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Lab-to-Market | Commercializing Your Innovation | Overcoming Challenges to Reach Mission and Commercial Success in the Blue Economy

The panel will explore strategies to survive the Valley of Death. Hear from parties that provide non-dilutive funding (grants, philanthropy), impact capital, and traditional capital. These sources go beyond government funding and are typically required to move ocean tech to large scale as a private enterprise, even when the government stands to be a substantial customer in addition to the ocean technology industry. We will also explore research that suggest the biggest failure points of start-ups and how to avoid the pitfalls, including lack of enough domain expertise and failure to do appropriate customer discovery.


Millicent Pitts
Executive Director |


Holly Gardner
Director, Strategic Engagement | Naval Surface Warfare Center
Director | NavalX Gulf Coast Tech Bridge

Ted Janulis
President Emeritus | The Explorers Club

Hailey Bathurst
Program Manager | Gulf Blue Navigator

Tessa Greco
Program Manager, Water Power | National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Doug Traeger
Engineering Manager | Blue Ocean Gear Inc.