Getting Back To Our Roots in Community; Previewing Seaworthy 2.0 + Q1 Highlights & Lessons Learned
After announcing our ambitious roadmap for 2021, we had a critical realization; though Seaworthy's business focus had rapidly developed, we needed to ensure we stayed true to our roots in serving our incredible community. While preparing to launch our next cohort this weekend (link to RSVP), our team has been dedicated to laying the groundwork of Seaworthy 2.0. I'm proud to share our collective team's vision, along with a bolder perspective on what it means to build for and with community.
The Seaworthy team came together to co-create the overarching vision for Seaworthy's community moving forward:
Seaworthy Collective leads current and aspiring ocean innovators from intention to action by bridging our community’s diverse backgrounds and resources. By assembling an interdisciplinary community of sea change makers, we can leverage ideas, people, and skills to create accessible opportunities for education and innovation alike. Seaworthy Collective is breaking down barriers and accelerating the pace of ocean and climate impact.
Our community is truly our biggest strength, and Seaworthy 2.0 is about building around it more intentionally than ever. With this in mind, the evolution of our multifaceted organization needed to reflect this with greater clarity. While Seaworthy has always consisted of a startup community and venture studio, we strived to refine our hybrid impact model, with more defined visions of how our for-profit and non-profit entities come together to serve our community.
Moving forward, our community will carry the Seaworthy Collective brand, while also being fully integrated into everything we do across each of our entities.
Seaworthy Collective is the leading community of sea change makers driving regenerative ocean and climate impact supported by Seaworthy Foundation, the non-profit social impact arm, and Seaworthy Ventures, the for-profit economic impact arm. Together, Seaworthy Foundation (501c3) builds community and inclusion for ocean and climate impact innovation through accessible opportunities and education, while Seaworthy Ventures scales regenerative blue economy development by advising, supporting, and investing in our community's co-created and existing BlueTech (ocean and climate impact technology) businesses.
All of this advances our triple-bottom-line impact goals - social and economic impact driving ocean and climate impact. Our flagship venture studio program will live within our non-profit social impact arm impact arm, Seaworthy Foundation, which will also will be launching its first impact programs later this year bringing underserved and underrepresented communities into BlueTech and ClimateTech. Meanwhile, our for-profit economic impact arm, Seaworthy Ventures, will be support our startups through our ocean regeneration fund launching later this year and provide business advising and consulting services for ongoing support. Most importantly, our community remains the central and fundamental driver of regenerative ocean and climate impact, with Seaworthy Collective providing the overarching brand and umbrella for our holistic pipelines of both diverse talent and solutions.
We've had no shortage of opportunities to continue growing our impact. Over the last two months, Seaworthy made waves from the British Virgin Islands to Tampa Bay and Austin. Here's a recap of the summits we took part in.
Ultramarine Ocean Action Summit - Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
The opportunity to be a part of Ultramarine not only cemented Seaworthy's role in driving an accessible, inclusive, and interdisciplinary future for ocean innovation, but also blazed the trail for others who may have never imagined being able to make an impact for our ocean. It is not only possible, but achievable, with persistence, dedication, and passion.
Among the many highlights was the opportunity to chat with Sir Richard Branson, getting to discuss the future of ocean exploration and learning best practices for entrepreneurship and life in general. One of his sage pieces of advice was that the best decision he ever made in business was surrounding himself with people much smarter than him - something that resonated with me reflecting on Seaworthy's incredible team!
Upon meeting me, Sir Richard told me that he'd never met anyone so passionate about ocean exploration. Considering his race to the deepest part of the ocean with James Cameron in 2012 was what inspired me to get into ocean innovation in the first place, it was a full circle moment in my ocean impact career.
The synergies flowed as Fabien Cousteau, Adrian Solgaard, and I led individual working groups that included building the ocean plastic value chain, driving new policy for catalyzing conservation, and creating a place-based solution turning degradation to regeneration. I also had the opportunity to catalyze collaboration through Seaworthy Collective's reciprocity ring exercise as we nailed down takeaways from our community's time together.
Ultramarine fostered so many meaningful relationships and friendships . The amazing individuals there inspired me and already helped me grow as a leader in our short time together. From aquanauts (Fabien Cousteau) to astronauts (Dr. Sian Proctor) to amazing fellow founders and impact leaders, it was an incredible week step up to the plate as a catalyst for the systems change needed to reverse climate change and ocean degradation. Seaworthy is already seeing opportunities spawn from our week on Necker, from partnering with our friends at Oceanic Global to helping lead the community strategy for the Ultramarine Community itself, and much more.
