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ICYMI: Standing Room Only as Summer Fellows Showcase Their Ventures at Demo Day 2023

studio standing room only

Amid the hottest summer day this year, Thursday, September 7, Tsai CITY was in full blaze, celebrating the amazing entrepreneurial and innovative energy at Yale and within the New Haven community at our annual Demo Day, featuring pitches and posters from our 2023 Summer Fellows and catering from Hot Haven Chicken, La Cucina, and Havenly, a 2020 Startup Yale Prize winner and former Tsai CITY summer fellowship team.

Demo Day marks the culmination of a full-time, summer-long program that took 15 teams from early-stage concept to launch or scale with their ventures. To test and scale their existing business models or to explore new products, each team received $15,000. Aside from receiving funding, teams were paired with industry professionals and took part in some pitch opportunities leading up to demo day. After eight weeks of interactive workshops from expert speakers–on topics ranging from fundraising to brand strategy–the teams were ready to showcase their progress, in-person and virtually. 

2023 Summer Fellowship teams that took the stage at Demo Day include: 

Carbon Loop: Perry Bakas (SOM '24), Harrison Meyer (YSE '24), Conor Rooney (Chemistry Ph.D. '24)

Carbon Loop creates a circular economy by converting CO2 emissions into liquid fuel and other high-value products.

Chekhov’s Gum: Lillian Wenker (YC ’23), David Deruiter (YC ’24) 

Chekhov’s Gum is a new work theatre and production company aimed at reestablishing the importance of live performance through rowdy comedy, experiments in form, and audience interaction for ourselves and a collective of artists.

student pitching in front of Tsai CITY step and repeat
Kaci Xie of Cimu presented how her venture idea started.

Circle Match: Michael Sanchez (YC '23), Elizabeth Aguirre 

Circle Match offers free college advising to students from high-poverty high schools. Through our grassroots approach to college advising, we empower students to become leaders within their educational communities and beyond.


Corridor: Brendan Powers (DIV ’23), Oliver Creech (DIV ’24) 

Corridor is an app that allows users to track the legislation they care about in both English and Spanish.

Kindest Foods: Shreshtha Jain (SOM ’23)

Kindest Foods makes the world's first microbial protein-based dog food with the least carbon footprint, offering nourishment without any adverse effects.

NAOS: Renato Carregha (SOM ’23), Jorge Villalobos Lara, Marcos Cohen 

NAOS is building a solution that will enable the 100M+ existing Latin American crypto users to have simple access to investments for products for seeking alpha.

Sonadia: Jiayi Wang (SOM '24), Yusuf Doria 

Sonadia is building the listen-to-earn Patreon and AMEX for web3 musicians and super fans. 

Spiel: Sylvie Goldner (YC '25) 

Spiel LLC is the first interactive review platform for friends to share recommendations, expand interests, and deepen relationships.

YouBio: Rakel Tanibajeva (YC '24) 

YouBio is an entirely US-based, women and minority-owned sustainable production company making negative waste, biodegradable protective packaging, and other products out of fungi. 

UMenus: David Foster (YC ’24), Erik Boesen (YC ’24) 

UMenus is connecting universities to their students through innovative dining apps.

And a special shoutout to past summer fellow participants who also took the stage: 

black female pitching
Rakel Tanibajeva (YC '24), of YouBio, shares her summer fellowship progress with the audience. 

Cimu: Kaci Xie (YC '24) 

Cimu helps fashion brands reduce wasteful returns by connecting consumers with clothing alterations with a mission to divert clothes from landfills.

Kelewele: Rachel Laryea (GSAS '21)

Kelewele is a food service and cultural lifestyle brand reimagining plantains.

Midnight Oil Collective: Frances Pollock (MUSC '25), Edwin Joseph, Sola Fadiran

Midnight Oil Collective is a group of creators investing in creators, collectivizing resources and building a robust and stable community. 

Mindful Kala: Shruti Parthasarathy (YC '24)

Mindful Kala aims to empower teens through easily accessible intercultural education, support, and mind-body movement to be happier, healthier, and more resilient beings. 

postering and tabling on the second floor of Tsai CITY
postering and tabling on the second floor of Tsai CITY

Presentations extended beyond the stage, as a number of summer fellows and Yale student innovators participated in postering and tabling at the event.  

