Team EZ Park captured Berkshire School’s 2016 Sabin Entrepreneurial Prize on April 28.
The company—composed of students Hanna Derrig ‘16, Andrew Koudijs ‘16 and Harrison Yaste ’16—earned high praise from a three-judge panel for developing a “consumer-focused” app designed to help drivers more easily locate parking in cities.
“The average driver in Los Angeles spends three to five minutes looking for a parking space. That may not sound like a lot of time, but it adds up to a lot of emissions,” said Koudijs in presenting EZ Park’s proposal inside a packed Crawford Lecture Hall. The company’s motto is “Save time. Save gas.”
Five other student-teams— Box Bottles, Hydro-Solutions, Organique 100, RediAqua and WaterCycle— presented business proposals during the culminating event. You can read about each team here.
The Sabin Prize at Berkshire is awarded each spring to a group of students that most successfully creates a financially feasible product, service, project or program that can also contribute to living in more sustainable communities (see prevous winners here). The prize was created to educate and expose Berkshire students to entrepreneurship and sustainability and was made possible thanks to the generous support of Andy Sabin, parent of Sam Sabin '13 and current student Matt Cortes '17, through the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation.
Students work in collaboration with Yale University’s Center for Business and the Environment, which similarly awards the Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize each April.
“We’re pleased that, this year, each project, while entrepreneurial in spirit, has a sustainability element, a goal of the program,” said teacher Chris Perkins, who oversees the Sabin Prize at Berkshire. The program has grown so popular among students, according to Perkins, that a second section of Advanced Economics was added this year to accommodate interest.
In addition to fine-tuning their proposals in the classroom, students receive feedback from professionals and participate in related workshops throughout the semester. In January, Perkins’ class visited Bloomberg News in New York City where the group discussed the 2008 financial crisis and stock market crash. Earlier this month, students traveled to Yale for a workshop on non-profit marketing and branding led by Dr. Nathalie Laidler-Kylander, managing director with the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.Save
This year’s judges included Dr. Rosemary Fitzgerald '82, a digital media entrepreneur and professor of Advanced Technologies at New York University; Andrew McDonnell P ’20, former CEO of Applegate Kitchens, a start-up venture with Applegate Farms, a leading organic and natural brand; and Vernon Taylor III '66, an entrepreneur in many arenas throughout his professional life.