Seaworthy Collective’s Origins, from Founder & CEO, Daniel Kleinman
From being a designer, test engineer, and pilot of underwater robots for oceanographic research, a startup turned defense contractor, and most recently the US Navy itself, one challenge remained constant throughout my career. I lacked the opportunity to follow my passion to innovate for ocean science, conservation, and exploration. Underpinning these barriers to contribute to positive change, I was faced with the harsh reality that private interests (primarily the fossil fuel and defense industries) monopolized opportunities for ocean innovation to focus on exploitation and militarization, as a result of limited public funding.
Ocean science and innovation can’t afford to be a by-product of serving these private interests alone. Within the current framework, the ocean innovation pipeline is failing to create solutions for the most urgent issues facing the seas: warming, acidification, overfishing, sea-level rise, plastic pollution, and more. Furthermore, sustainability for the oceans is only an incremental step towards mitigating, rather than solving, these problems. The blue economy needs to be regenerative, with a tangible, solution-based focus that reverses negative anthropogenic impacts.
Seaworthy Collective was created to address these systemic barriers to catalyze solutions for the oceans’ greatest problems. We are a startup community and venture studio, based in South Florida, that co-creates and crowdsources startups to develop collective ocean innovation pipelines at scale, partnering with local incubators and accelerators to empower current and aspiring entrepreneurs to innovate for regenerative ocean impact. This regenerative focus strives to develop solutions that address the root cause of the oceans’ problems, rather than sustainably mitigate them. We are a diverse team of undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career professionals, all with the same passion: restoring our oceans and planet. Each of us embodies Seaworthy Collective’s ANCHORED values: Authenticity, Novelty, Community, Humility, Open-mindedness, Reliability, Empathy, and Diversity.
Seaworthy Collective empowers its community of current and aspiring ocean entrepreneurs, called – Sea Change Makers – to innovate for regenerative ocean impact. We have assembled a diverse network of resources and expertise by bringing together thought-leading mentors and strategic collaborators. Leveraging this network, we host monthly inspirational and educational panels to empower our interdisciplinary community. In January, we hosted our monthly “Ideas for Sea Change” panel with our collaborators 5 Gyres and Adventure Scientists, featuring insightful conversations about upstream and downstream solutions for marine plastic. You can watch the recording of the event here. We believe in creating sincere and positive relationships with our strategic collaborators and mentors as we move forward in our vision of empowering innovation for ocean science, conservation, exploration, and the regenerative blue economy as a whole. In January 2021, Seaworthy also announced its Opportunities for Sea Change – six key areas for building a regenerative blue economy as collective systems of solutions.
With our venture studio model, Seaworthy co-creates ventures by building the initial team, providing strategic direction, and attracting capital to reach product-market fit. We tailor our venture studio towards developing collective systems of regenerative ocean solutions. We are taking applications for potential co-founders for co-created startups in the target areas identified in the Opportunities for Sea Change, while also seeking current startups in these areas to get involved in our pitch competition. The pitch competition offers a platform for co-created startups from the venture studio and other existing ocean startups to get into the pipeline for our partner ocean-focused incubator/accelerator programs launching later this year. We partner with existing incubators and accelerators to leverage their core programming and help tailor it to serve the regenerative blue economy.
Altogether, building these pipelines through our venture studio and pitch competition programs democratizes and diversifies opportunities for interdisciplinary ocean-impact innovation and entrepreneurship. This catalyzes systemic change by empowering current and aspiring entrepreneurs to overcome industry siloes and drive the development of a regenerative blue economy that solves, rather than mitigates, the ocean’s greatest problems.
We’re looking for driven and passionate individuals to become part of one of our teams leading the development of regenerative ocean solutions. There are no prerequisites for application to our venture studio or pitch competition. Apply now through the form at the bottom of the Opportunities for Sea Change page to join the next wave of Sea Change Makers!
In January, we hosted our monthly “Ideas for Sea Change” panel with our collaborators 5 Gyres and Adventure Scientists, where we had an insightful conversation about upstream and downstream solutions for marine plastic. You can watch the recording of the event here.