GB blue economy funding program teams up with early-stage investor

Blue Action Accelerator – the funding program for Blue Action Lab, which is developing solutions for coastal communities and marine ecosystems to combat and adapt to climate change – has teamed up with Founders Factory, a global company builder and early-stage investor, to jumpstart the financing of cutting-edge green science and technology initiatives, that are expected to provide meaningful climate action and mitigation programs for countries that are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

According to a statement on the partnership, Blue Action Accelerator is working with international partners to raise $10 million that will go toward funding and supporting up to 35 science and technology startups that will work to mitigate climate change, increase ocean health, and build coastal resilience.

Founder of Blue Action Lab in Grand Bahama Rupert Hayward said the program will leverage international expertise and capital to help the entities that will build climate resilience in The Bahamas and across the world.  

“We want to support the development of technologies that will boost the environmental, social and governance (ESG) capabilities of individual companies and jurisdictions like The Bahamas, which have shown a commitment to taking meaningful action to mitigate climate change,” said Hayward.

“It’s about helping The Bahamas fulfill its aims, while crafting solutions that will protect all communities on the frontline of the fight against global warming, rising seas, dying coral reefs, increased coastal flooding and stronger hurricanes, to name but a few of the dangerous effects of climate change.”

According to the statement, Founders Factory has already raised $3 million from investment groups Builders Vision, Innovaciones Alumbra, and another large blue economy investment fund, and has begun operations.

The statement also explains that early stage start-ups that join the Blue Action Accelerator will each receive $150,000 equity investment and six months of bespoke operational support.

The statement urges those interested to apply to join Blue Action Accelerator through its website.

Hayward, who is also a Blue Action Accelerator board member, added: “The aim is to accelerate sustainable futures for low-lying coastal communities through the injection of early-stage capital and the provision of support to ESG blue and green companies.

“The government of The Bahamas and the County of Miami-Dade (among other jurisdictions) have shown a commendable commitment to taking meaningful action to mitigate climate change. We want to invest in technologies that will help these jurisdictions and others like them fulfill their aims, by creating local solutions that also have global applications.”

Director of Blue Action Accelerator George Northcott said in the statement that climate change is causing a decline in ocean health, which will become a serious risk to the billions of people who live and work in low-lying coastal communities.

Program Director of Builders Vision Peter Bryant explained in the statement that the partnership will accelerate the build-up of innovative business models working in the blue economy to fix crucial climate-related problems.

“As their supporters, we earnestly believe the significant international experience of Founders Factory as a leader in helping launch new ventures, combined with Blue Action Ventures’ strong blue economy policy work and local relations in the Bahamas, will create a unique learning laboratory for new businesses to flourish, helping to solve some of the most pressing issues facing our oceans,” said Bryant.

Founder of Innovaciones Alumbra Christy Walton said in the statement that the Blue Action Accelerator “will bring the benefits of entrepreneurship and innovation immediately to local coastal and island communities while offering tangible solutions with global relevance”.

Grand Bahamian and applied technology expert C. Allen Johnson said in the write-up that the Bahamas government and other stakeholders should move quickly to make the accelerator a reality.

He said the accelerator “has immense potential to drive progress in climate tech, ocean tech, innovation, research, data collection and aggregation, and development of nascent technology”.

“Our oceans are a critical resource and buffer against the impact of climate change, and it is essential that we work towards finding answers and solutions to the many issues threatening them,” said Johnson.

“Given The Bahamas’ extensive coastline, coral reefs, sea grass, and other marine ecosystems, it is an ideal location to establish a maritime and coastal discovery and learning laboratory ecosystem.

“The development of blue, green, and ocean technologies in Grand Bahama could have a profound impact on the health of our oceans and their affiliated economies. It is imperative that we collectively work towards the success of this initiative, as it could bring global attention to Grand Bahama and The Bahamas as a whole.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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