Excitement and Diverse Ideas at First Ever Yale Pitch Slam

Larissa Nguyen, a sophomore at Grace Hopper College, wasn’t planning to get up in front of an audience and share her idea for a new political app. But after she watched several students give their 2-minute pitches at the First Ever Yale Pitch Slam hosted by the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY), she decided to go for it. Nguyen made her way down to the stage at the Nick Chapel Theater – a black box theater in Trumbull College – and shared her vision for an app that streamlines the process of registration and voting, providing users with an easy-to-use database of who is running and how to vote in their area. She hoped to find collaborators who shared her interest in voting rights.

“I come from an immigrant family from Vietnam,” Nguyen says. “Growing up, my family had such pride in being able to vote. Creating an app like this would be one way I can give back.”

Another undergrad, Jinchen Zou, was looking to meet people interested in climate change and migration to help her build an app that would map a region’s resources and help drive policy changes. Zou is currently working as an intern at Tsai CITY, focused on supporting social entrepreneurship initiatives on campus.


School of Management student Abhi Moturi suggested a “smart” shopping cart embedded with a camera and sensors. Scott Bole, a freshman and member of Yale’s swim team, suggested an app to make tourism more efficient.

Ben Artin, who is pursuing a joint master’s degree from the Yale School of Medicine Physician Assistant program and Yale School of Public Health, proposed a medical device to detect an unusual blood condition that can be life threatening. Pitching his idea was less about starting a new venture, says Artin, than beginning the process of connecting with other entrepreneurial students.

“This is the room I wanted to be in,” Artin says. “Tsai CITY is working on building a network and I want to be part of the vibrant idea-sharing.”

Ready to join the idea-sharing? Tsai CITY’s next Pitch Slam will be held on Dec. 13, 7-9pm at the Nick Chapel Theater. Join the Tsai CITY Mailing Listfor updates!

CONTACT: Brita Belli, Communications Officer, Tsai CITY, (203)804-1911, brita.belli@yale.edu.

Brita Belli