The CSIF is a $3.75 million fund that invests up to $100,000 in qualifying Yale startups.


The College Street Innovation Fund offers seed funding to the most promising student-led Yale startups. The Fund was created in December 2013 by Yale University in partnership with Connecticut Innovations and a local bank (now Webster Bank) in order to help Yale startups improve access to early stage investment capital. Elm Street Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture fund based in New Haven, Connecticut, is the fund manager.

Funding is available to any Yale student venture, with a preference for those that have participated in programs at Tsai CITY or student/faculty ventures at Yale OCR.

About Tsai CITY

The mission of the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) is to inspire students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative ways to solve real-world problems. Launched in 2017, Tsai CITY serves students from across Yale’s campus through programs, funding, and mentorship. It is building a new kind of innovation center, one rooted in radical inclusivity: students from all backgrounds tackle issues like climate change and civic engagement, develop creative projects from documentary films to digital platforms, and launch high-growth ventures and movements.

About the Yale Office of Cooperative Research

Since its founding in 1982, the Yale Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) has built a significant portfolio of inventions and patents and has grown into an engine of regional economic development. With a mission to facilitate the translation of research from Yale’s labs into products and services that benefit society, it maintains a diverse range of skills and partners to achieve its goals. As the University’s primary connector to early stage venture capital, and business experts with domain expertise in tech and biotech, OCR identifies, counsels and nurtures early-stage technologies as they transition to market ready opportunities. 

College Street Innovation Fund FAQ

1. What is the purpose of the College Street Innovation Fund? 

To help Yale student and student/faculty ventures to develop their business concept sufficiently to attract follow-on seed capital.

2. Who is eligible to apply? 

Student founded and student/faculty co-founded ventures are eligible for up to 1 year after graduation. Teams that are based in Connecticut and willing to grow their businesses here will be given additional consideration.

3. How much funding is available? 

Up to $100,000 of funding using a standard convertible note or terms from a lead investor. Proceeds will be used for forward-looking expenses, which can include but are not limited to the development of products, hiring staff, and working capital.

4. What are the criteria for consideration?

  • Potential for high growth.
  • Clear and achievable milestones that would allow a subsequent raise of seed capital from outside investors
  • Team skills adequate to complete next-phase milestones.

5. What are the application requirements? 

See Apply for more information.

More questions? Contact Konstantine Drakonakis at

Let’s build something together.