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Coffee with Emily Yale

Emily’s Inventing for the Environment

Order: Iced Coffee Black
Location: Hidden Kitchen, North Branford
Hometown: Fairfield, CT
Current Town: Fairfield
Career: Founder and CEO, Land Maverick: Mechanical Design Engineer, Inventor


Why did you choose to live and study in Connecticut?

I grew up in Connecticut and have been building my life here all along. As a kid, my love of horses led me to the UConn 4H extension school, where I learned about the manufacturing farming industry in the state. It really helped shape my future.

At the undergraduate level, Fairfield University was the right school for me because I wanted a strong mix of both engineering and business, a small class size, as well as the opportunity to be in Fairfield’s extracurricular program Fairfield StartUp Showcase, which allows students to come up with an idea, work with experienced professionals, and work on pitching their ideas to investors.

But when it was time for grad school, I reconnected with UConn to be in a bigger pond and to stay involved with the 4H extension school. I am a double masters student at both amazing universities! At Fairfield University, I am working towards my MBA in Information Systems.  And at UConn I’m pursuing my Master of Engineering in Global Entrepreneurship.


Has Connecticut provided any benefit to your career path?

Absolutely. Previously, I worked at Butterfly Network in Guilford. They’ve made an amazing impact on the innovative ultrasound market and I am happy for everything that I learned there.

At my company Land Maverick, our autonomous robot is designed to travel around golf courses and test the ground for different nutrient levels. The data collected helps golf courses make informed decisions to reduce cost and overall environmental impact.

Having my business based in Connecticut has been great. Doing business with in-state manufacturers offers the precious element of timeliness. We can interact in person and I can see the parts being made, and if there’s a problem it can quickly be resolved without waiting for parts to be shipped from across the globe. This also allows me to innovate more quickly.


What’s a myth about Connecticut that you’d like to bust?

I think it’s a myth that there’s nothing for young people to do in Connecticut. We have great cities where if you turned off your GPS you could think you were in Boston or New York. You can find activities that are just as fun as those in big cities. I think our restaurant scene is a hidden gem. The whole seafood strip in Clinton and Madison has some of the best seafood I’ve had in my life, and my favorite restaurant right now is Celtic Cavern in Middletown.


Who is someone you admire in your field?

One person I really admire is Bob Dorf from Stamford, who’s one of the most highly regarded teachers of entrepreneurship and the author of The Startup Owner’s Manual. His views on customer discovery have really influenced my business model.   

Another person I admire is Mike Roer, out of Fairfield. His company, the Entrepreneurship Foundation, has incredibly useful resources for entrepreneurs that have helped me in my journey.


What would you tell someone your age who’s considering moving here?

This is a state where maturity matters over age. You can be successful here even if you are young in your career because this small state has a lot of opportunities. Don’t come here if you don’t want to be noticed for what you are doing. In Connecticut, you stand out and make more of an impact because you aren’t simply a small fish in a large pond.

See the action behind the passion here.

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