Dear Coral Vita friends,
We hope you're enjoying a happy and healthy start to 2016! As we all settle back into the groove of things after a great holiday season, we want to update you on the strides Coral Vita is making.
Our main goal for 2016 is to launch a pilot coral nursery in partnership with a Caribbean coastal resort. At such a resort, we will grow corals to restore local reefs for dive & snorkel tourists, and the nursery can become a new attraction where guests can participate in the restoration project by planting corals with our team. We've held discussions with a number of resorts, and should have more to share with you on this front soon!
As we work to fundraise and launch our pilot nursery in the coming months, we want to share our three biggest highlights from 2015 with you:
1) Our founding members - Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern - were awarded Yale University's first-ever Green Innovation Fellowship, which is awarded to ventures seeking "to help meet the needs of society in ways that can continue indefinitely into the future without damaging or depleting natural resources."
2) Coral Vita was selected as one of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute's (YEI) 2015 Summer Fellows. The 10-week summer program was a special opportunity for the company. YEI provided mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and experts, funding, and workshops to develop critical start-up skills. Watch the Coral Vita pitch at YEI's end-of-summer Demo Day here (our fellow companies are well worth checking out, but our presentation starts at 1:48:45).
3) Dr. David Vaughan - pioneer of the microfragmenting method that accelerates coral growth up to 50x natural rates - became a company advisor. Dr. Vaughan, who runs the Coral Restoration program at the prestigious Mote Marine Laboratory, is one of the world's leading coral farming experts. Microfragmenting offers an unparalleled opportunity to scale coral farming globally, as Coral Vita can now grow critically important bouldering corals such as Brain coral in months rather than decades. We are excited and grateful to have Dr. Vaughan advising our team, and you can learn more about his work in The New York Times or PBS.
These are exciting times for Coral Vita and reef restoration. Researchers are developing new ways to boost coral resiliency to warming sea temperatures through assisted evolution, innovative financing mechanisms are being implemented to support climate adaptation, and governments are teaming up with both private sector and international leaders to protect the natural resources that sustain nations and industries.
Stay tuned as we continue our work to preserve and enhance the world's threatened reefs. Looking forward to sharing big updates and seeing you out on the reefs with Coral Vita in 2016!
Sam & Gator
Happy New Year from Gator at the Puntacana Resort & Club's Coral Garden!