About the Fund

The YEI Innovation Fund offers pre-seed funding to the most promising Yale startups. The Fund was created in September 2013 by Yale University in partnership with Connecticut Innovations and Webster Bank in order to improve access to early stage investment capital here in Connecticut. Elm Street Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture fund based in New Haven, Connecticut, is managing the Fund.

Any ventures that have participated in programs at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute are eligible to apply for this funding—with up to $100,000 available per venture—with preference given to ventures which have completed the YEI Fellowship.

About the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute

The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute is a university department that helps entrepreneurs and innovators at Yale start scalable new ventures with programs, workshops, events and funding. YEI is leading the effort to expand entrepreneurship opportunities across Yale and to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Haven, Connecticut, through partnerships with Yale’s schools, campus innovation centers and with local entrepreneurship groups and business partners. There are currently 100 active YEI companies that have raised over $175 million in funding and created over 400 jobs. More information is available at yei.yale.edu.

YEI Innovation Fund FAQ

1. What is the purpose of the YEI Innovation Fund? To help Yale innovators who have previously participated in a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) program to develop their business concept sufficiently to attract follow-on seed capital.

2. Who is eligible to apply? Preference will be given to companies that have completed the YEI Summer Fellowship.  Teams that are based in Connecticut and willing to grow their businesses here will be given additional consideration

3. How much funding is available? Up to $100,000 of funding using a standard convertible note. Proceeds shall be used for forward looking expenses which can include but are not limited to the development of products, hiring staff and working capital.

4. What are the criteria for consideration?

  • Potential for high growth.
  • Clear and achievable milestones that would allow a subsequent raise of seed capital from outside investors
  • Team skills adequate to complete next-phase milestones.

5. What are the application requirements? Required application documents: PowerPoint presentation and Investment Memo (please use this template). Send applications to Jim Boyle, james.g.boyle@yale.edu. Selected teams will present to the Investment Committee. The Investment Committee is made up of: Elm Street Ventures (Managing Partners), Connecticut Innovations and Yale University.

More questions? Contact Jim Boyle at james.g.boyle@yale.edu