17O1 Records: Jackson Downey (YC ’25), Tess Levy (YC ’25), Alika Osadolor-Hernandez (YC ’25)

17O1 Records is a record label producing original music for Yale student artists.  

Catala: Dana Joseph (SPH '22), Newlyn Joseph, Adrian Joseph 

Catalace is an oncology software platform that combines conventional AI algorithms with novel precision medicine data analytics to improve cancer detection.

Earthos: Wangbiao Guo, Jenny Yao

Earthos is a venture aimed at delivering zero-carbon solutions, focusing on harnessing microalgae to convert CO2 emissions from flue gas or the atmosphere into valuable bioproducts, such as pet foods.

Elevation Med Prep: Brendan Adkinson (MED '23)

Elevation Med Prep elevates medical school applicants from underrepresented, first-generation, and disadvantaged backgrounds by making admissions consulting accessible to everyone — regardless of their ability to pay. Clara Guo (MED ’24, SOM ’24), Aleksandra Galaszewicz (SOM ’24) bridges the patient-provider “data gap” by bringing data to clinical encounters and using AI-enabled predictions to personalize care.

Pineapple Soap 

A soap out of pineapple scraps from the dining halls, making for a more sustainable campus environment. 

Sailvest: Neil Mathew 

Helping mom-and-pop real estate investors find the best rental properties. 

Sillable: Aaron Daniels (YC '23, Burton Lyng-Olsen (YC '25) 

Sillable is a mobile application that allows retail consumers to search for products sold in local stores. Independent retailers build an online “storefront” to display products and deals to consumers, who receive rewards for purchasing within their community.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 

SWE is an organization dedicated to creating a space for women and gender minorities in Yale's engineering department. Between our connections with national SWE, the graduate Yale SWE chapter, and other professional affinity groups on campus, we strive to make engineering a welcoming place for all.

Studio Heartbreak: Alice Mao (YC '24)

Studio Heartbreak is an internet-based animation studio that produces independent stories with intensive creative marketing strategies. 

The Darks Art: Stephan Oliveira (YC ’24)

The Darks Art creates and sells patches, stickers, and apparel inspired by punk and queer. 

Vialista Foundation: Philip Ratnasamy (MED ’25), Nana Adenu-Mensah (MED ’22), Katelyn Rudisill

Vialista Foundation’s mission is to improve job accessibility and economic well-being in a low-income urban community in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, we aim to establish a digital skills education program with an English learning parallel application. This intervention will enable high school dropouts and graduates to learn skills that facilitate employment in the corporate sector.

VIP3: Charles Xue

VIP3 is the first all-in-one web3 benefits and membership platform. After minting a VIP3 membership card on a blockchain, users can get extra rewards and discounts from 30+ web3 apps like BN, TokenPocket, OKX, etc.

WealthMeUp: Feli Oikonomopoulou (SOM ’24) 

WealthMeUp is ​​a female-first app offering personalized financial education. 

Y2K Psilocybin Services: Sydney Morrison (YC ’25), Adriana Abad Castro (YC ’25), Eduardo Castro Munoz (YC ’29)

Y2K Psilocybin Services provides diversity-informed facilitation of psilocybin mushroom journeys in a cooperative structure that supports community healing.

Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES)

Founded in 1999, YES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting student innovation and entrepreneurship at Yale.

The Yale Undergraduate Coalition for Advocacy and Innovation (YUCAI)

YUCAI finds comprehensive, social impact solutions through collaborative ideation while providing a union of unwavering support for its members.

student tabling
Stephan Oliveira (YC ’24), of The Darks Art, showcasing his patches and stickers that are available for sell. 

Reflecting on the event and the impact of the opportunity to be involved, Stevan Oliveria (YC ’24), founder of The Darks Art, was “excited to show what kind of resources are available through Tsai CITY for those exploring their creativity.” Adding to his sentiment, Jessica Perelman (SOM ’24), Elevation Med Prep representative, explained how Demo Day was “the perfect opportunity to connect with potential mentors and advisors to get concrete advice on their next steps.” 

In the end, the students’ ideas and the sounds of valuable connections reverberated throughout the event, resulting in a powerful impact.