Beyond the Aquarium
BlueSwell Cohort Seeks Help Shaping Businesses
About four months ago, the second BlueSwell cohort gathered together at a networking event in Cambridge, MA, to pitch their businesses to each other and appeal to mentors. BlueSwell is a partnership between the New England Aquarium and SeaAhead, Inc. that develops a group of bluetech entrepreneurs in the New England Area whose startup companies have a product or idea that can positively impact the ocean. The founding teams of the companies receive funding, mentoring, and a tailored 20-week curriculum.
At the event, some of the young business owners shared what they hoped to gain or learn from the experience.
Harnessing 50 billion years of evolution to design drugs for the post-antibiotic era.
“I’m hoping to find product-market fit, refine my business model, identify strategic partners, [get help with] customers, collaborators, and really kind of help develop a network of people that can support both our R and D objectives in our more business-oriented objectives.”
–Griffin Odriscoll, co-founder
Creating urchin ranching solutions for the restoration of kelp habitat and urchin fisheries in California and New England.
“We hope to find mentors that can help support us with marine engineering, regulatory guidance, and business development, as well as access to regional markets.”
–Kate and Wes Newbury, co-founders
Providing consumers with location-specific recycling information to empower them to make sustainable choices before checkout, guide their recycling practices at home, and influence retailers to provide recyclable offerings.
“We’re looking for e-commerce and retail connections, AI machine learning and consumer tech help, investment achievement, and scaling.”
–Christian Foster and Kate Shayne
Creating digital solutions bridging the green and blue economies, enabling offshore wind and fisheries to prosper together.
Co-founders Khalid Kamhawi, Marc Howard, and Mark Abdalla weren’t present at the event, but their colleagues shared their presentation that outlined their goals.
“The Ithaca team hopes to get help with commercialization and pricing, outreach to fisheries, offshore wind networking, and equity finance.”
–Khalid Kamhawi, Marc Howard, and Mark Abdalla, co-founders
Providing accurate and automated data through camera-based inventory systems for seafood processors to make better and faster decision-making to reduce product loss while increasing transparency and traceability.
“We’re very interested in learning more about how the seafood industry works on a fundamental level here in New England. On the product development side, we have hardware that we’re developing, so expertise in that realm [would help]. And also, investor readiness is top of mind as we kind of go into this investor world.
–Gavin Andrews, founder
Creating scalable instruments for aquaculture, coastal monitoring, and the growing blue-green economy.
“What we really need, what we sorely lack, is help with our business structure. We know how to build things. We know the engineering, we know a lot about the oceanographic challenges, but we are not business people. And this is a real challenge for us. So, understanding what pitfalls we’re about to walk into and getting guidance. We’d really like to have a CEO/COO who can work with us.”
–Allan Adams and Jake Bernstein, founders
Eliminating single-use food/beverage products through a tech-enabled circular economy solution, with proprietary technology and a custom-designed inventory of vacuum-insulated stainless steel to-go cups and containers.
“We are looking for a mentor to help us with a fundraising round, some legal work, some tech questions, and then finally business development and new partners.”
–Alison Rogers, co-founder
To learn more about the cohort and outcomes of the program, register to watch the livestream of Demo Day on March 2, 2022.