The Prize

Awarded each spring, the Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize supports innovative student and faculty ideas for a for-profit business that advances a more sustainable way of life. Past winners include an online social platform to expand the adoption of solar power, a software package for improving forest inventory data, and a sustainable protein producer.

The competition provides participants with constructive feedback from experienced judges, opportunities to collaborate with faculty experts, and dedicated time to discuss ideas and strategy with top venture capitalists and leading industry professionals. Sabin winners also receive cash prizes totaling $25,000. Applications can be found on the "Get Involved" tab. 

The program was created in 2008 with the generous support of the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. It is managed by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and seeks to:

  1. Stimulate applications of entrepreneurship and innovation to address issues of sustainability;
  2. Promote multi-disciplinary approaches to environmental/social problem solving;
  3. Generate ideas that are scalable, achievable, quantifiable, and financeable; and
  4. Educate about how entrepreneurs turn a concept into a successful reality.

The Lecture Series

Along with the award, the Sabin Sustainable Venture is comprised of a lecture series dedicated to business and the environment.  

The focus of this year's series is on urban innovators: Bright Lights, Green Sights is a speaker series designed to explore environmental leadership within an urban setting. Urban populations have the greatest willingness to pay for environmental services yet are often the ones whose needs are least met.  Over the year, we will welcome six diverse speakers to campus to reflect on their entrepreneurial endeavors and discuss opportunities available for improving environmental outcomes while working in cities. 


Because the intersection of business and the environment is a relatively new space, there is a lot of room for new ideas to take root. CBEY supports students interested in the creation of new nonprofit and commercial organizations, business models, or other innovations that address pressing environmental challenges. 

Office Hours

For coaching or feedback on your venture or idea, there are various CBEY community members who are available for office hours or 1-1 coaching sessions. If you would like to make an appointment with any of the people below, please follow the instructions.

Peter Boyd, CBEY Executive Fellow – email Cass Walker (

Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia – email Cass Walker (

Cass Walker, Social and Environmental Innovation Program Manager at CBEY – email

Iliana Lazarova, MEM 2016 – email

People & Partners

Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize:


  • Sabin Prize Mentorship Application Deadline: Friday, January 29 at 11:59 p.m. EST
  • Sabin Prize Application Deadline: Monday, March 28 at 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Sabin Prize Competition: Friday, April 15

Sabin Prize Application

The 2016 Sabin Prize Application has two (2) stages:

  • The Mentorship application is optional. It allows the applicants to express their ideas and demonstrate their need for mentorship support. The applicants thus have broad access to resources and tailored support to develop their ventures. Microsoft Office document icon Sabin Prize Optional Mentorship Application 2016.doc
  • The Final Sabin Prize Application is the official statement of interest from the applicants. The application has (4) components: 
  1. ApplicationFile Sabin Prize Application 2016.docx
  2. Entry Agreement: Microsoft Office document icon Sabin Prize_Entry Agreement_2016.doc
  3. Business Model Canvas or Lean Canvas (choose one to submit)
  4. Pitch Video: Please submit a YouTube or Vimeo link for your recorded 3-minute pitch. For more instructions on creating your pitch video, please download our PDF icon Pitch Video Instructions.pdfand PDF icon Sabin Prize Video Pitch Pointers.pdf