Credit: Shane Stagner / Unsplash
Ideas Made to Matter
9 carbon-busting startups from the MIT Sustainability Summit
What do Goldilocks, Godzilla, and gigatons have in common? The trio are at the heart of Running Tide’s ocean-based carbon removal system.
Speaking at the MIT Sustainability Summit 2023, Running Tide CEO Marty Odlin explained that just as humans must stay within a certain temperature range and maintain certain levels of nutrients to thrive, so too must the ocean.
With carbon emissions increasing, the ocean is not only struggling to keep up with the imbalance; it’s becoming more hostile toward marine life — unleashing a “Godzilla” capable of destroying ecosystems.
“The ocean removes gigatons of carbon right now,” said Odlin, a member of a four-generation fishing family. “If it gets too hot or too acidic it won’t, so let’s not let that happen.”
To address this, Running Tide deploys floating kelp farms to collect carbon in the upper layer of the ocean. The kelp grows until it is too large and heavy to stay buoyant. At that point, it sinks to the ocean floor, where it either gets consumed by the organisms living there or is absorbed by ocean sediments.
“The beauty of this system, or any other type of system like ours, is that we are powered predominantly by the ocean currents, the sun, and gravity,” Odlin said. “We’re not going to run out of any of those.”
Running Tide was one was nine startups, ranging from seed stage to Series A, that shared their ideas for today’s carbon markets. Here’s an overview of the other solutions in the showcase.
AirMiners provides networking and accelerator resources for founders and startups in the carbon removal market.
Biosorra is developing an affordable sustainable biofertilizer for Kenyan farmers.
CarbonBuilt manufactures low-carbon concrete blocks.
Carbon Removal Partners
Carbon Removal Partners is a venture capital firm investing in carbon removal businesses.
Gaia uses artificial intelligence, satellite data, and laser imaging to collect forest data (like tree measurements and species counts), which is used to improve accuracy in analyses such as carbon credit estimates.
Metha.ai uses artificial intelligence to determine what tailored dietary supplement plan a cow herd needs for good gut health and lower methane emissions.
Oneshot.earth is developing a streamlined process for buying and selling carbon offset credits using blockchain and diversified, tradable carbon offsets.
Yard Stick is developing technology for a cheaper, faster way to measure the amount of solid carbon in soil.
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