Synapse Innovation Summit - Tampa, Florida
We pitched Seaworthy Collective's vision for innovation driving regenerative ocean and climate impact at the Synapse Summit and walked away as one of the 6 finalists, winning the CleanTech category! We also participated in the summit's first-ever panel on BlueTech with fellow panelists from the St. Petersburg Innovation District, USF, and Saildrone.
2022 National Ocean Exploration Forum - Austin, Texas
We co-led break-out session discussions for the 2022 National Ocean Exploration Forum, helping to guide the five and ten year goals for the future of ocean exploration. It was encouraging seeing the opportunities to grow a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, as well as how exploration and climate data can drive the future blue economy. As one of the few professionals under thirty, I was proud to speak up about the need for follow-through, to not only express intentions for representation, but also have quantitative measures for progress and accountability. Credit to the Consortium for Ocean Leadership for creating space for much needed listening and discussion. We're glad the perspective of the Seaworthy Collective community will be part of guiding the vision toward tangible action that no longer perpetuates the status quo and minimally incremental change for the ocean community.
Other Big Updates
Seaworthy Foundation earned its 501c3 status last month
Our first investors in our for-profit arm are coming on board as part of our $1 million seed round this month
Hired our first full-time employee - programs director Tamara Kahn (welcome aboard!)
Dr. Dune Ives, Executive Director of Lonely Whale
Jill Zande, Executive Director of MATE ROV competition
Bob Nelson, CEO of The Venture Mentoring Team
Michael Penfield, Principal of Stradivarius Consulting
New Partnerships + Opportunities
The Venture City
The Venture Mentoring Team
Hidden Worlds Entertainment (read about it here)
CSTM HAUS / ARK HAUS (read about it here)
Moderating a panel at CoMotion Miami next week! Learn more here
NFT with Ziome (coming soon)
DAO & Accelerator partnerships + local government partnerships - to be announced soon!
A key growth point in a startup is when a founder can let go of significant foundational parts of their organization and trust their team to drive its direction for the future. Thanks to our incredible team and supportive advisors, I'm able to do just that, and humbled by the trust and belief displayed in the process to get to this point.
I want to specifically recognize Stephanie Wright, Co-Director of Seaworthy Foundation, and Ben Hone, our Director of Marketing, who also spearheaded our community engagement strategy. They both have been instrumental in the evolution of how we serve our community, along with the rest of our leadership team including Angela Betancourt, Chas South, Rachel Small, Lauren Higgins, and Alexandra Davis. Additionally, we're lucky to have advisors generously dedicate their time to help shape what's next, including Neesha Mirchandani, Selar Henderson, Lauren McFarlane, Christina Thirkell, Carolyn Groobey, Michael Penfield, and Vincent Arena.
The Seaworthy team's own structure and success is the prototype and case study for the type of community we are building; centering collective impact and reciprocity for our oceans through inspired, energy-producing, and enriching participation, collaboration, and co-creation.
Thanks to Ben and Vincent's hard work, we're already seeing our Discord (click to join) spurring new connections from all over the world, and it's just getting started. We'll be sharing more about our plans for empowering our community via Discord at our cohort 2 launch party, along with a follow up event to dive deeper later this month! Meanwhile, Seaworthy Foundation and Stephanie will also be sharing more of the vision our non-profit programs launching this year, working to bring underserved and underrepresented communities into the ocean and climate impact field.
We can't wait to share the full vision for Seaworthy 2.0 at our Cohort 2 Launch Party this weekend and hope you'll join us in welcoming our latest wave of Sea Change Makers!
Invest - Seaworthy's for-profit arm is raising its $1 million seed round and continues to seek out angel investors to join in our round. We're also starting to look for potential partners to co-build our Ocean Regeneration Fund with us later this year. Additionally, we're always looking to partner with investors looking to gain access to Seaworthy's cohort startups , exclusive insights, due diligence, and deal flow. Interested parties can contact us here. Donate - support the Seaworthy Foundation (501c3) and our mission to make ocean innovation more accessible and inclusive. Learn more about the Foundation here and donate to support here. Join our community on Discord - our latest wave of sea change making startups have already joined. Meet them by introducing yourself on our server! Sponsor - We're revamping our sponsorship offerings including a new funding and innovation platform for climate and ocean startups. Limited availability via an exclusive partnership with Impact Stars. Learn more here! Celebrate With Us - if you haven't already done so - RSVP to attend our Cohort 2 Launch Party occurring virtually and in-person!