A startup founded by a group of MBA students and faculty from the Yale School of Management (SOM) and based on research by a Yale engineering professor was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the federal government. Founded by James Lin MBA’15, Alacrity Semiconductors used research by Professor T.P. Ma to develop a product that enables electronic devices to be smaller, run faster and use less power.
Specifically, Alacrity is designing a superior dynamic random access memory (DRAM) architecture. “We want people to enjoy the benefits of smaller, faster, cheaper and ultra-low power storage,” Lin said in an article on the Yale SOM website. Over the next six months, aided by the grant money, Alacrity plans to develop a demo showcasing the product’s commercial viability in an attempt to woo investors.
The grant is part of the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which selects small businesses via a competitive application process and awards funds to support the research and development necessary to commercialize projects.The funding gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to establish the technical merit and feasibility of their ventures before seeking additional investment. A committee made up of semiconductor industry professionals from IBM, Texas Instruments and elsewhere reviewed the applications and selected Alacrity to receive the grant.
Alacrity was one of nine teams selected for Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s 2014 Summer Fellowship Program, a 10-week fellowship that includes $15,000, expert mentorship, lean startup training and more. Additional support from Yale SOM’s Program on Entrepreneurship has helped the company triple the size of its market, thanks in part to strategic advice from industry veterans, according to Lin.
The full Alacrity team includes Lin, Ma, Matthew Kern ’15, Xiao Sun PhD ’13 and Rebecca Su YC ’16.