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opening remarks dd22

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. Acceptable 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 must include at least one full-time Yale student. This extracurricular activity is expected to take 5-10 hours per week. Every Friday, participants are expected to attend the Venture Dev Keynote and are allotted dedicated time after the talk from noon to 2:30 p.m. to meet one-on-one with an early-stage startup expert.

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 with specific expertise to support your work.
  • One-on-one sessions with experts on topics such as pitching and  business law
  • A $2,000 grant
  • The chance to join a fantastic community of innovators from around Yale

Application and criteria:

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

  • You must be able to demonstrate measurable traction in 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.
  • The team must cover critical skills and knowledge(If you offer tech or tech-enabled products/services, you have a technical co-founder).

Program Dates

  • 8/29, 9:00 am - Application open date (Apply here.)
  • 9/10, 11:59 pm - Application close date (Apply here.)
  • 9/29, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Venture Dev Keynote: Mission and Vision with Justin Silver  (Register here.)
  • 10/6, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Venture Dev Keynote: How to Build Your Network (Register here.)
  • 10/13, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Venture Dev Keynote: Go-to-Market Strategy (Register here.)
  • 10/27, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Venture Dev Keynote: Legal Basics (Register here.)
  • 11/3, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm  - Venture Dev Panel: Funding your Startup (The registration link will be posted soon.)
  • 11/10, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm  - Venture Dev Keynote: Pitching (The registration link will be posted soon.)
  • 11/17, 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm  - Tsai CITY Fall 2023 Accelerator Pitch-off  (Register here.)

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). You may also be interested in the Summer Fellowship  for more advanced projects. 

The Accelerator, Launch Pad, and Summer Fellowship share a typical application. Applicants who make it to the second-round review will be invited to a 10-minute interview with our team of judges.

*The application process for the fall 2023 semester Accelerator program has ended. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more updates about this and other programs/events happening at Tsai CITY.