The Venture College is known for fostering innovation and supporting aspiring student entrepreneurs in their pursuit of transformative ideas. One such visionary is Brandon Yagla, founder and creator of the groundbreaking invention, the Sol Well. Yagla’s story is a testament to the power of determination, inspiration, and the invaluable resources that are accessible at the Venture College.
Yagla’s journey began with a passion for renewable energy and a deep respect for the wonders of nature. Despite encountering personal challenges and not yet completing his formal education, his unwavering commitment to his vision has propelled him forward. Yagla’s background in the fire service and career as a Firefighter in wildland, combined with his independent research on electromagnetism and photovoltaics, laid the foundation for his remarkable idea.
The Sol Well, an all-in-one ground-based solar concentrator, is Yagla’s creation. Inspired by nature’s brilliance, particularly the efficiency of the honeycomb structure found in beehives, the Sol Well harnesses solar energy in innovative ways. With enhanced protection against ultraviolet degradation and passive thermal recycling, this revolutionary device captures and manipulates solar energy in previously unimaginable and highly efficient ways.
Yagla’s entrepreneurial journey gained momentum through his involvement in the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge (IEC) and subsequently, the Carbon Venture Challenge, which he won. The latter is a ‘reverse pitch’ competition that offers students the opportunity to tackle climate change issues while competing for cash prizes. Yagla’s participation in these programs not only exposed him to invaluable feedback from industry experts and investors, but also enabled him to secure significant financial support.
Yagla received prize funding winning the Carbon Venture Challenge in 2022, which allowed him to acquire land for the Sol Well’s development. Since then, his invention has undergone transformative refinements. Armed with a functioning prototype, Yagla conducted various tests that yielded encouraging data, affirming the Sol Well’s potential during the “proof of concept” phase.
Looking toward the future, Yagla’s aspirations for Sol Well are ambitious yet purposeful. He is currently participating in the NSF-I Corps Sustainability Cohort, a testament to his continuous pursuit of knowledge and improvement with his company. Yagla aims to raise funds to expand his team, enabling the construction of the next-generation Sol Well model with all the desired features. With this accomplished, he envisions manufacturing, selling, and distributing the Sol Well widely, making a significant impact on renewable energy adoption and sustainability efforts.
Throughout his journey, Yagla’s biggest supporters have been his late sister Ashley, a firefighter and EMT, whose unwavering belief in him remains a powerful source of inspiration, along with the community, friends, family, and mentors he has encountered. Their encouragement and guidance, coupled with the invaluable resources provided by the Venture College, have fortified Yagla’s resolve to overcome obstacles and achieve his goals.
His firm belief that innovation knows no bounds and education is the great equalizer has been a profound insight reflecting on his experiences. Yagla passionately advocates for accessible and affordable education, recognizing its potential to empower individuals from all walks of life and foster progress for the betterment of society and the planet.
Yagla’s journey from adversity to innovation serves as an inspiration to students and aspiring entrepreneurs within the Venture College community and Idaho ecosystem. His relentless pursuit of his vision, combined with the support and opportunities offered by the college, demonstrates the transformative power of passion, resilience, and interdisciplinary collaboration.