City Joins Yale Students in Second Annual Y50K Competition

$100K Award Total To Attract Community Entrepreneurs

New Haven, Conn. – The city of New Haven has joined Yale University and the Yale Entrepreneurial Society in announcing the second annual Y50K Entrepreneurship Competition, a major business plan competition, with over $100,000 in cash and service prizes to be awarded to winners.

The competition gives teams the opportunity to create a business plan and present it to a panel of judges selected from the business community. Y50K is a learning opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit at Yale and in New Haven. Members of the Yale community and people in the Greater New Haven area are welcome to enter the competition. Each team must have at least one Yale student, staff, or faculty member among its members.

The first deadline is February 13, and entry details are available online at and

“We had more than 41 teams last year and even more will enter this year,” said David Pozen, YES president. “Students have embraced the Y50K because it gives them a chance to turn their business ideas into reality. The city of New Haven has embraced the Y50K because of its potential to provide economic growth.”

Pozen said the competition is a year-long educational event that began last fall with the $2,000 Y2K Concept Competition, in which teams wrote short summaries of their business ideas and received critical feedback from a from a panel of distinguished judges. Teams will use this preliminary feedback to improve their Y50K submissions. A Y2K entry is not a prerequisite for entering the Y50K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Six seminars will feature successful entrepreneurs and venture finance professionals who will teach entrants how to write a business plan and start a new venture. Teams will be matched with professional mentors and will be judged on their executive summaries due February 13, full business plans due March 28, and on their presentations to the judging panel April 14.

Yale University will host an awards gala on April 14 following the judging. Judges representing venture capital firms and non-profit organizations will select winners in both the for-profit and social entrepreneurship (non-profit) categories of the competition. Winners have received additional funding and the competition has been featured in publications including the Industry Standard and Business 2.0.

The Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES) is the founder and leading organizer of the Y50K. YES and the Y50K provide a network for the exchange of promising ideas and reflects Yale’s dedication to developing New Haven’s economy.

With over 700 members, YES is Yale’s largest organization. With its mission of promoting new venture creation at Yale and in New Haven, YES organizes educational events, networking sessions, guest speaker events, conferences and a nationwide alumni network, as well as the Y50K Entrepreneurship Competition. YES also publishes a monthly magazine and runs a program to match students with local start-up companies and not-for-profit organizations that need business help. This spring, YES will open the YES Entrepreneurship Center, a resource center equipped with research workstations, office space and conference rooms.

YES members include undergraduates, graduate and professional students, professors, alumni and affiliates. The advisory board of YES includes Reed Hundt, partner of Benchmark Capital and former FCC chairman; Craig Johnson, of Venture Law Group; Bruce Alexander, Yale vice president; David Cromwell, professor at the Yale School of Management and former CEO of J.P. Morgan Capital Corporation; Barry Nalebuff, the Milton Steinbach Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management; Bill Drayton, founder and president of Ashoka; and Len Baker, member of the Yale Corporation and partner of Sutter Hill Ventures.

For more information about YES and the Y50K Entrepreneurship Competition, contact Julian Revie, Yale Entrepreneurial Society, 203-436-0119, email: Additional information is also available on the YES Web sites, and

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