* This interview was conducted ahead of the Cultivate Conference which took place on July 15, 2021.
Chris Tolles, Co-Founder and CEO of Yard Stick PBC, is a Boston based entrepreneur focused on the commercialization of university research science. His most recent company, Sundaily, was an ingestible sun protection product developed alongside a cofounding Harvard Medical School dermatology researcher and was acquired by Grove Collaborative in June 2020. Prior to Sundaily, Chris worked with HBS Professor Clay Christensen, creator of the theory of disruptive innovation, at Clay’s firm Innosight, focused on entrepreneurial innovation efforts at large corporate clients. Chris previously led a product for One Earth Designs, a Hong Kong-based solar technology startup. He holds an MBA from Boston University and a BFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
In Fall 2020 Yard Stick was part of a team awarded a $3.6M grant by ARPA-E to commercialize their spectral soil carbon measurement technology.
Why is your message applicable to growers?
Growers around the world are interested in the climate impact and income potential of so-called “carbon farming.” Measurement of these carbon removal claims remains a significant bottleneck, and it’s overcoming this measurement challenge which is squarely Yard Stick’s mission.
What will you be presenting on at Cultivate?
I will be presenting on Yard Stick’s soil carbon measurement technology and how it enables agricultural carbon removal at scale.