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Yale School of Management Students Head to Entrepreneurial Boot Camp

Students from the Yale School of Management (SOM) were among 12 teams chosen from across Yale University to participate in a summer business boot camp for entrepreneurs, the business school announced this week.

SOM students Daniel Wolchonok ’13, Paul Christensen ’13 and Smita Venkat ’13 are all taking part in the 2012 Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) Summer Fellowship program, a 10-week program designed to support promising student-led startups.

YEI brings students from across the university’s different schools – including Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the schools of management, law, medicine and forestry – to work with faculty, administrators, alumni and local established entrepreneurs to develop their ideas for start-ups. Since its founding in 2007, YEI has helped support more than 50 ventures, which together have raised more than $45 million in outside investment capital.

The SOM students form part of two of the 12 teams taking part in YEI this year. Wolchonok is working on an online services company called PrepWork that is designed to help users analyze interpersonal data to recognize connections and build stronger business relationships. Christensen and Venkat, together with a computer science graduate student, are working to develop a commercialization plan for a software program called “Mental Canvas” that lets designers explore ideas using sketches and photographs in a 3D environment.

“This has been a really holistic experience in terms of applying the concepts we learned during first year,” Venkat says. Wolchonok, for his part, notes that YEI is part of a surge of start-up energy and support on the SOM campus. “Entrepreneurship on campus is really growing,” he says. “There’s a lot of buzz among students and a lot of support for start-ups at SOM. It’s a golden age for Web entrepreneurs.”

Learn more about the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.

 

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