“It is great to be an ambassador for European Green Capital and is a fantastic way for us at Katapult Ocean to showcase solutions to ocean challenges. Hopefully, inspiring people to take care of our oceans”.
A few years ago, if you were to ask Maren Hjorth Bauer what the biggest dilemma facing ocean impact tech was, she would have probably given the same answer as most of us – that it’s an uphill battle fighting against a host of environmental threats without a concerted, global initiative offering comprehensive solutions. Today, her answer is also part of the solution.
Bauer is the CEO and co-founder of Katapult Ocean, Katapult Accelerator’s protégé. Despite being in its initial stages, Katapult Ocean’s ambitions are just as lofty as those of its sibling; their mission rooted in building and scaling profitable businesses who focus on positive ocean impact.
“The truth is, less than ten percent of our ocean has been explored,” Bauer said, “I believe that by understanding more of the ocean and using that knowledge to develop new sustainable solutions (for all of us) is critical.”
Essentially, not knowing what they don’t know is the greatest obstacle facing entrepreneurs in ocean tech. Thus, it is difficult to strive for sustainability when you aren’t able to recognize existing opportunities to create meaningful change.
Most startups in this space are hardware or software solutions for the businesses or governments. For some, their main goals revolve around changing habits, attitudes, and beliefs. In addition, they harness technology to reverse the damage that’s already been done or to prevent future generations from making the same mistakes; making it a tough niche to break into on top of already operating inside the often turbulent and unpredictable startup world.
Katapult Ocean has invested in 11 ocean tech startups from 7 countries, and are going to make 12 more investments this year. Additionally, they have built a leading global ecosystem of partners from research institutions, corporates, organisations and investors in addition to 90 dedicated mentors.
Aligning its platform with the UN’s sustainable development goals is one way to facilitate collaboration. By leveraging industry insight and tapping into new frontiers, Katapult Ocean can forge big business opportunities all the while supporting new developments and ideas. There are three main building blocks of Katapult Ocean: the accelerator itself, building a global ecosystem, and creating awareness.
Bauer’s unwavering optimism and sincerity cuts through the noise in an age where “sustainability” has become merely a stock phrase to many. For her, the stakes are high and the workload is all-consuming, “It’s definitely hard to leave the office behind at the end of the day.”
With an upcoming agenda that includes the first Demo Day of Katapult Ocean’s first cohort of startups, establishing a company culture, and marketing a solid company profile – the 9-5 life is nowhere on the horizon for Bauer. But she wouldn’t have it any other way, “I’m inspired by people who follow their passions – doing what they believe in.”
She is, in turn, a source of inspiration herself.