One of the things we are proud of is Yale’s bustling entrepreneurial and innovative culture. As an organization dedicated to supporting the students on campus, we want to support our entrepreneurs as well. To accomplish this goal, we have organized and sponsored pitch nights for the Yale student population and funded entrepreneurial teams with grants in the past, and will continue to look for opportunities to do so in the future.
Inaugural Pitch Night
Partnered with YES and Tsai CITY to host our first ever pitch night, where we gave out $5000 in prize money.
Pause due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Took a brief pause due to the events of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yale x Harvard Pitch Competition
Sponsored the Yale x Harvard Pitch competition and gave out $5000 in prize money to support access Yale students’ access to the winning startups.
We are going to continue looking for opportunities to help organize and sponsor future pitch nights!
In 2019, we partnered with the Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES) and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) to host an inaugural pitch night where undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs pitched their project/startup ideas based in some area of STEM to a panel of judges. We had 22 teams participate in the event, and each team had 5 minutes to impress our panel of judges. During the event, YSEA gave out $1000 each to five teams and YES gave out $26000 in Google Cloud credits. The prize winners for the YSEA prize pool during the 2019 pitch night are: Upright Oats, Prepared, Telefast, Yale’s Engineers without Borders chapter, and Deep Dish.
In 2020, we took a brief pause from hosting the pitch night due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, we started up our operations again! This time, we worked with Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES) and Harvard Ventures (HV) to sponsor their Yale x Harvard Pitch Competition and received 97 applications for the competition. We gave out $5000 in prize money – the prize money either went to Yale affiliated designees at tech-based or highly enabled startups, in which the money was used to support the Yale affiliated designee, or the prize money went to a Harvard team, in which case the money was used to recruit Yale team members or interns at that startup through YES’s internship program. This decision was made in alignment with our goal of supporting science and tech-based startups and increasing Yale students’ access to these startups.
More information on the Yale x Harvard Pitch Competition and the finalists can be found at https://yesxhv.org/.
We’re going to continue to look for opportunities to help organize and sponsor these pitch competitions for the future.
Grant Funding for Entrepreneurial Projects
In line with our goal of supporting entrepreneurs on campus, we have given out grant funding to entrepreneurial projects in the past. We are happy to accept any grant applicants who may need funding for a startup idea of theirs!
In 2018, we gave $1000 to the makers of Happy Feet, a product for runners that uses a paper-thin insert placed underneath the insole to detect potential pressure-related injuries in runners before these injuries occur. The insert has four sensors and maps out how hard the foot is hitting on each point at different times, and then aggregates the data and forwards it to an iOS app where runners can analyze their runs and see how their running styles have changed over time.
For more information on the project, check out this article by the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science and scroll down to the “Happy Feet” section.
In 2021, we funded a $600 grant to the InnoWeight Home Gym team to help them on their journey to creating an innovative home gym product. The team is designing a servo-based pulley resistance system which will have the weight training functionality of a traditional squat rack and barbell, but without the problems associated with these traditional equipment. The product is meant to solve the issues of traditional home gym equipment, which many people have resorted to in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.