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Sustainable Health Initiative

Innovating for social, health, and environmental impact
Sustainable Health Initiative logo

The Sustainable Health Initiative, a collaboration of the Yale Institute for Global Health, Yale School of Public Health, CoWrks Foundry, and the RMZ Foundation, has a mission to improve health outcomes in India and around the globe by catalyzing startups to address complex global health challenges.


The Sustainable Health Initiative and InnovateHealth Yale are both committed to supporting global health entrepreneurship. Our teams work closely together to find, mentor, and prepare ventures to make an impact across the world.


SHI provides a unique opportunity for early to mid-stage ventures to participate in a global health business accelerator. Selected startups receive up to $70,000 USD in seed funding, access to industry and faculty mentors, and the opportunity to learn in an international context.


Interested in applying or have more questions? Schedule office hours with Fatema Basrai, Assistant Director of InnovateHealth Yale and Innovation Manager for the Sustainable Health Initiative.


To learn more about SHI and apply for the SHI accelerator visit Yale Institute for Global Health’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?
Entrepreneurs from all disciplines with innovative ideas to address complex health challenges in India and around the world are encouraged to apply.
Who can apply at Yale?
Yale faculty, students, trainees and alumni from any discipline are encouraged to apply.
What is the time commitment required of participants?
Participating startups will be required to commit to a six-month accelerator program. During which, the startups will be encouraged to relocated to Bangalore, India and work out of the CoWrks Foundry for part or all of the accelerator program. If the startup team is unable to relocate for the full six months, they may complete the curriculum through weekly online recorded and/or livestreamed modules and encourage to travel to Bangalore for the launch and demo day events. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the program will be modified to accommodate travel and public health advisories.
May I apply if my startup isn’t focused on a health challenge or market specific to India?
The accelerator training will take place in Bangalore, India; however, startups focused on other emerging markets are still encouraged to apply. The accelerator program will have the greatest benefit for startups interested launching in the Indian market. Some travel to Bangalore may be required.
Can I apply as a team?
Yes, you can apply as an individual or a team. The strongest applications will be founder teams that demonstrate a balance of technical and business skills required for a successful startup.
How much is the seed grant, and what other costs will be supported?
Each team will receive as seed investment of up to $70,000 (U.S. or rupee equivalent) from the CoWrks Foundry and additional funding to cover travel and other expenses to participate in the accelerator curriculum in Bangalore.
Who will the mentors be?
Participants will benefit from hands-on guidance from industry leaders and experts from India. Yale University will assign each startup a Yale University faculty member who will participate in monthly mentorship sessions.
What if my solution falls beyond the suggested categories?
The list of broad areas mentioned in the guidelines are only an indicative list. We welcome applications with ideas and solutions that advance the mandate of sustainable health.
What are the terms of the investment?
Selected startups sign an agreement with The CoWrks Foundry for an equity stake in the startup. The equity from each company will be reinvested in the Sustainable Health Initiative accelerator program making this opportunity available for future startups.
Who owns the intellectual property rights after the program ends?
Selected startups must own the intellectual property rights and will continue to own those right after the program.
Can my startup be a non-profit organization or project?
No, in order to participate in the accelerator program and receive the seed investment the startup must be a registered legal for-profit entity.