of the problem they are solving. The intent of the Student Milestone Fund is to move an idea, initiative, or venture forward to a significant milestone. 

Grants can be up to $2,000 with the Student Milestone Fund. Students may use up to $1,000 of their Student Milestone Fund application for anything related to daily business operations. Examples of operational expenses include website costs, task management software, or in certain instances, raw materials for product or service creation. 

For some applications, an interview may be requested by the Tsai CITY team for clarifications or any other questions that may pop up during the review process.

*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 (e.g. 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 Milestone 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 small sample of results or proof that the student’s idea/initiative/venture can solve a real-world problem
  • A plan for how funding will move the idea/initiative/venture forward and achieve a significant milestone
    • Examples may include:
      • Raw materials to create a new product or service
      • Software packages to form a new product or service
      • Travel or conference expenses to find new customers
      • Ad spend with a clear plan and potential ads that will be used
    • Examples may not include:
      • Only using the budget for ad spending with no clear plan
      • Only purchasing raw materials to increase profit margin 
      • Paying individuals to build a prototype

Decisions for the Student Milestone Fund are made on a weekly basis and are decided only by the information within the application. An interview may be requested if the Tsai CITY team has questions about your 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 Milestone Fund.

If approved, students receive:

  • Up to $2,000 in funding; up to $1,000 for operations 
  • Access to others who have received Student Milestone Funds with a channel in Circle
  • Ability to submit a project to the Venture Associate team

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

*Note: Teams that have participated in Summer Fellowship, won a Startup Yale Prize, or have funding exceeding $10,000 may only apply to the Student Milestone Fund once per academic year. 

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.