Seafarers: How These Forbes Under 30 Founders Are Innovating Underwater
Turning un-recyclable plastic waste into virgin-grade chemicals and performance materials for a new circular economy.
Impact: Through recycling innovations, packaging waste can be kept out of landfills and rivers and turned into long lasting materials for automotive, construction, and 3D printing applications.
Location: Menlo Park, California, USA
Develops Internet of Things (IoT) tracking products for the ocean, starting with Smart Buoys to track gear for the fishing industry. Smart Buoys utilize GPS and other sensors to track gear at all times and sends an alert if gear positioning is out of the desired area.
Impact: Using Smart Buoys to track gear on the ocean can reduce plastic pollution in the ocean, reduce "ghost" fishing, improve ocean ecosystem health, and aid detection and response to marine mammal entanglements.
Location: Redwood City, California, USA
Uses federated machine learning and patented processes to predict coastal natural disasters at a hyperlocal level, replacing current flood models based on periodic, static surveys and statistical simulation, which can't predict local floods.
Impact: The ability to accurately predict floods allows for improved management and protection of coastline ecosystems and communities.
Location: Mountain View, California, USA
Grows climate change resilient coral up to 50x faster to restore dying reefs using a land-based farming model to scale up restoration, selling this service to customers who depend on the ecosystem services that reefs provide.
Impact: Coral Vita can outplant diverse, resilient coral into degraded reef habitats to revive their health and ensure the continued provision of ecosystem services.
Location: Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
Produces compostable foam made from the chitin of discarded shrimp shells.
Impact: CruzFoam is a compostable, biodegradable alternative to polystyrenes, creating a packaging that is of the ocean, for the ocean that enriches the substrate in which it biodegrades.
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Eliminates disposable foodware from food delivery by integrating into food delivery apps, allowing customers to select zero-waste deliveries.
Impact: Disposable foodware makes up 30% of all waste in the US and the California Coastal Cleanup Project revealed that 34% of beach trash by volume is disposable foodware; Dispatch works to ameliorate this foodware waste crisis.
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Develops sea drones powered by renewable solar and wind energy for use in collecting valuable scientific data related to climate change, diffusion of pollutants, weather forecasting, and coastal law enforcement.
Impact: Allows for data collection and monitoring with no emission or waste impact.
Location: Firenze, Tuscany, Italy
Scans rivers and coastlines with drones, processes these images with a uniquely-trained algorithm to create detailed heatmaps of hotspots, and advises partners on the best approaches to tackle each pollution challenge.
Impact: NGOs, authorities and industries can monitor pollution, take action and assess the effectiveness of initiatives, whilst optimizing clean-up.
Founder: Ellie Mackay
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Grows healthy marine-animal cells instead of live fish to produce nutritious, environmentally-friendly versions of the fish and seafood products the world loves.
Impact: When fish can be produced in a bioreactor in the center of a city, the costs and environmental impact of commercial fishing and shipping are significantly reduced.
Location: Emeryville, California, USA
Using a seamless deposit system and fully-integrated mobile/web application, Muuse operates a global network of elegant, robust, tech-enabled products (cups, bottles, and tiffins) for the to-go food economy.
Impact: Within 5 years, prevent the creation and disposal of 900 million single-use cups, bottles and food containers, equal to 13,000 tons of plastic waste, 20% of which is ocean-bound.
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
REEF® (Real-time Edge Execution Framework) is an intelligent sensor data platform with a built-in internet gateway that enables seamless sensor connection on ocean assets.
Impact: REEF® will streamline information gathering and sharing for all maritime stakeholders to take responsible actions. For example, researchers and ocean professionals run their algorithm on the edge of the platform for furthering research and scientific studies on ocean health.
Location: San Mateo, California, USA
Measures customers plastic footprint, offsetting plastic equivalent to their consumption, and curating a personalized guide on "Conscious Living" according to each unique footprint, all in pursuit of plastic neutrality.
Impact: Through technology, rePurpose is creating a global movement of conscious consumers, who actively reduce plastic consumption, and offset their plastic consumption through partner organizations in India.
Location: Bangalore, India
Develops Autonomous Laboratory Vessels that will house various sensors onboard to collect different types of real-time ocean data simultaneously.
Impact: Sea Proven’s fleet will autonomously collect data which will contribute to big ocean data, allowing scientists to better understand and monitor the ocean's state of health.
Founder: Fabien de Varenne
Location: Saint Jean sur Mayenne, Pays de la Loire, France
A "plug & play" big data platform that includes an exhaustive maritime database and dedicated AI to create data-centric apps that provide actionable insights.
Impact: SINAY platform processes data in order to create digital applications that can be used by managers to make decisions that positively impact the ocean.
Founder: Yanis Souami
Location: Caen, Normandy, France
Offers a high-speed digital network for data collection and “eyes in the net” from the trawl net to the wheelhouse to the cloud.
Impact: Smartcatch will reduce bycatch waste of non-targeted aquatic species, including mammals & sea-turtles, and deter illegal and unregulated fishing.
Location: Palo Alto, California, USA