Sabin Prize Seeds Business Plans That Do Good for the Environment

Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles and events posted prior to July 1, 2020 refer to the School's name at that time.

Sabin award
Since 2008 the Sabin Prize each year has awarded a $25,000 cash prize to six innovative for-profit business ideas that help achieve a more sustainable way of life — from a biotechnology that can detect bacteria in liquids within 30 minutes to new software that improves forest inventory data.
This week, the Sabin Prize will recognize a seventh project during the first ever Entrepreneurship Across Yale event, a two-day series of contests that invite world-changing ideas from the Yale community.
Other contests include the Thorne Prize, a $25,000 prize based at the Yale School of Public Health that is awarded to the best student-led venture focused on social innovation in health; and the Yale Venture Challenge, in which applicants will pitch for a collective $20,000 in prize money. All three contests will be decided by a panel of expert judges.

View the full schedule

Register to attend

The seventh Sabin Prize competition will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 17. It is free and open to the public. Register here

Follow the conversation: #StartupYale

The inspiration for the entrepreneurial contests was the Sabin Prize. When it was launched seven years ago, the vision was pretty simple, says Andrew Sabin, president of the Sabin Family Foundation.
“I was trying to encourage young people to be entrepreneurs and at the same time do something good for the environment,” he said. “They start with these great ideas, but this gives them a little seed money to help achieve those ideas.”
The variety of activities taking place during event drive home the fact that Yale increasingly is emerging as a place where people from a range of disciplines are collaborating to tackle major global problems — and where there is support to do so, said Stuart DeCew, director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale (CBEY).
“It really speaks to what makes Yale an interesting place for entrepreneurs,” DeCew said. “And that is the ability and freedom to let a thousand flowers bloom… Yale is a place where intelligent, collaborative and dynamic individuals come together to solve big challenges.
“We figured that all of this activity should be captured in one weekend. And the Sabin Prize is really the linchpin, and what started all of this.”
The weekend will kick off with an informational session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16 at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, 55 Whitney Ave., 2nd Floor, in New Haven. Non-winners from all contests will be invited to an audience-judged Tuna Tank.
The Sabin Prize event will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 17 at 4410 and 4420, Evans Hall, 165 Whitney Ave. The four finalists will begin pitching their business plans at 10 a.m.
Judges for the Sabin Prize include Andrew Sabin, president of the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation; Ralph Earle III ’84 M.P.P.M., managing director, Clean Energy Group; Rosemary Ripley, managing director, NGEN Partners; Dylan Simonds ’00 M.E.M./M.B.A., private investor; and Peter Boyd, senior advisor and climate lead, founder and CEO, Time4Good.

Finalists for the 2015 Sabin Prize

Grovio aims to enable farmers to reduce fertilizer usage and prevent catastrophic loss of their crop due to blight.  To that end, its creators present an autonomous unmanned aerial system that is capable of surveying their fields with a multispectral imaging system and presenting them with actionable information.

homE provides security during power outages by keeping essential appliances running. homE is a battery backup system that is cleaner and smarter than a diesel generator. Riding the rising tide of distributed energy storage and generation, homE will make electricity cheaper for ratepayers, and hasten renewables’ proliferation onto the grid.

Poda Foods
Poda Foods will sell food-grade cricket protein to food manufacturers for use in cricket-based food products. The company will offer 100-percent organic, gluten-free cricket protein for wholesale to corporate manufacturers. Poda will raise and process crickets in facilities in Portland, Ore.

Tuckerman & Co. is a brand of high-quality professional clothing made with a reduced environmental impact. Tuckerman’s first product is an organic cotton dress shirt that prevents the use of nearly three-quarters of a pound of pesticides during the production process. Mission-driven by both inclination and design, Tuckerman is the first ever Benefit Corporation out of Yale. With more than $35,000 in initial sales, Tuckerman is poised to scale.
– Kevin Dennehy    203 436-4842