UK - This Start-Up Believes Seaweed Can Change the World
Demand for plant-based food and nutrition is growing. According to recent retail sales data, grocery sales of plant-based foods in place of animal products grew 29% in the U.S. to $5 billion between 2017 and 2019.
Sustainably farmed seaweed could help meet this need, while also providing compostable, marine-safe packaging. UK-based biotech start-up Oceanium has developed innovative, "green and clean" biorefinery technology to make both these things possible.
With grant funding from Innovate UK and seed investment from Sky Ocean Ventures and Katapult Ocean (the latter two being ocean impact VCs), is focusing on scaling up their high-tech, innovative biorefinery and product development to find out more about the start-up's history, development and plans for the future. We spoke to Oceanium's Karen Scofield to find out more about the start-up's history, development and plans for the future.
How Did Oceanium Come About?
I met my Co-Founder and our CTO, Dr Charlie Bavington, PhD in May 2018. My background is in partnership and business development, brand-building and marketing. I've worked with (RED), Comic Relief and also run my own successful e-commerce business. After completing a postgraduate certificate at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership, I conducted extensive research on what type of business I could start that would have the most impact and that's when I discovered seaweed. Ever since then, I have been passionate about sharing its environmental and societal benefits.