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. 

Applicable 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 team must include at least one full-time Yale student.


Accelerator Resources

  • Core and elective workshops to help you build out your idea

  • Mentorship through an Innovation Advisor matched to your team, and other mentors in your field and/or with specific expertise to support your work

  • One-on-one sessions with experts on topics such pitching and legal advice

  • $1000 of non-dilutive funding

  • Amazon Web Services credits

  • The chance to be part of an awesome group of innovators from around Yale!


FALL 2018 Program Dates

The Accelerator is designed to serve students in building out and launching startups, nonprofits, and projects. All sessions and events are mandatory, as are weekly meetings between teams and their IAs. Teams will consult with their IA to choose additional electives that are most useful to them.

9/1011:59pmAccelerator applications due
Week of 9/17Accelerator applicant interviews
9/21by 5pmAccelerator final decisions released
9/299am–5pmRetreat: Overview of the Accelerator, Mission + Vision, Building an Organization
10/512:30–3pmSession 1: Customer/User Discovery
10/95–6pmElective: Branding + Visual Identity for Startups
10/1212:30–3pmSession 2: Lean Startup Methodology
10/2612:30–3pmSession 3: MVPs, Prototyping, Testing
11/212:30–3pmSession 4: Business Models
11/75–7pmElective: Financing Nonprofits: Philanthropic Fundraising + Grant Writing
11/84:30–6pmElective: Raising Startup Capital
11/912:30–3pmSession 5: Pitching
Week of 11/12pitch coaching
11/155–8pmAccelerator Pitch Off
11/1612:30–3pmEmotional Intelligence for Founders



The For-Profit and Non-Profit Startup Accelerators utilize the same application. Applications are DUE at 11:59pm on September 10, 2018.


For questions regarding the accelerator or application, please contact Emma Funk ( or Nya Holder (