All About Tsai CITY

Yale students returning to campus this fall have probably noticed a new, sleek, oval-shaped building behind the CEID and The Becton Center. It is kind of hard to miss! The building’s modern design is a sharp contrast next to Yale’s traditional Gothic architecture. Its gorgeous floor-to-ceiling glass windows reach two stories high, with long yellow curtains that add an energizing pop of color. Though the design of the structure is futuristic and like something out of a sci-fi movie, the new Tsai CITY building still manages to be warm and inviting.

Over the years, I have found myself asking, what exactly is Tsai CITY? I had heard about people involved in entrepreneurial projects there, but never quite knew what it was. I got my answer when I applied for a student position this fall – I’m currently working as the Creative Media Associate, making videos that highlight student entrepreneurs, the accelerators and incubators, the various intensives, and the Venture Development Programs. Basically, Tsai CITY (Tsai is after Yale Alumnus and donor Joseph Tsai, and CITY as in Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale) serves many purposes, but the overall goal of the space is to help students through funding, programming, and mentorship.

The total funding awarded to students add up to over one million dollars. That’s pretty amazing. This funding isn’t just for people who want to invent a product or start a brand; anyone who has a cool idea and needs help getting started is able to apply for it. There is the Startup Fund, the Student Ecosystem Fund, and the Student Exploration Fund, just to name a few. Inside the multi-faceted building there are big, open gathering spaces, medium-sized conference rooms, and smaller, private work alcoves. Students can sign up for one-on-one virtual mentorship meetings with the amazing people on the Tsai CITY team. 

Throughout the next few months, Tsai CITY is hosting orientations, talks, and programs to get students familiar with the space. But who exactly is this state-of-the-art building for? The answer is everyone. It’s not meant for just entrepreneurs, but extends an invite to creatives, civic innovators, explorers, “intrapreneurs,” and anyone who just wants to explore a new study space. The Tsai CITY website states “our central location makes us an important crossroads for student entrepreneurs, creators, and innovators from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.”  In other words, Yalies should go check it out.