People

Ocean Exchange CEO Millicent Pitts (front) and the finalists for the inaugural round of the BIG Pitch Competition at the Ocean Exchange event in Savannah GA.

 

OceanExchange.org is a 501c3 with the sole mission to help advance the adoption of solutions in the field of sustainability. We seek solutions with working prototypes that reduce waste and the use of nature’s resources while increasing productivity and respecting cultures around the world.

The Ocean Exchange mission is executed in two parts. In our six-year history, we have aggregated solutions via a competitive process whereby $1.1 million has been given in non-dilutive grants to start ups as seed funding, typically at pre-revenue stage. We are agnostic about geography and form of solution, where we see devices, materials, processes, and systems. Finalists and winners in those six years now have significant accomplishments on their road to commercialization: exit strategy completed for initial investors via acquisition by Boeing, IPO on Swedish NASDAQ, large equity-based crowd-funding in clean tech space, award of significant contract by HUD for post-Sandy remediation in Raritan Bay/Staten Island as examples of success stories.

We also have a collegiate BIG Pitch Award, now in year three. Our year one winner was named as a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy. In addition to cash awards, we open our large ecosystem to all who compete to help connect them to business, government, or financial market resources that can move them along the path to commercialization.

Ocean Exchange is largely sponsor funded by Gulfstream (General Dynamics), Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Bunge, Georgia Power (Southern Co), Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Oceaneering, and others.

Ocean Exchange hosts an annual event in Savannah, GA each fall where at least ten finalists pitch, competing for one of two $100,000 cash awards. Presentations are done in front of 100-150 hand-selected delegates from business, government, and academia who vote who receives the awards. At this same event eight collegiate finalists pitch for the $10,000 BIG Pitch Award.