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Funding seven ventures through the Climate Innovation Grant

Recently, 23 teams presented their application to the Climate Innovation Grant, a program that provides independent feedback and seed funding for early-stage innovative solutions addressing climate change. The proposed solutions include a range of sectors closely linked to climate, including increasing funding for green ventures, agriculture, fashion, transportation, materials, among others. After careful revision by external judges, CBEY awarded over $19,000 in grants to seven environmentally-focused ventures. 

From here, ventures will continue to receive support from CBEY to bring ideas to reality. Ventures with a for-profit idea can continue their journey by participating in the Sobotka Seed Prize for Sustainable Ventures.

About the recipients:

BlueGreen Materials

Marcelo Lejeune (Yale College) and Atsu Kludze (Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) created BlueGreen Materials, a company seeking to manufacture carbon-negative building materials from the ocean that are stronger, more durable, and self-healing for marine infrastructure applications. BlueGreen Materials slashes the embodied carbon and repair costs for seaports, offshore wind, and shoreline protection by accelerating microalgae's natural biomineralizing capabilities using electrochemical cells powered by renewable energy.

The Velocity Raptor

John Havlik (Yale School of Management), Michael Heyang (Yale School of Medicine), and Michael Murphy (Yale School of Medicine), and Sajid Hossain (Yale School of Medicine) created The Velocity Raptor. As a group of passionate bikers, they are seeking to create an affordable, enclosed, electric motor-assisted pedal vehicle bridging the massive appeal of e-bikes with practical daily needs of shelter and safety for urban and suburban commuters in the United States.


Qian Huang (Yale School of Architecture) and Ingrid Liu (Yale School of Architecture) seek to create an all-in-one building material reuse platform that integrates marketplace, material assessment, and knowledge sharing. The team aims to build a reliable third party that removes barriers for individual players to adopt a circular economy in the construction industry.


Lacie Thorne (Yale School of Management) is creating Phigitals, a web3-enabled SaaS solution for sustainable initiatives in the fashion industry. Phigitals works with clothing brands to extend their existing e-commerce websites into a verified white-label resale platform.

Lunasi Forest Farms: Chestnut and Hazelnut Agroforestry for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in PA's Endless Mountains

Ryan Smith (Yale School of Environment), Lily Hollister, and Luke Smith founded Lunasi Forest Farms: Chestnut and Hazelnut Agroforestry for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in PA's Endless Mountains. The team is developing an agroforestry demonstration farm in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains region. They promote agroforestry as a solution for climate adaptation, mitigation, and rural economic development. The Climate Innovation Grant would fund their next phase of tree planting, supporting their ability to promote climate-positive tree crops as a natural climate solution appropriate to the region.

Journaling for Climate Action: A New Tool for Community-Centered Climate Risk Mitigation

Christina Kohler (Yale School of Environment), Emma Barrett (Yale College), and other team members are creating a tool to crowdsource information on farmers’ climate impacts and practices using WhatsApp while providing access to sub-seasonal forecasts. Through this tool, they use behavioral elements to incentivize large-scale input from communities to improve the design of climate-risk instruments such as index insurance and early warning systems.

Shroom solutions

Storm Lewis (Yale School of Environment) seeks to support small farmers or individuals to produce 100% pure mycelium. Mycelium has the power to extend the life cycle of byproducts such as wood chips, coffee grinds, and sawdust, increase soil's carbon capture capacity and even provide a source of nutrients. 

The CBEY team is very grateful for the team of judges that participated in this process. Some of the judges included:

  • Tory Grieves (MBA/MEM '18): is the VP of Business Development at The Climate Service (TCS), a climate analytics startup that quantifies climate risk in financial terms.
  • Kathryn Wright: (MEM): is a Senior Program Officer in Clean Energy at the Barr Foundation. 
  • Ariana Day Yuen (MBA ‘19): is the Founder of Forested, a nature-based solution to climate change seeking to promote Forest Agriculture.
  • Peter Yolles (MBA/MEM ´97): is the Founder and Managing Partner of Echo River Capital, working on climate adaptation by investing in impactful water-related technologies that improve human health, the environment and climate resilience.
  • Brendan Edgerton (MBA/MEM ´15): has been the Head of Sustainability in the Americas for Designit and the Director of Circular Economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.