Assembly LXXIV: November 13-15, 2014

  Assembly LXXIV: the Entrepreneurial Spirit at Yale

This year’s Assembly showcased the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit being fostered on campus. Following the lead of Yale’s new president, Peter Salovey, we celebrated the “more innovative” Yale embodied in the University’s many entrepreneurial ventures, programs and initiatives.

Indeed, although few alumni realize it yet, Yale has become a national leader in fostering entrepreneurialism in academe. From the undergraduate-run Yale Entrepreneurial Society to the professionally run YEI, from Art & Architecture to the World Fellows Program, from InnovateHealth Yale to the School of Management and Science Hill — in these and countless other places the entrepreneurial drive of Yale’s students, faculty and staff is flourishing and growing at a breathtaking clip, often in collaboration with Yale’s alumni. The goal of Assembly LXXIV was to give Delegates a taste of all this astonishing activity.

Schedule of events


Wednesday 12 November

9:30 p.m.
–11 p.m.

Meet and Greet at the Temple Bar
Mory’s, 306 York Street

  • If you’re one of the many Delegates who wisely arrive in New Haven the night before Assembly begins, make Mory’s your first stop! At this no-host (cash bar) event, meet many of your fellow Delegates, members of the AYA Board of Governors, and new friends from all over the world.


Thursday 13 November

8 a.m.
–5 p.m.

Rose Alumni House, 232 York Street

  • Regardless of when you arrive, please stop by Rose Alumni House first to pick up your name tag, meal assignments, admission tickets for various activities, and late-breaking information on schedule/venue changes.

9:15 a.m.
–9:50 a.m.

Opening Plenary Session

  • Welcome to the AYA Assembly — AYA Board of Governors Chair Lise Chapman '81 MBA, Assembly Chair Darcy Pollack ’87
  • Yale Vice President Linda Lorimer ’77 JD on “The Entrepreneurial Spirit at Yale”
  • Victor Wong ’11, founder of the on-line media company PaperG, on “From the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute to the Real World”

9:50 a.m.
–10:50 a.m.

Start-Up Showcase

  • Ten selected groups of students, faculty and staff each get 5 minutes and one slide to showcase their venture, program or initiative, and Assembly attendees will have a chance to ask them questions. Moderated by Jim Boyle ’87 MS, ’94 PhD, managing director of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.


11 a.m.
–12 noon

Keynote Address

  • Yale Corporation member Kevin Ryan ’85, founder and CEO of the e-commerce company GILT, on “Yale and the Global Entrepreneurial Movement.” Introduced by Jimmy Lu ’77.

12:15 p.m.
–1:30 p.m.

Registered Assembly participants have three choices:

  • First-Time Delegates Luncheon

    This is a working-lunch orientation for AYA Delegates — whether appointed, ex-officio, or at-large — who are attending the Assembly for the first time or who have not attended the Assembly in the past three years. (Registered accompanying guests of AYA Delegates may also attend.)

  • Take a Student to Lunch

    Let us match you up to have lunch in one of the campus dining halls with a current graduate or undergraduate student. NOTE: Deadline for registering for this option is November 1st, as those who choose this lunch will be contacted separately prior to Assembly to fill out a questionnaire about your interests.

  • Lunch in the Residential Colleges

    All those not selecting the “First-Time Delegates Luncheon” option or the “Take a Student to Lunch” option will receive a ticket for lunch in one of the residential colleges.

1:45 p.m.
–2:45 p.m.

Six simultaneous breakouts in which students are paired with alumni/faculty to chat about a particular area of entrepreneurial activity. Assembly participants select one session.

  • Entrepreneurship in Education

    With Aaron Feuer ’13 of Panorama Education, an analytics firm that helps schools collect and analyze data from teachers and students; and Rafi Khan ’15 of Gakko, a student group founded at Yale that targets education reform.

  • Entrepreneurship in Sustainability

    With Sarah Wilson ’15 MEM, ’15 MBA and Susannah Harris ’16 MEM, ’16 MBA of Palate, producer of a smartphone app that helps people eat better by doing challenges with friends. Moderated by Stuart DeCew ’11 MEM, ’11 MBA, Program Director, Yale Center for Business and the Environment.

