BlueTech New England: Bringing Innovative Tech to Oceans and Waterfronts


Venture Café
1 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Thursday, 20 September 2018 - 3:00pm

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Is BlueTech the next big tech cluster to launch in Boston? The maritime economy is a significant economic driver in New England. In Massachusetts alone, it generated a total statewide economic impact of $18 billion in output (sales) in 2015. Investment dollars are starting to flow into the space as exemplified by Saildrone's recent $60M Series B-raise for autonomous sailboats for big ocean data and that Ynsect has cumulatively raised over $30M to farm insects as alternative fish feed. Given the global importance of the ‘blue economy’ and Greater Boston’s tech prowess, there is a tremendous opportunity to take the lead in innovating the oceans and waterfronts. This BlueTech Night event will bring technologists, scientists, startups, corporations and other ocean stakeholders to discuss building this new cluster by applying innovative tech like AI, robotics, sensors, AR / VR and others to improve ocean sustainability, coastal resiliency, and the urban coast’s environmental footprint.



AGENDA AT A GLANCE 4:00 – 4:15 PM Introduction to BlueTech and SeaAhead 4:15 - 4:30 PM Keynote: Rajiv Singh, Managing Partner at Grandview Capital Partners 4:45 – 5:45 PM Opportunities for Innovation in BlueTech Panel 5:30 - 8:00 PM Blue Tech Demos 6:00 – 7:15 PM BlueTech Shark Tank - Sign up to pitch: 7:30 – 8:30 PM Reverse Pitches & Breakout Sessions



1) Introduction to BlueTech

Introduction “Blue Economy”, “BlueTech” & the concept of a new cluster around New England’s maritime sector. Speakers:

  • Alissa Peterson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sea Ahead

  • Mark Huang, Managing Director, Sea Ahead



2) Keynote Speaker: Rajiv Singh, Grand View Capital Partners

Rajiv is the Managing Partner at Grandview Capital Partners, a multi-stage investment firm he is involved in starting after recently leaving as the CEO of Rabobank North America Wholesale Banking. In his role at Rabobank, as a special focus on innovation, he led the launch of platforms like Foodbytes and MIT Food Prize (pitch competitions in the food and agribusiness sectors), and Terra (a science and technology focused accelerator program for Food/Ag entrepreneurs, in collaboration with Rocketspace). Rajiv has broad principal investment, finance, corporate strategy and execution experience gained during his career at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, as well as at United Technologies and Nestle.



3) Opportunities for Innovation in BlueTech Panel

Hear from industry thought-leaders about the opportunities for existing and new stakeholders to solve core industry challenges including data analytics, robotics, communications, navigation and process optimization. Representatives from a variety of key stakeholders will be speaking on their unique perspectives, including shipping, supermarkets, offshore wind farm developers, insurance firms, and defense.



4) BlueTech Demos

Venture Café Demos are a great way to gain exposure through our online and offline channels. During BlueTech Theme Nighrt, Venture Café will give a selection of the area’s ocean sustainability, coastal resiliency, and the urban environmental footprint ventures an opportunity to showcase their product.



5) BlueTech Shark Tank

Five or six entrepreneurs will pitch ocean / waterfront focused solutions to investors in cleantech, sustainability, robotics and tech. Meet our judges:

  • Moderator: Jason Kelly, Ginko BioWorks

  • Lisa Sebesta, Fresh Source Capital

  • Jacob Grose, BASF Ventures


6) Reverse Pitches & Breakouts For Each Industry

Corporations operating in key areas of the maritime sector will reverse pitch technologists and entrepreneurs . For example, Draper Labs has an ocean plastic detection instrument - they could reverse pitch this idea to the room and then the breakout would follow on ocean plastic. Meet our Panelists:

  • Moderator: Carleen Lyden Walker, Chief Evolution Officer, ShippingINSIGHT

  • Kent Slatterlee, Acting Executive Director, Gulf Offshore Research Institute (GORI)



SeaAhead is a Benefit Corporation with the mission of catalyzing the intersection of oceans + innovation + sustainability. We are currently in launch-mode, with the goal of creating a world-class hub for the Northeast ocean cluster that will support new venture development and corporate innovation. SeaAhead will collaborate with ocean clusters around the world.