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Roberts Innovation Fund

About the Roberts Innovation Fund

Accelerating the engine of innovation at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS)

The Roberts Innovation Fund is a new initiative launched in 2022 to provide funding, mentoring, and strategic support for Yale faculty-led projects to assist in the commercialization of breakthrough inventions that solve real-world problems. Faculty applicants also receive valuable feedback from an experienced team of advisors, including the Fund’s director and an external advisory board from industry, all of whom have invested in and/or built technology ventures.

Led by Claudia Reuter, Director of the Roberts Innovation Fund in Yale Ventures, and overseen by the Office of the Dean of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, the Fund focuses on breakthrough technologies developed by SEAS faculty. Initial focus areas also include technologies that show promise towards having an impact within the data-intensive domains of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, trustworthy computing, computational modeling and more. The Roberts Innovation fund is supported from a generous gift from Yale alumnus Will Roberts ’90.

Award Timeline 

  • November: Proposal deadline
  • January: Finalists present and awards begin 

Application Guidelines

  • Applicant teams must have at least one faculty member with a primary or secondary appointment in SEAS.
  • 2022 deadline: November 16, 2022 
  • 2023 deadline: To be announced

For a full list of criteria, visit our Application Information page. 

Why Apply?

All Applicants to the Roberts Innovation Fund Receive: 

Thoughtful Feedback: All applicants receive a detailed review of their submission by a member of the Yale Ventures team. 

Access to Early Support: All applicants with viable proposals gain access to a Yale Ventures associate who will dedicate time to relevant activities ranging from initial market research to customer discovery calls and competitive landscape mapping. 

Consideration for Cash Funding: Initial awards up to $150,000. 

World-Class Support: All awardees are matched with an EIR and given tactical support from a dedicated service group inclusive of a venture associate, marketing/design associate and a business development associate. 

Exposure: Increased visibility to potential investors and early employees through associated publicity and events.