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


Investment Committee

Rob Bettigole

Managing Partner, Elm Street Ventures

Rob is the founder and a managing partner of New Haven-based Elm Street Ventures. He is the chairman of P2 Science, a board member of BioCT, and is Elm Street’s observer on the board of Halda Therapeutics. Previously, Rob was a board member of AxioMx, Occam Sciences, SeeClickFix, ShareGrove, and Retail Optimization Inc., and served as an observer on the boards of Affomix, Arvinas, BioRelix, Device42, and Metagenomix. Rob has a BS in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University and an MPPM from the Yale School of Management, where he has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and an Executive Fellow.

Peter Hicks

Senior Vice President, Webster Bank

Peter manages the Emerging Growth Banking Group for Webster Bank. He joined Webster in 2003 as a relationship manager in business banking and took over its Emerging Growth segment in 2007. Peter has more than 25 years of banking experience as well as serving as Vice President of Operations and Finance for a Bridgeport, CT based manufacturing company for six years. He previously served as Treasurer for the Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis (CCCC) and on the board of the Foote School Association. He served as chairman and remains a board member of the Crossroads Venture Group (CVG); as well as a member of the board of the Connecticut Technology Council. Peter grew up on the Yale campus as a faculty kid and earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and MBA from the University of New Haven.

Peter Longo

Senior Managing Director of Investments, Connecticut Innovations

Peter Longo is senior managing director of investments at CI and has spent over 24 years in numerous roles at CI. Peter is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities, structuring investments and monitoring portfolio companies through active board participation. Peter’s past CI investments include: Achillion Pharmaceuticals (IPO), Cardium Health (acquired by Centene), CYA Technologies (acquired by enChoice), Aventri fka eTouches (acquired by HGGC), NeuVis (acquired by Rational Software), Nufern (acquired by Rofin-Sinar), SilverSky (acquired by BAE Systems), PCC Technology Group (acquired by Clearview Capital), Device42 (acquired by private equity syndicate) and Post-N-Track (management buyout). Peter is a Certified Public Accountant and a Charter Financial Analyst.

Matt Mendelsohn

Director, Yale Investments Office

Matt Mendelsohn joined the YIO in 2007. He focuses on the leveraged buyout and venture capital portfolios, in addition to helping with asset allocation. He graduated from Yale College with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and became a CFA® charterholder in 2011.

Portfolio Director

Konstantine Drakonakis, PE

Portfolio Director, College Street Innovation Fund

Konstantine is an experienced early stage investor and operator focused on developing proprietary IMPACT technology companies. As an “Entrepreneurial Engineer,” he gravitates to technology companies within the software, med-tech and green-tech markets. He has led 38 investments for LaunchCapital and the Pritzker Vlock Family Office (PVFO) to date and serves as a strategic advisor for many of his portfolio companies. He represents LaunchCapital and PVFO as a board member on the following portfolio companies: 6k (fka Amastan Technologies – where he was the founding Chairman and CSO), EpiEP, Biorez, TearSolutions, and Affinimark Technologies. 

Advisory Council

James Boyle, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Venture Development, Yale Office of Cooperative Research; Founder, YEI Innovation Fund

Jim Boyle currently leads new venture development programs for Yale faculty across the campus, including accelerator programs, oversight of OCR’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, and management of the Blavatnik Fellowship Program. Previously, Jim cofounded the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (2007-2017) and the YEI Innovation Fund (2013-2019). Boyle is no stranger to the student entrepreneurial experience, beginning his own biotech startup career while still a Yale graduate student with Nobel Laureate John Fenn. He holds advanced degrees in both mechanical engineering (University of Illinois) and chemical engineering (Yale).

Clare Leinweber

Executive Director, Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale

Clare Leinweber is an experienced leader in innovation education. For over 15 years, she has mentored and taught hundreds of student innovators, founders, and joiners, helping them develop compelling ideas to solve real-world problems by creating for-profit or not-for-profit ventures and by innovating from within established organizations. Clare came to Yale from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she led the Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship center. In this role, she directed co-curricular experiential learning innovation programs for Penn undergraduate and graduate students in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Clare holds a master’s degree in human development and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, both from the University of Chicago. Clare also holds a graduate certificate in management from the Wharton School and a master’s degree in public health from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Onyeka Obiocha

Managing Director, Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale

Onyeka Obiocha is Managing Director at CITY. Previously, he was the inaugural Director of Innovation at Dwight Hall, focusing on developing trainings, programs, and partnerships to support members of the Yale and Greater New Haven communities dedicated to creating social change. Outside of Yale, Ony’s work spans community development, social entrepreneurship, and civic consulting. He recently moved from President and Co-Founder of A Happy Life, a social enterprise dedicated to creating a happier world for all, to launching Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, a design studio that aims to build social cohesion through economic and cultural development. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors Ony consulted for Special Olympics International and launched a microcosignment program in South Africa.


Yale University

Research University

Yale is a private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, CT, and is the third oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Its 5,000+ undergraduate and 6000+ graduate and professional students come from all 50 American states and from 108 countries. The 4,000+ member faculty, over 1,000 of whom are tenured, is a richly diverse group of men and women who are leaders in their respective fields. Yale is composed of Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and 13 professional schools (including Architecture, Art, Divinity, Drama, Engineering & Applied Science, Forestry & Environmental Studies, Law, Management, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Public Health, and the Institute of Sacred Music).

Connecticut Innovations

Venture Fund

Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies. To maximize each business’ growth potential, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; flexible loans for established companies with new innovations; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. Through all these initiatives, CI has helped bring billion in financing to Connecticut companies. The state’s most active early-stage investor, CI has created more than 26,000 jobs.

Webster Financial Corporation

Banking and Investment Services

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. With .1 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust, and investment services through 175 banking centers and 350 ATMs. Webster also provides mobile and Internet banking. Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, which provides health savings account trustee and administrative services. Webster Bank is a member of the FDIC and an equal housing lender.

Elm Street Ventures

Venture Fund

Elm Street Ventures is a seed and early stage venture fund based in New Haven, Connecticut. Their emphasis is on the life sciences, with approximately 70% of investments to date in companies developing laboratory tools, diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics, and other health care related products and services. The remaining 30% of Elm Street’s commitments are in green technology, information technology and other industries.

Let’s build something together.