Max Uhlenhuth, who graduated from Yale College in May, is one of nine “All-Star Student Entrepreneurs” highlighted in the most recent issue of Forbes magazine.
Uhlenhuth is one of the founders of SilviaTerra, a company that uses satellite imagery to obtain forest data. Whereas an on-the-ground survey of a 20,000-acre forest can cost $100,000, SilviaTerra can complete the task for only $12,500 by using a novel algorithm devised by co-founder Zack Parisa, a 2009 graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). The third co-founder of SilviaTerra is Professor Chad Oliver of F&ES.
According to Forbes, since the company was launched in 2009 (when Uhlenhuth was a freshman), SilviaTerra has pulled in revenue of more than $200,000. “Uhlenhuth expects sales to reach $1 million by the end of this year and to triple next year,” notes the magazine.
In a related article, Forbes cited Yale University as one of the top 20 “Most Entrepreneurial Colleges.” The magazine noted that since its launch in 2007, the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) — which provides incubator space, connects students to mentors, and teaches them how to develop a business plan — has nurtured over 52 companies that have raised a total of $45 million in funding.
At the conclusion of this year’s “summer boot camp” for would-be entrepreneurs, YEI presented the inaugural $50,000 University Investment award, splitting it between two new ventures: Panorama Education, a platform for schools to collect feedback from students, parents, and teachers, and Mental Canvas, new software that allows designers to sketch digitally in three dimensions. See story.
In a recent survey, two of three Yale College students expressed an interest in being involved in entrepreneurial activity while at school.