Yale Accelerator for Innovation Development


Bring Your Technology to Market with Y-AID

The Yale Accelerator for Innovation Development (Y-AID) is a new program, developed and run by the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR). This program is designed to help technologies in the earliest stages of development advance toward commercialization. Coming out of this work, we expect you will have a clear, actionable road map – with time frames, milestones and resource requirements – that can serve as a stepping stone toward seed stage funding.  (And as an added benefit, this work will provide strong market-based support for SBIR/STTR applications.) 



Y-AID builds off Lean Startup and I-Corp methodologies developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). With a customer-driven focus throughout, the Accelerator will push you to understand key business considerations like market segmentation, the competitive landscape, adoption hurdles, and the metrics of value perception (financial and otherwise). OCR will help you form a multi-disciplinary team, comprised of techincal and business leads paired with external mentors, and guide you through an effective customer discovery process.



  • The newly revised program runs between mid-October 2019 and early March 2020. The program is comprised of three major phases:
    • Four weeks of introductory/preparation class sessions;
    • An interviewing/field work phase spread over a three month period, with periodic group check-in sessions (during this period teams are expected to conduct 50-100 customer interviews); 
    • Four weeks of follow-up analytics and roadmapping class sessions.

At the conclusion of the program, each team will meet for an in-depth debriefing and evaluation pointing towards the 2020 Yale Innovation Summit in early May 2020.

  • All workshops will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm with dinner included. (location TBD) 
  • This is a team program. OCR will help secure both the business lead and mentor lead though our networks, if you wish. 
  • The workshops are both informational and interactive: 45 minutes of tutorial will be followed by individual team progress reports, based on a specific task assigned at the previous workshop.
  • The Accelerator program is focused exclusively on business development; it does not include any grant funding for technology R&D.
  • OCR will provide all training materials and team support tools.

Application/Commitment Timing:

Interested faculty should contact James.g.boyle@Yale.edu by August 31st, as we will be recruiting both advisors and student analysts with your technologies and businesses in mind. 

Pilot Cohort Fall 2018:

  Principal Investigator/Team Department Technology Advisors MBA Students
Team 1 - Expect With Me

Jessica Lewis(PI)

Public Health Prenatal health care for better outcomes

John Puziss

James Locker

Andrew Zehner

Nitya Kanuri

Walter Lindop

Adedoyin Lawal

Team 2 - Datafold AI

Smita Krishnaswamy(PI)

David van Dijk

Daniel Burkhardt

Genetics Analytics for single cell analysis and interpretation of high order dimensionality data Barry Schweitzer

Sean Kelly

Arun Venkatesan

Team 3 - Neat Pinz Hadi Izadi(PI) Chemical Engineering Novel polymer for removal of particles from surfaces

Ken Coleman

Larry Lipsher

Fan Wen

Weiyu Wang

Team 4 - Neuroprobe

Hitten Zaveri(PI)

Dennis Spencer(PI)

Mark Reed(PI)



Electrical Engineering

Integrated sensor for better management of neurosurgery patients

Rosemary Harry

Konstantine Drakonakis

YNHH Neuroint.

Sasha Kapshai

Na Zhu

Team 5 - CoRISMA Pramod Bonde(PI) Cardiac Surgery Miniature LVAD for heart failure therapy

Sean McNerney

Matt Gordon

Michael Theran

Yu Sian Tan

Paul Lwin

Aashna Gupta

Monday, July 1, 2019