Tsai CITY Welcomes 15 Summer Fellowship Teams

Tsai CITY has selected 15 teams to participate in its first Summer Fellowship. Over the course of the 8-week boot camp, which runs from June 4 through July 27, teams will work to move from early stages to launch with the help of intensive workshops, mentorships, and pitch opportunities. Each of the teams will receive $15,000 to test and develop products or scale existing business models.

CITY’s inaugural Summer Accelerator replaces the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Summer Fellowship and boasts a larger class than in past years. Kassie Tucker, a program director at CITY, notes the diversity of the teams, which represent all parts of Yale and focus on a wide variety of industries. A few teams will work within the food space. Homecooked connects users to events at the homes of local chefs based on shared interests. !NU focuses on the nutrition side, providing plant-based, health-centered convenience food and beverage. Both Symbrosia and Treehouse Trading combine food production and environmental solutions to address the environmental effects of beef and seafood production and deforestation, respectively.

Alectro LLC also works within the environmental innovation space, designing large-scale solar projects for existing railway infrastructure. Raise Green, Inc. and Real Impact Tracker seek to maximize socially and environmentally responsible investments.

The Summer Fellowship offers student innovators, most of whom are full-time students, the opportunity to spend every day working on their businesses. Many of the teams are further into the development—working toward launch or scaling rather than simply starting up—but all will make major strides in their development over the course of eight weeks.

CITY will also support two Summer Projects—Now, in Color, a documentary series showcasing the stories of Black students at Yale, and Mind the Gap, an iOS app that increases the visibility of diverse professionals.

Here are the selected teams:

Paragon Real Estate Technologies--Victor Hunt (YC), Aaron Resnick (YC), Yusuf Olokoba, Ethan Resnick, Arline Parks

Paragon is an online marketplace to organize the $1.1 trillion spent annually on products and services for America’s built world and connects large multi-family and commercial buildings with contractors for faster and cheaper procurement.

Alectro LLC--Farouq Ghandour (YC), Omar Zaki (YC), Jon Langel, Andrew Suiter

Alectro LLC aims to transition railways to renewable energy by designing and implementing large-scale solar projects within existing railway infrastructure.

Visionary Health--Moustafa Amin (YSPH), Moritz Graule, Matthias Bloch

Visionary Health will build an A.I. screening solution that can distinguish between normal and abnormal chest x-rays and alter physicians’ workflows accordingly.

Symbrosia--Alexia Akbay (YSPH), Gracie White (YC)

Symbrosia is developing a saltwater aquaponic system capable of growing both Pacific white shrimp and the red microalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis, which together have the potential to both improve the quality of the product and reduce the environmental impacts associated with current beef and seafood production.

Homecooked--Hojung Kim, Kevin Zhen (YC)

Homecooked is a web app that promotes meaningful social interactions by matching guests to events at the homes of talented local chefs through recommendations based on shared social interests.

Virtual Art History--Amy Guiliano (YDS), Joachim Jemegbe

Virtual Art History provides educational institutions with virtual reality tours of major sites of artistic, cultural, and historic significance using 3D, high-resolution photography to virtually reconstruct interior spaces for virtual reality.

Real Impact Tracker--Cary Krosinsky (Yale Faculty), Pei Hua Chen (YC), Patrick Reed (YC), Gabe Rissman (YC), Dylan King (YC)

Real Impact Tracker makes everyone an impact investor by rating the social and environmental impact of investment funds and certifying the most impactful investment managers.

Rose River Boots--Jessica Alzamora (YC), Alana Oates

Rosie River Boots provides attractive and stylish steel-toed boots for feminine people whose jobs require safety footwear; no more switching shoes between the field or manufacturing floor and the board room!

Campaign for America--Peter Hwang (YC), Esul Burton (YC), Caroline Kim, Miru Osuga

CFA offers a unique Campaign Fellowship—the only recruitment, training, and placement program available for college graduates looking to enter campaign work—with a focus on building  the pipeline of people of color, women, and LGBTQ campaign staffers in a predominantly white, male industry.

Firoz Academy--Wazhma Sadat (YLS), Yasamin Sharifi (YC), Usman Qadri (YC), Sheila Qasemi (YC), Rahma Ahmed (YC), John Calhoun (YLS)

Firoz Academy aims to provide world-class instruction in math, leadership, and technology to help young Afghans prosper in the global services economy.

Forested Foods--Ariana Day Yuen (SOM), Netsanet Aragaw

Treehouse Trading combats deforestation by working with smallholder farmers to produce and market products that are uniquely grown in forests (e.g. spices, gum/resins, tree fruits, honey).

Raise Green, Inc.--Franz Hochstrasser (YC), Kwasi Ansu (FES), Josh Constanti (FES), Mikaela Bradbury (FES/SOM), Jason Warrington (FES)

Raise Green aggregates small investments to provide equity in project finance companies and offers investors a market rate of return while financing projects that provide social and environmental benefits.

Students of Salaam (SOS)--Aaminah Bhat (YC), Stella Shannon (YC), Farhha Feroz (YC), Yaseen Bhat

Students of Salaam works to ensure the success of migrants and their local communities through education, mentorship, and cultural exchange by providing integration platforms for education and communication between migrant and non-migrant populations.

!NU--Thembi Butelezi (SOM)

!NU is a plant-based nutrition and food company with a vision to provide tasty, health-centered convenience food and beverage alternatives to consumers around the world.

Snacktivism--Caterina Passoni (YC), Matteo Sandrelli (YC), Sofia Cianchi (YC), Huy Truong (YC), Ben Weiss (YC)

Snacktivism produces, markets, and sells delicious refugee-made snacks to Yale butteries; the snacks are cooked by a refugee chef who receives all of the net income from the sales.

And here are the summer projects:

Now, in Color--Clark Burnett, J. Joseph, Amani Hill, Karnessia Georgetown

By exploring the stories of Black students on Yale’s campus, Now, in Color counters the media’s traditional and monolithic construction of what it means to be Black. Each episode of this documentary series delves into subjects’ interests, passions, hopes and motivations, from mechanical engineering to poetry. The series aims to showcase, to the world, the breadth and depth that is Blackness. Filmed in the Afro-American cultural center at Yale, Now, in Color is an extension of an ongoing movement.

Mind the Gap--Erika Alexandra Hairston

What happens when you never see people who look like you in roles you aspire to? You’re implicitly told that role is not for you. (Mis)Representation powerfully can reinforce or shift mainstream norms and stereotypes. The project's iOS app, Repunity, aims to tackle under-representation across fields and career phases, making diverse professionals and their paths visible and accessible.


Mark Drozdowski