  • Entrepreneurship in Healthcare & Life Sciences

    With Chris Loose, Yale Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT); Sean Mackay ’14 MBA of IsoPlexis, developer of single-cell multiplexing software to provide biological characterization of important immune and cancer cells; and Levi DeLuke ’14 of 109 Design, developer of a monitoring system for braces of children with scoliosis.

  • Entrepreneurship in High-Tech Software Development

    With Justin Borgman ’15 MBA of Hadapt, a cross-platform data-analytics software developer; and Prof. Daniel Abadi of Yale's Computer Science Department.

  • Entrepreneurship in Entertainment

    With Frank Wu ’16 and Mike Wu ’16 of Aflume, an online platform that connects musicians with fans. Moderated by Yale alum Kevin Winston, founder and CEO of Digital LA.

  • The Social Impact of Entrepreneurship

    With Nancy Pfund ’82 MPPM of DBL Investors, a venture capital company; and Ruchit Nagar ’15 of the Yale Global Health Initiative. Moderated by Bo Hopkins ’86 MBA of CM Equity Partners.

3 p.m.
–4 p.m.

Four simultaneous breakouts. Assembly participants select one session.

  • Case Studies

    The masterminds behind two successful student start-ups — Spylight (Casper Daugaard ’13, Alyssa Moore ’14) and 109 Design (Levi DeLuke ’14, Sebastian Monzon ’15, Ellen Su ’13) talk about how they did it. Moderated by Jim Boyle ’87 MS, ’94 PhD, managing director of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.

  • Switch Pitch

    Alumni participants split into subgroups, each assigned to an on-campus entrepreneurial venture run by students/faculty. Each venture describes itself to the alums, who then are responsible for coming up with a pitch back to the entire group on behalf of “their” venture; the entire group then votes on who presented most convincingly. Moderated by Kyle Jensen, Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the Yale School of Management.

  • CEID Design Workshop

    A hands-on demonstration of how students collaborate in Yale’s popular Center for Engineering Innovation and Design. Conducted by CEID director Eric Dufresne ’96 and assistant director Joseph Zinter ’11 PhD, ’11 MHS. NOTE: This session is limited to a maximum of 50 participants.

  • Networking Social

    Student entrepreneurs and alumni mingle around a start-up fair, with Yale alum Kevin Winston of Digital LA offering tips on successful networking. Overseen by Ken Koopmans, director of Yale Undergraduate Career Services.

4:15 p.m.
–5:15 p.m.


  • Five on-campus venture each get to “pitch” for 5 minutes, followed by up to 5 minutes of questions from the audience and judges. Judges then get a final 10 minutes to judge and present award. Introduced by Kim Goff-Crews ’83, ’86 JD, Secretary, Yale University; moderated by Kyle Jensen, Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the Yale School of Management. Judges:
    • Rob Bettigole ’76, ’83 MBA, Elm Street Ventures
    • Miles Lasater ’00, Higher One
    • Nancy Pfund ’82 MPPM, DBL Investors
    • Kyle Vanderlick, Dean of Engineering

5:30 p.m.
–7 p.m.


AYA Volunteer Leadership Awards Reception
Presidents’ Room, 2nd Floor, Memorial Hall


  • Join us for a wine and beer reception with hors d’oeuvres to celebrate the presentation of this year’s AYA Leadership Awards for Volunteer Innovation and Service, and the AYA Board of Governors Excellence Awards for alumni groups and programs. Together we will congratulate these outstanding volunteers and groups for their efforts on behalf of Yale and their communities.

7 p.m.

Dinner on your own

  • Many Classes, Clubs, SIGs and other constituencies are planning their own by-invitation dinners, cocktail receptions and other events this evening. If you’re free, this will be your opportunity to try one of the many fantastic restaurants downtown that have given New Haven its reputation as a destination for “foodies.”



Friday 14 November


If you did not register yesterday, please check in first at Rose Alumni House, 232 York Street, no matter what time you arrive, to receive your name badge and packet of materials before rejoining the Assembly program in progress. Registration will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

8:30 a.m.
–10:30 a.m.

