The entrepreneurial network here is full of fantastic resources, and it’s an extremely supportive environment.
My company came to be quite by accident, which I think is the way a lot of the more interesting startups happen: You come upon a problem in the world, and through entrepreneurship and innovation, you try to solve it.
When I moved to New Haven, my roommate and I had a hard time finding quality, affordable furniture for our new apartment. I think this is a problem commonly faced by young professionals. We did a lot of research and realized there were no great options to buy domestically made, sustainably sourced, beautiful furniture that’s still affordable. So we’re trying to fill that niche with our company, Hugo and Hoby.
Yale has enabled us to take the first step. The entrepreneurial network here is full of fantastic resources, and it’s an extremely supportive environment. The Program on Entrepreneurship at Yale SOM has a dedicated area where student entrepreneurs sit together and work on their projects, and a whole suite of new classes associated with entrepreneurship. I’m taking The Startup Founders Practicum. It’s essentially getting academic credit to work on your venture, with help and guidance from professors and staff. From the perspective of a student entrepreneur, it’s extremely helpful, because time, resources, and support are exactly what you need a lot of in the beginning.
My co-founder and I will also be summer fellows at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. The institute is an incubator environment, where you have access to funding from Yale, and more importantly, to a great support network of fellow student entrepreneurs, advisors, mentors, and legal support. These are people who really know the ropes. It’s just a fantastic opportunity.