Tsai CITY introduces 2019 CITY Summer Fellowship cohort

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This summer, ten student teams will spend eight weeks at Tsai CITY as part of CITY’s Summer Fellowship, an intensive accelerator to incubate new companies, nonprofits, and initiatives. To help push their ideas to the next level, each team will receive $15,000 in grant funding and will take part in a rigorous sequence of workshops, sprints, mentorship, coaching, and pitch opportunities.

The 2019 cohort, which was selected in a highly competitive process, reflects a wide range of ideas and ventures. Students come to the fellowship from diverse fields within Yale College as well as from Yale’s Schools of Art, Forestry & Environmental Studies, Management, Medicine, Public Health, and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. As they develop their projects, these students will have a unique opportunity to learn from each other, working within an interdisciplinary, collaborative community of innovators. Despite the cohort’s diverse lineup of projects, shared goals will open opportunities for new conversations. “A major theme we are seeing from this cohort is trying to help people make more meaningful connections,” notes CITY managing director Kassie Tucker, “whether it’s helping doctors have important conversations with patients or connecting tourists with locals.”

As students build new connections, they will use the summer’s focused time to refine and scale their work, honing in on key innovation skills in the process. Reflecting on the cohort’s ideas for tackling real-world problems, Tucker says, “From modernizing immunotherapy and vaccination to connecting emergency responders with schools to save seconds and lives, I’m excited to see what type of impact these students will have on the world.”

Meet the teams:


Jonas Kavaliauskas, Julius Nedzinskas

Backpaqr is connecting young travelers with locals who offer authentic adventures in cities they visit, as well as offering fully planned alternative trips.

Deviant Dumplings

Sarah Mandlebaum, Georgia Sills

Deviant Dumplings produces prepared meals and snacks featuring plant-based meat, starting with Asian-style dumplings.


Marina Marmolejo

DreamKit is a digital platform for homeless youth to catalogue and create ownership of their lived experiences in order to promote total transformation.


Chris Cutrona

EdSightful is an education technology solution that helps schools and districts more effectively manage their instructional coaching, teacher observation, and teacher evaluation programs. The tools allow users to conveniently collect data and visualize it in an easy-to-use dashboard, so that they can make more informed decisions about supporting teachers.

Hand Me Up

Melissa Mazzeo

Hand Me Up is a children’s secondhand marketplace that scales informal exchange networks like hand-me-downs, encouraging a circular economic model.


Jason Lu, Shawn Ong

Medbase is a software application that has all the information a doctor needs to discuss medication choices visually and side-by-side with patients.


Melinda Egharevba, Lolade Siyonbola

NOIR FEST is a traveling film festival increasing access to visionary, world-class African Diaspora film and media for audiences around the world.


Michael Chime, Dylan Gleicher, Daniel James, Neal Soni

PREPARED is a one-touch mobile alert system that allows schools’ emergency response to be instantaneous and decentralized, while also streamlining the process of contacting authorities.

Statera Therapeutics

Sean Bickerton, Jennifer Fischer, Philip Kong, Owen Yang

Statera Therapeutics aims to modernize immunotherapy and vaccination with Spatiotemporally Tuned Particles to maximize drug delivery efficacy.


Hua Shu

Typogram is creating a text-focused desktop design tool to empower both pro and entry-level users working with visual communication.

Want to learn more about these teams? We’ll be covering them as they get started this summer — look out for more stories and perspectives from the Summer Fellowship cohort.