Seaworthy Collective's 2022 Roadmap - Doubling Down on Ocean Regeneration
Last year, I kicked off 2021 with Seaworthy's Roadmap for a Regenerative Blue Economy, which laid out the foundations for what we would achieve in our first year. I introduced our vision for launching the first ocean and climate impact venture studio that would drive the development of regenerative systems of solutions and blue economies at scale. While our team certainly expanded on what was outlined in the roadmap, I managed to articulate many of the goals that we would end up accomplishing with our first cohort.
From our Cafecito Talk with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to our 20+ virtual panels including some incredible guests, you can catch up on everything that happened in our first year with the recap here. Ultimately, the greatest milestone was putting Miami on the map as a globally recognized BlueTech hub, a result of Seaworthy's recent inclusion in the 1000 Ocean Startups Coalition. Altogether, we were able to not only achieve, but exceed all our ambitions for year 1.
Enabling all of this was the incredible effort of our tireless team of volunteers. You read that right - volunteers. We were able to accomplish all our goals with one full-time employee and a revolving team of 15 to 20 part-time early career professionals, graduate students, and undergraduates, as well as with the support of our amazing advisors. We demonstrated exactly what can be done when you bring together motivated people with shared passions and a unified vision.
While this is a remarkable achievement, it's also a symptom of the limited financial support available for ecosystem development. With our body of proof now behind us, we're ramping up our fundraising efforts so we can hire our first full time employees in the next 60 days. Although we've shared it previously, we're finally kicking our fundraise into gear to kick off 2022 - we're raising $1 million between seed investment in our for-profit (Collective) as well as philanthropic support and grants for our non-profit (Foundation).
We're looking for angel investors and philanthropists alike who can provide the catalytic capital for Seaworthy to accomplish our even more ambitious goals for 2022, which are laid out following this section. In addition to the over $30,000 in recent grants the Seaworthy Foundation won between Gitcoin and 1000 Gretas, as well as a $10,000 sponsorship earlier this year from Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, Seaworthy Collective already has multiple investors on board helping to kick off its seed round. Those interested in supporting Seaworthy can contact us here.
Diving Into Our Overarching Goals For 2022
For 2022, we're setting out to more than double what we accomplished in year 1. Building on the success of our inaugural cohort of 10 startups, we're planning to launch venture studio cohort 2 in March and cohort 3 in August. Altogether, this year we'll impact and grow 20 startups: 4 co-created and 16 existing startups. Additionally, we'll continue to advance the development of regenerative systems of solutions and blue economies.
We look for two distinct groups of applicants for our venture studio:
Current Founders - A startup founder with a scalable solution driving measurable impact on ocean degradation and/or climate change. As highlighted in the results of our first cohort, we are stage-agnostic, crossing verticals and stages through focusing on driving individual traction and collaboration.
Aspiring Founders - Anyone with a passion for ocean and climate impact with the willingness to take the leap into ocean entrepreneurship. We co-create a startup with you and an interdisciplinary team of fellow Sea Change Makers. This is a PREREQUISITE-FREE opportunity to get into this field - no marine science degree or PhD required!
Both groups are expected to embody our community's ANCHORED values. If you're a current or aspiring ocean and climate impact startup founder interested in getting involved in our next cohort, learn more and apply for our Opportunities for Sea Change here.
The application deadline for our next cohort is January 30!
And that's not all! Over the summer, in between venture studio cohorts, we'll be launching the Seaworthy Foundation's social impact program, the Sea Change Fellowship. The Sea Change Fellowship is a six week program focused on the individual development of aspiring ocean and climate impact founders and operators, with a significant focus on individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities.
As Seaworthy Foundation's Co-Executive Director Stephanie Wright articulated at our inaugural startup showcase, the Sea Change Fellowship is "our intentional and driven effort to make ocean entrepreneurship more diverse. We are providing not only opportunities for black and brown communities, but also access to the industry." Our goal for this year is to impact at least 20 aspiring sea change makers in our inaugural fellowship cohort. Applications for the fellowship program will open in March.
Seaworthy Foundation’s work will decrease socioeconomic barriers in ocean innovation to build an equitable blue economy. By scaling our social impact programs specifically to underserved communities, we will create educational programming that is accessible and inclusive that builds an interdisciplinary community of climate change entrepreneurs and leaders.
We also have partnerships in progress with community based organizations so that we follow through on our intention to meet people where they are. This human-centered design approach is consistent with how we've built our venture studio program as well.
New Ways Seaworthy Will Support Sea Change Makers
Seaworthy Startup & Individual Memberships
For everyone who approached us asking "How can Seaworthy help?" when we were in the middle of our first cohort this is for you! We will be launching two types of annual memberships this year to create more access to Seaworthy's resources, and more opportunities for our team to get hands on with current and aspiring BlueTech founders.
Seaworthy Collective Startup Memberships - Launching Q1 Our startup memberships will include access to: - Investor and grantor databases - Exclusive virtual networking events with members of our network - Tools to help you get funded (refining your pitch, business model, and more) - Consultations to help connect you with resources and a few members of our network, which will be one time or quarterly depending on membership level
Seaworthy Foundation Individual Memberships - Launching Q2 Our individual memberships will include access to: - Curated educational content on opportunities in regenerative ocean innovation - Exclusive virtual networking events with members of our network - Mentor matchmaking - Curated ideation tools, innovation methodologies, and collaborator networks for diving deeper into ocean innovation
We also have collaborations in the works for each membership type involving leading organizations in impact entrepreneurship and marine technology. We will be continually growing both membership offerings, and will launch a dedicated page on our website with more information. Stay tuned!
Keep an eye on our social media for more testimonials from members of our first venture studio cohort!
The Ocean Regeneration Fund & Expanding Our Community
Seaworthy spent 2021 building out how we could support startups primarily in forms of value beyond finance, while lining up investing partners to provide access to capital. For 2022, we're looking forward to building our own $10 to $20 million dollar fund to co-invest alongside our investing partners. This will help drive the support and traction our startups need to succeed.
We see this as another opportunity rooted in community. We're excited to expand our community to more intentionally include current and aspiring ocean and climate impact investors, in addition to entrepreneurs. And just as our individual membership can educate aspiring entrepreneurs in the space, potential investors can learn how BlueTech can generate massive impact and return on investment.
Seaworthy's Ocean Regeneration Fund will be far from traditional venture capital. We're planning to leverage innovative mechanisms in Web3 to catalyze economic drivers for ocean and climate impact and develop a scalable model for regenerative finance. We can't wait to share our impact and financial frameworks for a regenerative blue economy later this month during the UltraMarine Ocean Action Summit at Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands!
Join the Seaworthy Community
We're getting back to our community building roots, and this is an open invite for anyone to join! As always, we're looking for: