Circulate Capital and SecondMuse announced the launch of The Incubator Network by Circulate Capital and SecondMuse, a new initiative to accelerate solutions to ocean plastic waste by partnering with existing incubators to build ecosystems of waste management and recycling innovators.
Circulate Capital and SecondMuse developed The Incubator Network in partnership with Ocean Conservancy; the network is supported by a new grant from the U.S. State Department. The Incubator Network’s first collaborative project, the Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator, is also supported by the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“The launch today of Circulate Capital’s Incubator Network marks an exciting leap forward in a journey Ocean Conservancy began many years ago to reduce the amount of trash in the ocean,” said Chever Voltmer, plastics initiative director for Ocean Conservancy, in a statement. “After over 30 years of organizing the International Coastal Cleanup and cataloging the items washing up on shorelines around the world, we know we need to go upstream to solve the problem. Through The Incubator Network, we can leverage the strengths of partners in government, business, academia and non-governmental organizations to bring together the political, economic, financial and social pieces needed to solve this complex puzzle. Ocean Conservancy is proud to support Circulate Capital and, through our work together, looks forward to a future free of marine debris.”
Circulate Capital anticipates unlocking more than $20 million in funding for The Incubator Network from foundations, corporations and development agencies. The announcement was made at the G7 Oceans Partnership Summit in Halifax, Canada.
By partnering with existing incubator initiatives, The Incubator Network seeks to rapidly scale the number of innovators in the sector, enabling eco-systems and support for those innovations. At launch, partners include:
- Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator
- WeWork Labs India
The Incubator Network will initially focus on supporting incubation activities located in Indonesia and India, with additional interest in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, and is currently looking to partner with additional incubator partners and programs.
“The Incubator Network by Circulate Capital and SecondMuse will provide financial and technical resources to increase the quality and quantity of companies and programs working to stop plastic leakage to the ocean and environment in South and Southeast Asia,” said Rob Kaplan, founder and CEO of Circulate Capital, in a statement. “As our team has been developing financing mechanisms for the region, we have recognized that incubation, technical assistance and capacity building is critically needed to improve the opportunities for all investors in the space.”
“For the last decade, SecondMuse has been using business accelerators to build economies that create social and environmental justice,” said Todd Khozein, co-founder of SecondMuse, in a statement. “In doing so, we have learned that the most resilient economies are those that are inclusive and adaptive to local circumstances. For a problem as big as ocean plastics, we need precisely these kinds of robust innovation ecosystems in cities throughout the region, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Circulate Capital and the Ocean Conservancy to accomplish this.”
Additionally, a primary focus of The Incubator Network is to advance opportunities for women in its countries of operation, and it will address this objective in its first partnership with the Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator as well as in other locations as the project scales.
Circulate Capital is the recently formed impact investment firm launched this past July and operating in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The company has an open request for proposal process for businesses located in these countries and working on solutions that address ocean plastic and seeking capital to accelerate their work.