The president talks about creating jobs in New Haven
Y: In your inaugural address, you stressed adding jobs in New Haven. How do you plan to do that?
S: One of the ways is to encourage Yale students who have entrepreneurial inclinations to develop and establish their companies here in New Haven. We have to look at the places our entrepreneurial students now go—Cambridge, Silicon Valley, New York—and ask what can we do here in New Haven that might motivate students to remain. That has to do with housing, incubator space, access to expertise—legal, accounting, venture capital, and the like.
Y: And Yale has the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.
S: YEI helps students get started and develop their ideas, and pairs them with MBA students from SOM who help them think about the business side—marrying their creativity and entrepreneurship with business expertise. We could raise funds that provide a little start-up capital. One of the first seven-figure gifts that was pledged to Yale after I was announced as president was for an idea like this one.
We know this is all possible because we already have good examples. Higher One, which provides financial services to colleges and universities and is now a major employer in New Haven, was started by three Yale students who rented space in New Haven, took over the old Winchester rifle factory, and are now listed publicly on NASDAQ. If that kind of company took root here every few years, imagine how it would change the economic climate in the city.