“How do you bring an idea to a successful reality?” For Bryan Garcia, Program Director of Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, the answer takes the form of the Sabin Environmental Venture Prize. With this $25,000 award given in recognition of environmental entrepreneurship, he hopes to excite and encourage sustainable environmental businesses.
The prize, funded by the generous support of the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, is intended to attract any registered Yale student, faculty or honorary faculty. In doing so, Garcia hopes that groups will form cohesive teams that will readily tackle the challenge. Anastasia O’Rourke, a Ph.D student who was also instrumental in the creation of the prize, added, “It’s also a very interdisciplinary area. We hope teams will be formed between departments as well.”
The manner in which the applications will be judged is quite unique. Finalists will be announced in April, and each finalist will present his or her idea and business plan to a panel of judges consisting of Yale Alumni as well as investors.
This panel will then choose the plan they believe could be best implemented with the $25,000 prize. According to Garcia, there will also be an audience present during the presentations, who will award its own prize, making the ordeal “like a combination of American Idol and Dragon’s Alley.”
As Garcia states, “We want to make sure the prize goes on to help further the original idea. It isn’t just a prize, it’s a special type of investment.” In order to promote the program, Sabin supports a speaker series designed to energize Yale students and faculty about the prize.
Four presentations have been scheduled for entrepreneurs to come to Yale to speak about their experiences. The final talk is scheduled for February 12, featuring Linda Rottenberg, CEO of Endeavor Global. All are welcome to attend.