Rhode Island to Host First of its Kind Blue Economy Investment Summit at RWU

The community is invited to attend the first annual summit presented by Blue Venture on Jan. 24

Dock with boats tied up.

BRISTOL, R.I. – Roger Williams University will host the first annual Blue Venture Investment Summit highlighting recent developments and future trends in Blue Technology Investments.

This first-of-its-kind blue economy summit to be held in Rhode Island, organized by the Blue Venture Forum, will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the RWU School of Law building. It will bring together international investors, start-up founders, and policy makers to discuss what’s driving investor interest in the Blue Economy and what the future looks like for Blue Tech startups. 

The agenda will feature perspectives from firms that are actively investing in the sector such as Propeller, Investible Oceans, Blue Angels, Creative Destruction Lab, and the Ocean Start Up Project. There will also be a discussion about the role of accelerators and technology transfer programs at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and more. RWU Associate Professor of Marine Biology Koty Sharp will provide closing remarks.

“Roger Williams University is pleased to host this first Blue Venture Investment Summit in 2023. Our university has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and recently has focused even more in our strategic planning on ocean and coastal strategies across our faculty areas of expertise and the majors and careers our students are seeking,” said RWU President Ioannis Miaoulis. “Regional growth and investment within the blue sector will continue to come as government, industry, and higher education continue to align our efforts. We are excited to host this forum and deepen our commitments to where the Ocean State goes next.”

The Blue Venture Forum is a program that connects existing blue technology companies, investors, and resource providers with emerging blue technology firms. Based at Innovate Newport, a technology incubator located in Newport, R.I., The Blue Venture Forum will be dedicated to creating a global community that fosters and supports entrepreneurs and innovators in blue technology, ocean-related enterprises, and related deep tech verticals, by holding monthly meetings, featuring case studies, pitch contests, and key speakers.

Regarding the summit, Steven Fox, Partner at Propeller VC, said, “We see swaths of opportunity to support blue entrepreneurs. The combination of a transitioning economy towards climate-centric outcomes, as well as the continued growth of the legacy blue economy and some exciting nascent ocean climate markets offer fertile ground for investors and entrepreneurs alike. We are committed to science leading to solutions, and empowering excellent entrepreneurs with the tools and capital to achieve these outcomes.”

Today, institutional investors, including venture capital and angel firms, along with philanthropic organizations and corporates, are now making strategic investments in blue technology firms. This is fueling the development of next-generation innovations to address the major challenges in ocean exploration, aquaculture, traditional fisheries, defense, undersea communications, climate monitoring, and more.   

During this program, hear directly from investors about why they’re investing in blue technology firms, discover the companies and technologies they’re investing in, learn what it takes to secure an investment from one of these investors, and hear what they see as emerging opportunities in the sector.   

The Blue Economy is defined as economic activity driven by the water. Activities like sailing, tourism, recreational boating, kelp and seaweed farming, aquaculture, and traditional fisheries are all a part of it. A subset of the Blue Economy is Blue Technology and these firms are working to develop solutions that address complicated problems in naval defense, climate change and monitoring, commercial fisheries, marine renewable energy, aquaculture, deep sea exploration, and more. And there is a growing, global market for these technologies, which is driving investor interest.

The community is invited to attend the Blue Venture Investment Summit on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the RWU School of Law building, room 283, 10 Metacom Ave., Bristol, R.I. For tickets, visit: https://blueventureforum.org/event/blue-investment-summit/