The Sustainable Ocean Alliance, a global organization that works to advance the efforts of young entrepreneurs committed to sustaining and rehabilitating the planet's oceans, has announced a $1.5 million gift from Marc and Lynne Benioff in support of the Ocean Solutions Accelerator.
Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the gift will be used to triple the number of startups selected to participate in the accelerator program, which will take place over eight weeks later this year in San Francisco. Startups participating in the program will receive mentoring from leading experts in Silicon Valley and have the opportunity to present to investors and philanthropists at SOA's Ocean Tech Demo Day on August 15.
The announcement was accompanied by the release of the alliance's first annual report, The State of Our Ocean (1 page, PDF), which synthesizes data gathered by program participants and field experts on the current health of the oceans, as well as analysis of future challenges and relevant ocean-related priorities.
In 2016, Marc and Lynne Benioff established the Benioff Ocean Initiative, which solicits ideas about pressing ocean issues, engages scientific experts in developing workable solutions to those challenges, and provides funding to help bring solutions to fruition.
"Our oceans are in grave danger, due to the many consequences of climate change and pollution. These challenges can be solved with investment and innovation," said Marc Benioff. "Lynne and I are proud to support Daniela Fernandez and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance's bold vision to create a hundred new startups by 2021 to help heal the ocean."