Sustainable Ocean Alliance is accelerating ocean solutions around the world. Here are their stories.
The fight against harmful packaging just got some star power.
Cruz Foam, a compostable styrofoam alternative made from natural biopolymers, recently announced that actors and impact investors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher have invested in their latest $3.4 million seed round. They have also signed on as advisors.
SOA is proud to count Cruz Foam among the Ocean Solutions Accelerator’s Second Wave Cohort alumni. Co-founders John Felts and Marco Rolandi connected with SOA in 2019, and brought their compelling pitch to replace traditional petroleum-based protective packaging with an earth-friendly foam material to the Accelerator-at-Sea. During the 8-week program, they were able to connect with key industry mentors and even find their lead investor. Since then, Cruz Foam has refined their production process and are scaling to meet the demand from companies like Whirlpool.
“We are excited to enter a new phase of growth enabling the scaled production of Cruz Foam products, which is currently being utilized in a series of pilot programs,” Felts shared. “We are grateful for SOA’s support from the very beginning. It all started on that boat.”
In a news release, DiCaprio and Kutcher explained why they are excited to join the Cruz Foam team.
“Cruz Foam is taking a major step in reducing the environmental impact of the supply chain industry," DiCaprio said. "The mission to eliminate single-use plastics in the ongoing battle for a cleaner and more sustainable environment makes me excited to join as an investor and advisor and I look forward to what we'll achieve together.”
“We see huge potential in the adoption of Cruz Foam’s consumer packaging as the industry moves away from petroleum-based products and towards new biomaterial technologies,” Kutcher said.
Accelerating this kind of real-world solution to combat climate change is exactly why Sustainable Ocean Alliance exists.
“Cruz Foam is an incredible success story, and I know their impact will continue to grow as they do,” said Daniela V. Fernandez, Founder & CEO of SOA. “It has been an honor to work with John Felts and Marco Rolandi to support their vision from the beginning. It’s the creativity and drive of entrepreneurs like them that will help us protect the ocean for years to come.”
Since inception, SOA has supported 222 projects designed to repair the ocean, including 45 startups like Cruz Foam. To learn more about our accelerator program, click here.