Founders of The Ocean Bottle, an LBS Incubator start-up project
Each year the LBS Incubator programme provides selected entrepreneurial students and recent alumni with an extensive support programme of workshops, 1-2-1 advisory sessions and free resources equivalent to over £200k in kind per business, in order to help them set up their own business and get it off the ground.
The Ocean Bottle launches on Tuesday 6 November at LBS, so we thought we'd find out a little bit more about the team behind the initiative...
The Ocean Bottle (left to right): ND: Nick Doman - MiM2018, WP: Will Pearson - MiM2018, MW: Michelle Wiles - MBA2019, MC: Mauricio Coindreau - MBA2019.
Briefly introduce yourselves...
WP: My passion lies at the intersect of entrepreneurship, social impact, and environmental preservation. After completing my undergraduate degree in engineering, I spent a year working at sea in the Indian Ocean, where I saw first hand the current state of pollution in the world’s oceans. I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Management from London Business School to prepare to launch a company to clean up the world’s oceans.
I'm no stranger to working in sustainability-focused businesses, with experience in product development, clean energy and eco products, including the development of an atomically thin solar cell.
I am a marketer with a passion for bringing great products and services to life. I began my career at Procter & Gamble, and have since worked in advertising (Ogilvy), digital strategy (VaynerMedia) and product design (frog design). I have also consulted for multiple startups in the food, fashion, hospitality, and CPG spaces.
I believe the future of innovation belongs to organizations that invest in their company culture. I am currently studying for my MBA at London Business School, where my focus is very much on the future of teamwork and organizational design.
MC: I'm a chemical engineer from Mexico, and began my professional career as an entrepreneur while supporting myself by working as a part-time High School Chemistry Teacher. I continued my career as an operation and strategy consultant in Colombia, and was soon offered a position back in Mexico as the Head of Direct Sales in a Rocket Internet venture, before joining Amazon to innovate and launch the Mexican market.
I am currently pursuing my MBA and working with ConsenSys, the largest ethereum blockchain venture lab.
ND: I have experience in start-ups, charities and venture capital, with an MA in History from the University of Edinburgh and a MSc in Management from here at LBS.
I'm currently working for the venture builder Blenheim Chalcot in the investments team, which has allowed me the opportunity to get hands-on with portfolio companies on a daily basis. I'm hoping to continue the rest of my career as it has started, in a social enterprise looking to solve one of the world’s most pressing issues.
I have tri-citizenship of Britain, Australia and Canada. My love for the environment stems directly from exploring beautiful landscapes and the oceans that surround them.
So, what is The Ocean Bottle?
The Ocean Bottle is a reusable bottle that aims to stop ocean plastic pollution at the source. More than 80% of ocean plastic stems from a few concentrated areas. The Ocean Bottle helps the development of recycling infrastructure at these top sources, and each one purchased funds collection of 1,000 ocean-bound plastic bottles. It's also a great bottle: the design combines the best features of reusable bottles into one.
What support have you had from LBS in helping you to set this up?
The School has been a major source of support. Launchpad, a student run accelerator, helped us form our team and refine our first pitch. The Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation sponsored an expedition to Brazil to film the launch video for the company. Finally, the LBS Incubator has provided a range of support from mentoring, corporate partners, office space and contacts to get this business off the ground.
We jumped into the Oslo Fjord mid winter as a team-building activity!