Inside Seaweed began in the form of a podcast where discussions around the incredible world of seaweed were hosted.
Founded by Bristol entrepreneur, Fed DeGobbi, the podcast delves into the seaweed industry to discuss ideas, frustrations, challenges, insights and inspired visions for the future with other entrepreneurs and scientists.
Seaweed is incredibly diverse and can be used for lots of different purposes such as fertiliser, food, animal feed and bioplastic. Seaweed cultivation does not require any fresh water, arable land, fertiliser or pesticides. It is also regenerative as it improves the quality of the water it grows in, whilst providing a number of ecosystem services. However, the industry faces major barriers to development and is in urgent need of innovative solutions. In the long term, the plan for Inside Seaweed is to play a part in developing such solutions, particularly in the area of machinery and automation.
Started Inside Seaweed podcast
Joined SETsquared Sustainable Business Support Programme
Attended SETsquared's Sustainability Workout
Started student project with the University of Bath Mech Engineering Department
Project justification and initial technology research completed
“Coming from a background in environmental science and a profession focusing on industrial wastewater compliance, I have a front-row seat to the negative impact that industry can have on the planet. Looking for business as a source of positive impact is how my interest in seaweed has developed. I was keen to understand more about the seaweed industry so the creation of the first dedicated industry podcast is how my learning journey was initiated and why I founded Inside Seaweed.
I am keen to be a small part of the solution to climate change and the environmental crisis. There is also an element of essentialism, of wanting to do something important. At the moment my mindset is of being a listener and a student of the industry. Trying to listen to the pioneers and learn about their objectives and challenges – this is where the podcast comes in. Bringing all these inspiring people in one place promotes collaboration within the industry.
The aim of Inside Seaweed is to bring innovation and solutions to enable the growth of the seaweed industry – seaweed has real potential to bring a positive impact by playing a part towards addressing environmental challenges. A more immediate objective is to continue learning and listening to people in the industry, using the platform to launch an online community and the first mastermind group, to further help with peer-to-peer mentoring and collaboration.
I’m still working full-time in a corporate job which I really enjoy, however starting my own business is something that has provided me with a more creative output and a different level of independence. It is very easy to get stuck in your own thoughts and assumptions, so engaging with SETsquared started out as a way to get out there to interact with the academic world and other businesses on a similar journey and create a network. The process of starting a business can feel very lonely and part of my motivation was very much to get some support and mentorship through SETsquared.
I was provided information about the Sustainable Business Support Programme so I registered to be part of the programme, this then led to me joining a Sustainability Workout. The 2-day workshop was really useful in working through my business model canvas. I received feedback and ideas from experts which helped me define the path for my business venture.
Following the workshop, I continued to liaise with the programme’s Innovation Advisor who subsequently made an introduction to Dr Elies Dekoninck from the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Bath. This has led to a research project being established with a student from the Mechanical Engineering Department, who is looking at technology for stabilising seaweed biomass (drying) with the aim to develop an initial prototype.
I’m keen to stay involved with SETsquared and the University of Bath and will be looking at programmes to help me continue to scale the business and support my R&D and am confident that with the support of SETsquared and the University that this is achievable.”
Fed DeGobbi, Founder