ImpactAlpha, July 22 – Three startups and a university will receive the funds over two years to advance their solutions addressing pollution from agricultural and wastewater run-off, a major driver of algae blooms and dead zones.
The Schmidt Family Foundation launched the program in 2015 to support and scale technologies addressing ocean health.
The winners of the Coastal Pollution Challenge are: San Francisco-based Mango Materials, which makes a biodegradable plastic alternative that can be used to remove nitrogen from the coastal waters; Takachar in Berkeley, Calif., a producer of inexpensive biochar; Station C, a Cambridge-based startup developing a low-cost optical nitrogen sensor; and a project out of Northeastern University that is creating simple, 3D printed nitrogen sensors.
The inaugural Coastal Pollution Challenge drew 70 applications from across the country.
“Coastal pollution–everything from wastewater to torrents of plastics to nitrogen – is flooding our ocean and destroying its fragile and valuable ecosystems,” said Schmidt Marine Technology Partners’ and Schmidt Family Foundation’s Wendy Schmidt in announcing the winners. “We created this challenge to encourage and identify innovative solutions that reduce a critical component of that pollution, and to invest in their development so they can be brought to market and scale.”