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Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES): Yale’s Entrepreneurial Glue


Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES): Yale’s Entrepreneurial Glue

By Hailey O'Connor YC ’24

Vibrant student involvement in Yale's innovation ecosystem is reflected by their abundant participation in Yale Entrepreneurial Society, also known as YES. As one of the largest undergraduate organizations on campus, the core mission of YES is to foster and strengthen the “entrepreneurial glue” of the Yale community, according to co-president Teo Dimov ’26. YES proudly encompasses over 350 students from diverse academic spheres: all 14 undergraduate residential colleges, 12 University graduate and professional schools, prospective students, and thousands of alumni members.  

Each year, YES creates an exciting calendar of innovation-centric events, including hosting founders and formals, arranging retreats, conducting entrepreneurial courses, and hosting weekly "build" sessions. These sessions provide a platform for student innovators to network and collaborate with one other.  

“I measure impact by conversations and changed perspectives. If someone can come to an event and meet a cofounder, a mentor, or a friend, then that event is worth having,” said Dimov.

Recent YES initiatives encompass a high school fellowship designed to empower and guide students as they venture into entrepreneurship, and a venture capital fellowship for Yale students. Beyond the fellowships, YES offers internships where students have the opportunity to work with teams from over 150 affiliated startups. Moving forward, the organization is committed to amplifying personalized opportunities for its members through internships, networking prospects, and fostering collaboration among students who share similar aspirations.

“YES is the place to meet co-founders, fellow innovators, supportive alumni, and just genuinely incredible people all around. When high school founders are deciding where to pursue college, I want Yale’s innovation scene to bring them here,” said Dimov, who had spearheaded the new pre-orientation program “LAUNCH.”

LAUNCH allows YES to engage with Yalies prior to their arrival. Last year witnessed its debut, and the pre-orientation program drew the largest participation among all of Yale’s offerings, captivating over 300 incoming first-year students.

YES has set several north stars for the coming year, aiming to significantly amplify its current initiatives. One goal includes the expansion of the YES speaker program, which brings together Yale founders and students. Recent speakers in their INSPIRE speaker series include Joe Tsai, founder of Alibaba, and Kevin Ryan, founder of MongoDB and Business Insider. The series is held in collaboration with the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking and is open to all Yale University affiliates.  

Within the Yale innovation ecosystem, Dimov applauds the inspiring individuals who are not only action-oriented but also operate at an invigorating pace and mindset. He wholeheartedly embraces the "learning through osmosis" environment fostered by Yale and YES. Here, student founders are fully immersed in a supportive ecosystem that facilitates constant learning and dynamic opportunities.