By Karen Guzman
Fifteen Yale School of Management student startups are the recipients of this year’s Yale SOM Donor-Funded Entrepreneurial Awards.
Sponsored by Yale SOM alumni, the awards provide financial grants that allow entrepreneurs to work on new ventures over the summer. A panel of 14 Yale alumni, including entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors, pick the winners. The annual awards total approximately $100,000.
This year’s eclectic ventures are diverse. They include a sustainable electric power train systems for trucks; a recruitment service for young workers without college degrees; and prepared meals featuring plant-based meat.
“For many students pursuing entrepreneurship, even a small amount of funding can go a long way as the work to get their ventures off the ground,” said Jennifer McFadden, associate director of entrepreneurial programs and lecturer in the practice of entrepreneurship.
“Summer is the perfect time for students who are participating in full-time degree programs to be able to fully focus on their ventures and validate their early-stage hypotheses,” McFadden said. “We are grateful to the alumni who provide funding and who help select recipients."
Nancy Pfund ’82 funds the Nancy Pfund ’82 Social Impact Award, which supports first-year students pursuing summer internships at mission-driven, social sector organizations—including their own startups—with double bottom lines.
“I am excited to support the Yale Entrepreneurial Awards,” Pfund said. “Bringing an impact lens to entrepreneurship adds the important dimensions of social purpose, environmental stewardship, and economic opportunity. Funding internships allows Yale to shape the next generation of entrepreneurship, whose scope will go far beyond the traditional Silicon Valley model and increasingly embrace a ‘double bottom line’ focus.”
Fuad El-Hibri ’82 funds the Fuad El-Hibri ’82 Entrepreneurial Award, which provides summer internship funding for first-year students, new venture seed financing for second-year students, and funding for students joining early-stage startups.
“These creative award recipients represent the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well at Yale SOM,” El-Hibri said. “Providing some assistance with seed funding is an honor that allows me to help young entrepreneurs whose ventures embody SOM’s mission of serving both business and society. We were energized by the innovative business ideas proposed by many of the applicants.”
|The Henry F. McCance Entrepreneurial Award||AIRPower aims to build sustainable electric powertrain systems for class-8 trucks.||Yale College alumnus Aydin Akyol ’19, Alejandro Alonso ’20, and Jennifer Gammond ’19|
|The Henry F. McCance Entrepreneurial Award||Forested Foods is an agroforestry venture that works with smallholder farmers—starting in Ethiopia—to sustainably source, process, and market specialty forest-based foods||Ariana Day Yuen ’19|
|The Henry F. McCance Entrepreneurial Award||Brio Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy startup with a global focus that catalyzes mental health innovation in vulnerable communities through local partnerships.||Daisy Rosales ’20|
|The Henry F. McCance Entrepreneurial Award||Hand Me Ups is a children’s secondhand marketplace that scales informal exchange networks like hand-me-downs.||Melisssa Mazzeo ’20|
|Marshalla and Jay S. Yadav, M.D. ’79 B.S. Entrepreneurial Award||Statera addresses a market gap in auto-immune disease therapy by optimizing the efficacy of combinatorial drug delivery.||Owen Yang ’19|
|Marshalla and Jay S. Yadav, M.D. ’79 B.S. Entrepreneurial Award||Alto is a line of all-natural spiked seltzers made with real squeezed fruit and a splash of tequila.||Max Dworin ’20 and Noah Gray ’20,|
|Marshalla and Jay S. Yadav, M.D. ’79 B.S. Entrepreneurial Award||ReVert Technologies makes an electric lawn mower for landscapers that provides high quality cuts on grass, eliminates 5% of U.S. air pollution, saves 90% on fuel cost, and lowers noise.||Ryan Li ’19|
|Marshalla and Jay S. Yadav, M.D. ’79 B.S. Entrepreneurial Award||Upright Oats offers customers healthy, sustainable, and affordable oat milk that is available in three flavors: original, vanilla, and chocolate.||Thu Ra ’20 and Betty Tang ’20|
|Marshalla and Jay S. Yadav, M.D. ’79 B.S. Entrepreneurial Award||Buddy is an online recruitment service targeting job seekers between the ages of 15 and 28 without a college education.||Haim Haviv ’19|
|The Fuad El-Hibri ’82 Entrepreneurial Award||Nochi LTD creates educational gaming in the form of novel visual entertainment.||Addison Genenbacher ’19|
|The Fuad El-Hibri ’82 Entrepreneurial Award||Healthcare Abroad provides a network of highly qualified physicians and end-to-end concierge services for individuals seeking affordable international healthcare with the objective of increasing quality and convenience.||Danny Briggi ’20 and Sebastian Lorda ’20|
|The Fuad El-Hibri ’82 Entrepreneurial Award||Chuck Monkey is a personal finance tool that uses the latest in behavioral economics theory to empower individuals to take control of their debts, manage their spending, and build a nest egg.||Aly Crowley ’19, Aiswarya Ravi ’19, and Gregor Whyte ’19|
|The Nancy Pfund ’82 Social Impact Award||Great Good Solar promotes, organizes, and provides financing for low- to medium-income neighborhoods to go solar.||Hannah Beineck ’20|
|The Morris and Miriam Pozen Entrepreneur Award||Y-Circular is a sharing platform that lets students rent goods peer-to-peer, accessing a virtual library of closets.||Marina de Melo Sa Roriz ’19|
|The Morris and Miriam Pozen Entrepreneur Award||Brazen Eats develops prepared meals and snacks featuring plant-based meat.||Sarah Mandlebaum ’19 and Georgia Sills ’19|