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Yale OCR’s first ‘Dolphin Tank®’ event to promote aspiring innovators

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AmplifyHERscience, a new program of Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research, is inviting applications for a “shark tank” style event in which aspiring entrepreneurs, including women and other underrepresented groups, will pitch their startup ideas to business professionals.

In this case, co-organizers are calling it the Innovators from Yale University Dolphin Tank, a “friendly-feedback” session in which participants will receive constructive advice and practical insights following 3 to 5 minute pitches. The Dolphin Tank program was developed by Springboard Enterprises in 2017.

The virtual event, which will be hosted in conjunction with Springboard Enterprises, will be held at 12 p.m. Sept. 23. Springboard’s mission is to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts.

The event is sponsored by NavigatorBIO.

According to Springboard Enterprises, “Dolphin Tanks aren’t about sharks, piranhas, dragons, or competing for the best idea – they’re about channeling the expertise of the people in the room.” 

"As part of amplifyHERscience’s mission to promote and support Yale’s aspiring entrepreneurs, we are excited to co-host with Springboard Enterprises the first Yale Dolphin Tank event. This virtual event will spotlight aspiring innovators from Yale who will present their concept, project or startup, existing or conceptual, to a friendly and supportive audience. The presenters will have a unique opportunity to connect and get coached by Springboard Enterprises. I encourage interested faculty members, postdocs and research associates actively involved in research at Yale to reach out to us,” said Lolahon Kadiri, Senior Business Development Associate at Yale OCR and a Founding Member of amplifyHERscience. 

The handful of presenters who are selected will be coached by the Springboard experts on how to deliver an effective 5-minute investor pitch, and will also get a chance to connect with and receive feedback from a community of industry leaders, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs. 

The OCR’s amplifyHERscience team is accepting applications now from Yale innovators who have a startup - or a concept for a startup - based on innovative technology out of Yale. While faculty members are strongly encouraged to apply, consideration will also be given to Yale postdoctoral associates, graduate students, and Yale research staff.

Applications can be submitted here. Submissions are due by midnight Sept. 9. All applicants and attendees are welcome regardless of affiliation, industry, or gender. RSVP to join the audience at no cost to watch the action live, and for a chance to virtually network. 

For questions or help with submissions, contact Or, for more information, visit

About amplifyHERscience

amplifyHERscience, initiated in 2020, is a program within the Yale University Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) dedicated to supporting and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and entrepreneurial pursuits. 

Our approach is multi-pronged:

Network: As with many challenging endeavors, success in entrepreneurship takes a village. We are always working to grow our network, and aim to facilitate as many strategic introductions as possible to help community members achieve their goals. 

Educate: Learning from one another is a foundational belief of the amplifyHERscience team. Via small-group informational and one-on-one sessions, the amplifyHERscience Stories Podcast, and other initiatives, we strive to provide relevant content to guide our members on their entrepreneurial journeys. 

Arm with Resources: Our Tuesday Touch Base newsletter is an aggregate of applicable events, deadlines, and resources within the Yale community and beyond. Please sign up to receive it. 

Amplify & Celebrate: amplifyHERscience publishes regular spotlight features to highlight aspiring entrepreneurs in our multifaceted scientific community and innovation ecosystem, from scientists to investors.

Promote Inclusivity: Diverse representation in innovation and entrepreneurship is essential, so while amplifyHERscience actively supports women, all program opportunities are available and open to everyone within the Yale community. We whole-heartedly believe diversity and inclusion fuels momentum.

For more information, please visit


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. Its mission is to facilitate the translation of research from Yale’s labs into products and services that benefit society. OCR is recognized as a leading force for catalyzing economic growth by identifying, counseling and nurturing early-stage technologies and guiding the transition into robust companies. More information is available at