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Six teams awarded CBEY’s 2021 Climate Innovation Grants

climate scape

Six student teams were recently awarded Climate Innovation Grants by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY).

CBEY awarded almost $15,000 this year to help further innovative ideas to address climate change and its environmental and social impacts. The Center has awarded these grants for the past five years in an effort to support projects and ideas that can have wide-ranging impacts and tackle diverse systemic issues related to the current climate crisis.

"We had a very strong set of submissions this year, with innovation not just in the approach but also in the model and the way the entities were structured," said Urvi Talaty, Environmental Innovation Fellow at CBEY. "They reflected a potential to create impact across several geographies and sectors. The sense of urgency and a desire to take action and work with communities were unmissable in the solutions proposed. We had everything from education and advocacy through podcasts, fashion and farms to technological innovation to rethink cooling and food waste. I’m very inspired by this community of innovators at Yale, and hope to continue supporting them as their ideas come to fruition!"

The 2021 recipients include:

  • Reservation Energy Partnership (REP): REP is on a mission to establish a partnership between the private investment community and tribal nations that will harness renewable energy on native lands, in order to create sustainable economic opportunities that reduce America’s fossil fuel dependency and uplift Native American people. 
  • Gresham Community Farm: A farm-based education and community center, Gresham Community farm will offer experiential educational programs focused on regenerative agricultural practices and the social, environmental, and health implications of food systems. It will also offer food systems-centered counseling services and advocacy workshops. 
  • GroundUp: GroundUp is a residential low-cost air conditioning solution that emulates a simple screw, with easy installation and de-installation. The solution aims to significantly reduce energy consumption and to overcome a historic heat pump obstacle.
  • Let’s TalC: Let’s TalC is one of the first podcasts in Mandarin that encourages youth opportunities for sustainable development. The “C” represents their attention to climate risks and low-carbon lifestyles. “Youth up, carbon down” is their purpose to empower youth as future leaders to fight climate change and envision a more sustainable system. 
  • WovX: As a US-based B2B supplier of lotus silk to luxury wear manufacturers and brands, WovX is working to scale the production of lotus silk through automation, industrial symbiosis, and supplier centralization. 
  • Faith Forest Gardens: The Faith Forest Gardens team connects faith communities, neighborhoods, and youth through the creation of forest gardens. Their goal is to empower youth to facilitate community-led land management on church properties.

CBEY is incredibly thankful to the judges who helped select the recipients. 

  • Abhilasha Purwar, (MEM ‘17), Founder and CEO at Blue Sky Analytics
  • Victoria Grieves, (MEM ‘18, MBA ‘18), VP of Analytics at The Climate Service (TCS) 
  • Karena Mahung, (MEM ‘16), Senior Consultant at Indufor Ltd. 
  • Melissa Mazzeo, (MEM ‘20, MBA ‘20), CEO and Co-owner at Merry Go Rounds 

Winning teams will receive seed funding and expert mentorship to advance their projects. They are also strongly encouraged to apply for further prizes and opportunities at CBEY, such as the Sobotka Seed Prize for Sustainable Ventures, closing on Nov 3rd.