Keynote Plenary: Celebrating Our Volunteers

  • Come hear about the amazing work being done around the world by Yale alumni volunteers. Moderated by AYA executive director Mark Dollhopf ’77, this session will review success metrics from both of the AYA’s Strategic Plans, recap alumni programs from the past year, preview upcoming events, and provide plenty of new ideas that your group could consider. You will also be treated to an announcement of the winner of the second annual AYA photo contest.

11 a.m.
–12 noon


  • Details will be available in the coming weeks about these sessions, which will provide an opportunity for Assembly attendees to learn more about current AYA programs and to provide input on new initiatives. Session presenters will offer an overview and/or annual report and include time for Q&A, as well as information on how to get involved. Sessions will be offered in two time slots — Session II, listed below, will be held in the afternoon — so you will have an opportunity to hear from two different groups. ​
  • Get an introduction to service on the AYA Board of Governors and other volunteer training opportunities through AYA. Learn about the effective use of social media for nonprofits or the new “chapter management” platform of tools for alumni groups, to be launched in early 2015. Find out how to get involved in new initiatives such as the Yale Alumni Ambassadors for the Liberal Arts and the emerging Shared Interest Group for entrepreneurs.

12:15 p.m.
–1:30 p.m.

Assembly LXXIV Lunch with President Salovey
Commons, corner of Grove and College

  • At lunch, President Salovey will give us his annual update on the state of the University, and we will present the third annual Yale-Jefferson Public Service Awards, an alumni-student honor sponsored by Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY). These awards are given annually to recognize three Yalies — one alumnus, one graduate/professional student, and one undergraduate — who inspire others in the Yale community through innovative and sustained contributions of service to the greater good.

1:45 p.m.
–4 p.m.


How can the initiatives of the new AYA Strategic Plan invigorate your constituency’s work for Yale?  Attendees will break out by interest, constituency and/or activity to discuss bringing your leadership together with the goals of the strategic plan. In addition, meetings will be held for Task Forces and boards, as listed below (these meetings are intended for task force/board members only).


  • Yale College Class Leadership
  • Yale Clubs and Associations
  • Shared Identity/Interest Groups (SIG)
    Leadership Development

  • Graduate School Alumni Association:
    Annual Fall Meeting

  • Professional Schools
  • Yale Alumni Service Corps Board Meeting

4:15 p.m.
–5:15 p.m.


  • A second opportunity to learn more about AYA programs and to provide input on new initiatives. The selection of sessions will be similar to those offered at 11:00 this morning.

6 p.m.
–7 p.m.

Yale Medal Dinner Reception
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall Street

7 p.m.

Yale Medal Dinner
Commons, corner of Grove and College

  • Every year since 1952, the Yale Medal has been conferred to honor outstanding individual service to the University. This year’s recipients reflect the range of service and leadership the AYA strives to recognize with this award. We honor the remarkable contributions of the Medalists and the ways they have chosen to give back to our community of scholars and friends.



Saturday 15 November

10 a.m.
–12:30 p.m.

Pre-Game AYA Hospitality Tent
Near Portal 17 on the west side of the Yale Bowl

  • Join your friends at the popular “AYA Alumni Village.” This free reception for all Yale alumni and their guests provides a place to meet up with classmates and others before going to the game. There will be free food and refreshments.

12:30 p.m.

Football: Yale vs. Princeton
Yale Bowl

  • Assembly delegates, ex-officio delegates and other AYA-authorized invitees from AYA constituencies may request up to two free tickets to the game, and may order additional tickets at $12 each at the time of registration. (All others should purchase their tickets directly from Yale Athletics.) Those who preregister via the on-line Assembly registration form will find their tickets in their welcome packets when they check in at Rose Alumni House.

    Note: Tickets furnished by the AYA do not include parking passes, which must be purchased separately from Yale Athletics. If you contact them, be sure to mention that you are getting your football tickets through the AYA Assembly, since otherwise Yale Athletics will sell parking passes only to those who buy game tickets from them.