FAQs

FOR STUDENT TEAMS

How do I apply?

We use a streamlined application process with a single application for all four prizes. The 2019 application is due on March 8: apply here!

What is the difference between the prizes?

Each prize has a different theme:

  • Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize ($25K): environmental or sustainability challenges

  • Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education ($25K): social innovation in the fields of health or education

  • Miller Prize ($25K): disruptive tech or tech-enabled services

  • Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ Yale ($15K): innovative hardware solutions to medical challenges

 Can I apply to more than one prize?

Yes. In the application form, you can select which prizes you would like to be considered for.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for any of the $25K prizes, a team must include at least one full-time current Yale student. To be eligible for the Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ Yale, a team must include at least one full-time current Yale undergraduate student.

Who are the judges?

There are different judging panels for each prize. Each judging panel is made up of experts in the relevant field, including industry experts, academics, entrepreneurs, and investors. 

Does my venture have to be a for-profit or a non-profit?

For the Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education, the Miller Prize, and the Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ Yale, your venture/idea can be for-profit or non-profit.

For the Sabin Sustainable Venture prize, your venture must be for-profit.

Please note, it is NOT required for teams to be incorporated before competing for Yale Prizes. 

At what stage should my idea be?

Your idea can be any stage. The judges want to see that the prize money will be catalytic. However, the judges will look favorably on teams who can show that they have spoken to customers/users/beneficiaries, or who have a prototype of their product or service. In the past, we have seen teams win prizes who have been working on their idea for as little as three months, or as long as several years.

What is the timeline for the prizes?

Requests for mentors: To support your prize application and pitch prep, we will match you with a mentor or industry expert who will work with you during the spring semester. To be matched with a mentor, submit a Mentor Request Form by 11:59pm on January 25.

Final prize application: The final prize application is due at 11:59pm on March 8.

Final pitches: Finalists will be announced before Startup Yale; finalists will pitch for the prizes during the April 5 Startup Yale events.

What do I get if I win?

Winners of the Sabin, Thorne, and Miller Prizes will receive a $25,000 cash prize and automatic acceptance to the CITY Summer Fellowship, which includes a $15,000 stipend, a 8-week incubator program, and mentorship. Prize-specific benefits include: 

Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize

  • $10,000 of pro-bono customer insight and strategy support from Flamingo

The winner of the Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ Yale will win a $15,000 cash prize.

Who has won in the past?

To see past winners and finalists, check out the following links:

 What if my question isn't on this list?

If you have more questions, reach out to Cass Walker Harvey at cassandra.walkerharvey@yale.edu.

FOR EVENT ATTENDEES

Who can attend Startup Yale?

Anyone! Startup Yale is free and open to the public. The event gathers a vibrant community of students, community members, industry practitioners, investors, and other innovators and leaders from all fields.


I can’t make it for all three days of Startup Yale. Can I still attend?

Yes! We know not everyone has three days open, so you’re welcome to take an a-la-carte approach to Startup Yale. Please just note which events you plan to attend on our registration form, so that we can plan accordingly.

How do I get to Evans Hall, and where can I park?

Learn more about transit and parking options here.

How can my company or organization support Startup Yale?

Corporate partners play a key role in making Startup Yale possible, and we’re eager to build our community of innovators. Please contact Abigail Winslow at abigail.winslow@yale.edu to learn more about sponsorship opportunities and how our menu of sponsor benefits can best serve your organization.