Diverse student entrepreneurs win major prizes in Yale contest weekend

The Entrepreneurship Across Yale contest weekend, held at the School of Management on April 17, featured finalists for the $25,000 Sabin Prize, presented by the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale; the $25,000 Thorne Prize, presented by InnovateHealth Yale; and the $13,000 Yale Venture Challenge, presented by the Yale Entrepreneurial Society. There also was a Tuna Tank with a $1,000 prize, chosen by audience members and presented by Yale School of Management.

The finalists represented a mix of undergraduates and graduate students presenting ideas on everything from new medical devices to new apps to aerial systems for monitoring fields.

The winners were:

Thorne Prize

StoryTime: An edTech startup to scale early literacy for low-income families via text message. Team members are Phil Esterman ’17 (computer science); Henok Addis ’17 (electrical engineering and computer science); and Jillian Kravatz ’17 (English). Read more here.  

Sabin Prize

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% organic, gluten-free cricket protein for wholesale to corporate manufacturers. Poda will raise and process crickets in facilities in Portland, Oregon. Team members are Yesenia Gallardo and Kenny Cloft. Both students at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Read more here. 

Yale Venture Challenge

General Semantics: General Semantics has developed natural language processing-based industry and competitor analysis tools that allow investors and businesses to visualize the universe of private companies. They were also one of two recent winners of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Internet of Things Prize. Team members are Yale College senior Kojiro Murase and School of Management student Alex Henry. Read more here. 

Tuna Tank

The prize went to a crowd-sourced matchmaking app that will launch at Yale. Team members are Will Xu ’17 and Devansh Tandon ’17.