Seven Yale SOM students will spend the summer developing their startup ventures as 2016 fellows at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI).
The students’ four ventures—diverse enterprises in clothing, food, and technology—are among eight Yale startups selected for this year’s YEI Fellowship, a 10-week summer program that provides entrepreneurs with $15,000, mentorship, access to corporate partners, and a network of peers and experts.
Teams with SOM students include:
- Amor Rosa (Debra Broberg MAM ’16, Laura Melendrez ’16, and Vanessa Ocando MAM ’16): A clothing company that creates colorful embroidered garments using ancestral techniques from Latin America.
- Charityvest (Stephen Kump ’17 and Jon Koon, a software engineer at Twitter): A technology platform that lets donors make easier and more impactful charitable donations while also lowering administration costs for nonprofits.
- Re-Harvest Foods (Cat Wu ’17): A food company that uses surplus produce to create portable, healthy snacks.
- Zeally (Lexsa Campbell ’17 and Krystyna Taheri ’17): A web-based platform that provides a personalized list of job postings for college students and recent college graduates.
The Amor Rosa team has a concrete goal for the summer: “During the fellowship, we want to complete Amor Rosa’s business plan, in order to start producing in Mexico right afterwards,” Laura Melendrez said.
Her teammate Debra Broberg said the fellowship was an honor. “It feels amazing to have this support for our social mission-driven business,” she said. “The mentorship and resources provided by YEI will help us grow exponentially and maximize our impact.”
Re-Harvest Foods also has a specific objective. “I’m excited to continue tweaking our existing products and test new product lines in broader geographies outside of Connecticut over the summer,” Cat Wu said.
Kyle Jensen, Yale SOM’s associate dean and the Shanna and Eric Bass ’05 Director of Entrepreneurship, wished the student teams well.
“I am pleased so many SOM students find support for their entrepreneurial endeavors through YEI's summer program,” Jensen said, “and I suspect they'll contribute a great deal to the lives of their cohort.”