Talking tech since 2003

The oceans are often an overlooked place here on Earth. Despite covering 71 percent of the Earth's surface, it's easy to forget about the world's oceans since many people aren't geographically located near them. The world's oceans are a special place and due to their vastness, it's estimated by researchers that 91 percent of the species have not yet been classified and more than 80 percent of the ocean's have not been mapped or explored. That's nuts!  

When you pair these with overfishing, pollution, climate change and just the sheer amount of unknown knowledge that can be found right here on Earth's oceans, it's a wonder we haven't seen more ocean-focused startups. Unfortunately, part of the problem is lack of funding and interest, but I'm hopeful this will change soon – starting with the work being done by Daniel Kleinman and his team at the Seaworthy Collective.

During a Zoom call with Daniel, I learned more about his vision for the Seaworthy Collective. His mission for the Collective is to empower a community of current and aspiring entrepreneurs to innovate for regenerative ocean impact. One of the major differentiating factors for the Seaworthy Collective is its emphasis on regenerating the oceans, not just helping to ensure sustainability.

Listening to Daniel speak you can hear his enthusiasm for the ocean, he comes across as passionate and extremely knowledgable. His background is impressive af too. After graduating, Daniel spent two years as a Pilot & Test Engineer for Bluefin Robotics' Bluefin-21 unmanned underwater vehicles in Boston. He then spent the following three years in San Diego as a contractor for the Navy contributing to mechanical engineering R&D for maritime systems. Most recently, in addition to launching the Seaworthy Collective, Daniel started his Masters in Exploration Science at The University of Miami RSMAS and also became a Miami Global Shaper in 2020.

How does the Seaworthy Collective operate?

The way Daniel describes the Seaworthy Collective is as a startup community and venture studio that co-creates and crowdsources startups to develop collective ocean innovation pipelines at scale, partnering with local incubators and accelerators to tailor their programs to serve them.

So what's that mean?

As I highlighted earlier, the Collective is looking to build out solutions that help regenerate the oceans. According to Daniel, "sustainability is only an incremental step towards mitigating, rather than solving, the effects of anthropogenic impacts on the oceans." He went on to suggest that "the blue economy needs to be regenerative, with a tangible, solutions-based focus that reverses detrimental anthropogenic impacts," and to accomplish that, he and his team have identified six key areas of focus.

  1. Carbon Dioxide & Greenhouse Gas Removal (CDR), Sequestration, & Decarbonization
  2. Regenerative Ocean Food Sources
  3. Seawater as a Resource
  4. Ocean Data, Technology, & Emerging Innovations
  5. Coastal Resilience
  6. Plastics & Pollution Detection, Removal, & Alternatives

As a venture studio, the Seaworthy Collective believes it has identified the focal points for these companies that it spins out to focus on, with the goal of course, to have each of the companies be able to work together as this type of initiative works best when the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Applications to take part in the Seaworthy Collective are currently open through April 30. Right now the Collective is looking for co-founders for its venture studio and is also looking for existing ocean startups to get into the pipeline for their partner ocean impact focused incubator and accelerator programs that will operate alongside the co-created startups from the venture studio.

This post is part of the sfle.club 10x10 writing challenge. Learn more here.

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