By Emily Vidovich. Emily has a background in environmental journalism and sustainability and is a member of the George Washington University Class of 2019.

Braid Theory, an advisory firm focused on science and engineering-led companies, is in the business of helping blue tech startups thrive. Since 2016, Braid Theory has focused on giving blue economy innovators the multilateral support needed to accelerate environmentally friendly, ocean-based solutions to sustainability issues in industries such as maritime shipping, food systems, and energy generation.

The firm’s space on the AltaSea waterfront campus, known as Braid Space, is a cluster of repurposed shipping containers within one of the historic warehouses that make up the AltaSea campus. Braid Theory’s aim is to utilize the inherently collaborative nature of AltaSea’s campus to expand Los Angeles’ Bluetech Innovation Hub and attract new businesses, industries, and technologies to the city. 

The unique location and formulation of AltaSea, which brings multisector innovators for ocean solutions together under one roof within the nation’s largest port, is foundational to Braid Theory’s vision for an expansive and innovative blue tech industry in Los Angeles. By circumventing some of the major logistical challenges facing ocean innovators, including workspace, ocean accessibility, research equipment, and commercialization support, AltaSea and Braid Theory are increasing the accessibility, and consequently the breadth, of blue economy sectors. 

AltaSea’s Port of Los Angeles campus is one of the only places where such companies can work feet away from the ocean with an affordable rent. AltaSea’s campus includes berths and dedicated waterspace within the port where blue tech can be field tested. At Braid Space, engineers and business advisors provide customized support to assist technology entrepreneurs on their path to commercialization. Thus, the early-stage blue economy companies headquartered at AltaSea benefit not only from an affordable workspace and close proximity to other innovators, but also the tailored support of Braid Theory in achieving growth and market success. 

In addition to these services, Braid Theory offers critical equipment for AltaSea campus tenants. Their facilities at AltaSea’s waterfront campus include test-beds, synthetic biology and biochemistry labs, and platforms for ocean observing and robotics. This equipment, while necessary for technology development, can be cost-prohibitive to many small or early-stage companies. Providing communal equipment circumvents a major barrier that typically faces innovators, making AltaSea’s Bluetech Innovation Hub an attractive option for luminaries from all disciplines who have the knowledge and ideas necessary to create a sustainable future through blue economy innovations, but lack access to essential facilities.

As such, Braid Theory’s multifaceted approach to expanding the blue economy in Los Angeles is primed to not only bring innovation to the city, but also to give groundbreaking blue tech organizations the platform, tools, and support needed to thrive.

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