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Accelerator

Tsai CITY’s Accelerator, which runs every fall and spring semester, guides students and teams with innovative ideas through the process of building effective organizations, projects, and ventures through workshops, mentorship, and funding. The Accelerator provides an enriching learning opportunity for students with innovative ideas.

 

Students pitch venture at event

Applicable ideas include (but are not limited to!) for-profit businesses, social enterprises, non-profits, civic or arts start-ups, faith-based organizations, apps, tech platforms, community programs, and civic/social movements. Teams of all sizes are welcome, though each team must include at least one full-time Yale student. This extracurricular activity is expected to take 5-10 hours per week.

Accelerator resources:

  • Core and elective workshops to help you advance your venture
  • Mentorship through a Venture Advisor matched to your team, and other mentors in your field and/or with specific expertise to support your work
  • One-on-one sessions with experts on topics such as pitching and  business law 
  • $2,000 grant
  • The chance to join an awesome community of innovators from around Yale!

Spring 2021 program dates:

The Accelerator is designed to serve students in building out and launching startups, nonprofits, and projects. All sessions and events are mandatory, as are weekly meetings between teams and their Venture Advisors. The spring Accelerator will be held every Friday from 3/12 to  5/7 (with the exception of 4/2 and 4/30). Time is TBD.

Application and criteria:

To participate in the Accelerator, you should meet the following criteria:

  • You can demonstrate measurable traction with developing your venture—including but not limited to: # of paying customers, # of active users or downloads of your product/service, letter(s) of intent from prospective users or customers, interviews and survey results, significant website traffic, blog comments, likes, or followers; relevant media coverage; an account for attendance at events, exhibits, or shows.
  • Key skills and knowledge are covered by the team. (If you are tech or tech-enabled product/service, you have a technical co-founder).

The Accelerator is part of a broader venture development pipeline at Tsai CITY: if your project is at an earlier stage, our Launch Pad might be a fit (the Launch Pad is recommended, but is not a pre-requisite, to the Accelerator). For more advanced projects, you may also be interested in the Summer Fellowship.

The Accelerator, Launch Pad, and Summer Fellowship share a  common application. The spring 2021 application deadline is 11:59pm on Sunday, February 14.  Applicants who make it to the second-round review will be invited to a 10-minute interview with our team of judges. These interviews will be held from February 22 to February 24.

Want to preview the application before diving in? Download a PDF version.

Accelerator Application.pdf