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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. Accelerator sessions run on Fridays from 10 am- 2 pm and include a weekly topic-based speaker event and one-on-one meetings with experts and a venture associate. Attendance for the Friday session is mandatory, and expect to spend 5-10 hours per week on this program.  

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).

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.

*Click here to see and download the Google Doc version of the application.

*The application process for the Spring 2024 semester has ended. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more updates about this and other programs/events happening at Tsai CITY.