We’re here to help you take action and get your innovative ideas into the world — and that’s not always cheap. CITY offers several funding streams, and we can connect you to prizes and other funding sources across campus.

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CITY offers two core funds that support individual students and student organizations. Applications are accepted at any time during the fall and spring semesters, and awarded once a week (on Fridays).

Student Innovation FunD

Individual students can apply to the Student Innovation Fund for up to $1,000 for any of the following that are related to innovation and entrepreneurship:

  • Travel

  • Supplies

  • Any other necessary costs to move forward with an innovative idea or project

This funding cannot be used to pay Yale students for their time as a stipend or wage.



Student Event Fund

Student clubs and organizations can apply to the Student Event Fund for up to $1,000 of matching funds for any event that:

  • Relates to innovation or entrepreneurship

  • Promotes diversity and inclusion

  • Enables interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Results in some kind of concrete action

Note that these are matching funds: CITY will contribute no more than half of the cost of an event (up to $1000), and you must have already received the amount to be matched from another sponsor before you can apply to this fund.

This funding cannot be used to pay Yale students for their time as a stipend or wage.


Critical Innovation Fund

La Casa, the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS), and CITY are collaborating to launch the Critical Innovation Fund. The Critical Innovation Fund consists of five $1,500 awards, which will be given out to teams with the strongest proposals for innovative ways to address pressing immigration challenges in America.

Teams can apply with any idea — an event, a movement, an educational campaign, a technological innovation, a storytelling project, a work of art — that addresses current immigration challenges in America. We welcome interdisciplinary teams from across Yale and New Haven. All are welcome to apply, but teams must consist of at least one current Yale student.

The award can be put toward time spent working on the project, materials, travel for research, or other project-related costs. Preference will be given to teams who have lived experience with the challenge they choose to address, and teams who are focusing on local and New Haven-based issues.

Teams will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Is your idea innovative? We define innovative as “exploring, understanding, and challenging existing systems so as to imagine what could be.”

  • Does your idea center, celebrate, and support underrepresented voices?

  • Does your idea address a challenge around immigration in the U.S.?

  • Do you understand how your chosen challenge is connected to other immigration challenges?

Applications are due November 15th, 2018, at 11:59pm.



Yale has five $25,000 entrepreneurship prizes that share a single application, two of which are awarded through CITY. These prizes are designed to support world-changing ideas from Yale students around health, education, sustainability, and technology.

PrizeAwarded ByFor
Miller PrizeTsai CITYa tech or tech-enabled service startup
Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ YaleTsai CITYan innovative hardware solution to a medical challenge
Sabin Sustainable Venture PrizeCenter for Business and the Environment at Yale (CBEY)products, services, projects, or programs that advance a more sustainable way of life
Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or EducationInnovateHealth Yalesocial innovation in health or education
Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity InnovationInnovateHealth Yalea technology solution to a health disparity challenge


For other funding sources at Yale, consult this guide to entrepreneurship funding.

For grants and startup seed funding opportunities, check out the resources shared at Yale Wiki CITY.

For questions about funding innovative projects and ventures, speak with one of our mentors in residence who specializes in funding and fundraising.