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Introducing: The Ecopreneur Network

   

SOA Blog

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is accelerating ocean solutions around the world. Here are their stories.

The days of finite cohort cycles are over. Meet The Ecopreneur Network — Sustainable Ocean Alliance’s new ecosystem of long-term support and innovation for ocean startups.

In 2018, SOA launched the world's first accelerator program dedicated to funding ocean solutions. We have now hosted five cohorts, accelerating 45 startups from 29 countries. To date, we have provided nearly $1 million in funding to our startup solutions. Together, they have raised more than $228 million in total investment capital.

We know that entrepreneurs need sustained community support in order to succeed. We have now evolved the accelerator model into an ongoing “network" to ensure participants receive long-term and continuous support, mentorship, and funding opportunities not limited to a single cohort cycle. SOA will now meet entrepreneurs where they are on their startup journey. We will provide guidance, exposure, community, and access to capital to help scale some of the world’s most impactful for-profit solutions to ocean and climate challenges.

What’s next?

The Ecopreneur Network will officially launch to the public in early 2023. You will have the opportunity to join our fast-growing community of 45 startups and receive critical support in your efforts to make an impact on the climate and ocean industries.

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You are eligible if you are an early stage (Pre-Seed to Series A) company. Entrepreneurs of all ages and geographies are welcome, so long as you focus on one or more of the following ocean impact areas:

  • Pollution Reduction and the Circular Economy
  • Blue Carbon and Carbon (CO2e) Removal
  • Ecosystem Preservation and Restoration
  • Blue Foods
  • Ocean Data, Literacy, and Research
  • Blue Economy: Job Creation

As a member of the Network, you will receive:

  • INITIAL INVESTMENT: A $100,000 investment from SOA
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: Access to SOA investor network of 250+ ocean-interested investors, opportunities to connect with investors in exclusive startup-investor matching events, and fundraising support from SOA team
  • LIFETIME SOA TEAM SUPPORT: SOA team support over your company’s lifetime, including one-on-one meetings and office hours with SOA team of industry experts
  • COMMUNITY BUILDING: Opportunities to engage with our existing portfolio of 45 global ocean startups and 150+ ocean impact ecopreneurs for networking and peer-to-peer learning opportunities through virtual and in-person programming and events
  • NETWORK TOOLS & RESOURCES: Access to SOA program content library, toolkits, and online community platform
  • MENTORSHIP: Access to SOA’s community of 240+ mentors and resources, opportunities to connect with mentors in exclusive startup-mentor matching events, and skills-based mentor working groups
  • EXPERT COACHING, TRAINING & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Exclusive professional development coaching, pitch coaching, business strategy sessions, customer/market analyses, impact assessments, and discounted partner products and services
  • MEMBERSHIP WITH GLOBAL OCEAN PARTNERS: Exclusive membership and exposure to SOA-verified global ocean community partners, including 1000 Ocean Startups Coalition, Solar Impulse Foundation (SIF), Ocean Risk Alliance and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), and more
  • MEDIA EXPOSURE: Features at SOA public events, partner events, climate and ocean-focused speaking opportunities, media interviews, and social media highlights
  • LEGAL SUPPORT: Free introductory calls, preferred pricing and deferred fee arrangements with attorneys specializing in climate/ocean tech

FAQs

What is an ecopreneur?
We define an ecopreneur as: An entrepreneur whose business models include a focus on creating a positive impact on the environment.

What is the application process?
This is an invite-only opportunity as part of the soft launch of The Ecopreneur Network in late 2022. We are currently extending offers to select startups who are invited to join our existing portfolio of 45 startups in January 2023. Applications for The Network will open to the public in spring 2023.

Do I have to be from the United States to apply?
No, SOA is a globally-recognized organization, and entrepreneurs from around the world are welcome.

What kinds of solutions does SOA accept?
If you are building a for-profit company with at least a pre-seed or seed stage financing round completed that aligns to one of our ocean impact areas, we invite you to join our new network.

Do you accept entrepreneurs of all ages?
Yes! There is no restriction on age.

What is the time commitment for being a part of the network? 

The time commitment is flexible depending on your level of interest in specific services offered by SOA and its network. It can range anywhere from 5-15 hours per month throughout a year.

Does SOA provide funding?
Yes, SOA is offering an upfront investment of $100,000 USD. Special terms apply.

What documents will be required for completing the offer?
If you are notified of an offer to join our new network, you will be provided with a startup agreement for signature. Startups will also be asked to provide documents related to the following legal categories as part of our due diligence process: Incorporation & Qualification Documents, Capitalization Documents, Employee Matters & IP, Fundraising Documents.

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Testimonials from our Startups

“Sustainable Ocean Alliance has provided incredible support for Blue Ocean Gear over the years with one-of-a-kind opportunities, connections, and expert guidance. Above and beyond that, SOA truly embraces the meaning of community through their recognition that working in the ocean space is a unique, special, and challenging undertaking. By connecting startups that are doing work that is critical to ocean health, it leads to better ideas and better solutions.”

Kortney Opshaug, Founder and CEO, Blue Ocean Gear


“SOA punches wildly above its weight in terms of value, through the SOA network we found our Series A lead as well as our Chief Strategy Officer and multiple members of our Impact Advisory Board. They’ve never stopped putting in work to accelerate Finless, I can’t recommend them enough.”

Michael Selden, CEO & Co-Founder of Finless Foods


“The way in which SOA has expanded our network and opened doors to incredible opportunities for Cruz Foam has been like no other partner we have. This along with their deep expertise in ocean technologies and activism has helped catalyze our growth at a critical stage.”

John Felts, CEO & Co-Founder of Cruz Foam

For more information about The Ecopreneur Network, please contact Doreen Wong, Ecopreneurship & Investments Lead, or Ben Lesage, Global Coordinator.

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