Apr 22, 2022
Alissa Peterson on the Key Role of the Ocean in Climate Change, and the Evolution and Explosion of Bluetech and the Blue Economy
Welcome to The Firestarter Podcast—people, ideas and conversations that move us forward. It’s your host Willa Kammerer’s business and passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers—and lives—of impact.
It’s your host Willa Kammerer’s business and passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers—and lives—of impact. In this episode, Willa speaks with guest Alissa Peterson, co-founder and executive director of SeaAhead, a bluetech startup platform helping build ocean-based companies.
As the conversation gets underway, Alissa shares how she developed an interest in oceans and got into her current line of work. SeaAhead arose when she and her co-founder met and aligned on their mutual interest in working with overlooked entrepreneurs in the blue economy space. Since the 2018 launch of SeaAhead, Alissa has seen more and more how intertwined the ocean and people are, as well as the value of taking a solution-oriented approach to the ocean. She and her colleagues intend for SeaAhead to represent a third leg of the stool of ocean-related work; while there are many scientific and philanthropic efforts underway, SeaAhead takes a venture innovation approach.
Later in the conversation, Alissa shares about some particularly interesting projects that SeaAhead has been working with, such as Beta Hatch and FuelTrust, and explains how factors like low regulatory development and questions of control have led to a relative lag in ocean-oriented venture projects. Getting into more details about SeaAhead, Alissa shares about the organization's think tank, the SeaAhead Ventures program, the BlueSwell startup incubator, and SeaAhead’s support of a bluetech cluster growing in the northeastern US. She comments on the evolution of the bluetech space in recent years, details the current challenge of pilot projects, and explains why the space requires a collective approach. As the episode wraps up, Alissa speaks to the social impact of work in the bluetech space, and how bluetech improves lives from a coastal community development standpoint. She addresses SeaAhead's current inflection point and what is to come, and invites interested listeners to get involved in bluetech work, too!
0:46 – Host Willa Kammerer welcomes today's guest, Alissa Peterson.
4:20 - How did she get interested in the ocean and into this work, and how are the oceans doing?
12:11 - Willa asks about particularly interesting projects SeaAhead has been working with.
16:32 - Alissa comments on a lag in ocean ventures, as well as the work of SeaAhead.
22:59 - She then shares about the recent evolution of bluetech and a current roadblock.
28:19 - Why does SeaAhead take a collective, ecosystem approach?
32:54 - Bluetech work improves lives by fueling community development.
39:58 - Conversation shifts to SeaAhead's current inflection point and future.
43:15 - Willa asks if Alissa has any final call to action for listeners.
Learn more about SeaAhead and connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Bluetech, startup platform, ocean, ocean-based companies, blue economy, green tech, entrepreneurs, impact, environment, working waterfront, New England, Boston. intersection, solution-oriented approach, venture innovation, maritime, regulatory...