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About Us

Ocean Community is an inclusive global community and platform, for ocean caring people, innovators and entrepreneurs to connect, learn, innovate and to shape our community acting in the best interest of the ocean.

We provide learning programs and knowledge, to increase ocean awareness, support choices in daily life,

to influence regulators, and as the foundation for innovation.

Ocean Community Challenge invites early stage innovators and ideas into a structured program including master-classes, training sessions and coaching from experts together with individual mentorships. The selected teams are awarded with customised pre-acceleration programs and/or guided into a partner accelerator program and investor conversations based on solution viability and business model maturity. Focusing on early teams and ideas, we fill a void in the ocean innovation ecosystem for early innovators and ideas with impact potential that are not yet accelerator- or investor ready.

We are a Portuguese legal non-profit Associacao Ambiental, NIPC 516.014.374, operating under EU law.

Our board is presented below. Our by laws can be found here.

Individual Members are welcome without mandatory membership fees.

Associate program has been launched 2024 to support Ocean Community outreach, operations, knowledge- and open innovation program management.

Our Team 

Our degrees include marine sciences, innovation, technology, innovation, leadership, international business, finance, marketing, media, and communications. We have experience from a wide range of industries and geographies, working with innovation, business development, digitalisation, business transformation, operations, internationalisation, program management, investments and start-up ventures. We are united in our passion for the Ocean and planet-friendly innovation and action.


Founder & Partnerships

Presidente da Direcção

Susanne Wedin-Schildt

  • LinkedIn

Susanne has a long career leading teams across different countries and industries in Business Development, Operations and Transformation. She has spent multiple years working for leading Management & IT Consulting firms and served as trusted advisor to CxO's in strategic assignments. She is passionate about leveraging IT to drive sustainable business growth. Her present focus is on purposeful innovation and impact investments. Susanne serves on several business-, advisory- and jury-boards in the green- and blue space. She is a big animal lover and plant-based future friend. When she moved from Sweden to Portugal in 2020, she decided to be a part of the solution and protect and sustainably leverage the ocean. She is a sailor and has taken her first surf-  and kite surf lessons enjoying the wind and waves of the Atlantic on the Portuguese Silver Coast.


Christina Friberg

Co-Founder & 

Secretário da Direcção

  • LinkedIn

Christina has long and solid experience from management positions and leading functions in the Finance Industry and global Consulting Firms covering Business and Product Development, Innovation, Corporate Strategy and Change Management. Christina is a thought leader and expert within the Payments industry and has held various CxO positions. She has lived close to the Swedish coastline all her life and loves ocean sports, especially sailing. Her main focus is on solving environmental and food challenges with innovative solutions and sustainable- and circular economic models. Christina is committed to taking on the challenges that UN are addressing under the Sustainable Development Goals by scouting for suitable start-up ideas and building attractive business cases to investors.


Mafalda de Freitas

Chief Marine Scientist

  • LinkedIn

Mafalda is a Marine Biologist with degrees in Marine Biology from University of St Andrews in Scotland and a Master in Marine Acoustics from Aarhus University in Denmark. She has worked in a number of research projects that used innovative technologies to study marine mammals. Mafalda is currently the Project Manager for Peniche Ocean Watch where exciting projects for fishing net recycling and ocean tech amongst others are being developed and deployed. Mafalda is passionate about translating science into applied innovation in the Ocean space.


Vanessa Domingos

Chief Knowledge Officer,

Presidente, Conselho Fiscal

  • LinkedIn

Vanessa was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, and from early years enjoyed camping during summer holidays near the beach. She still captures energy from the ocean engaging in water sports such as swimming and surfing, and she also has a coastal boat license. Vanessa holds an MSc in Chemical Engineering - Quality & Environment and a Postgraduate Degree in Integrated Quality, Environment Management Systems. She has been working for the Pharmaceutical Industry for the past 14 years where her main tasks include project management and laboratory team supervision. She is committed to sharing ocean knowledge as the foundation for everyone to enable ocean friendly decisions.

Vanessa is passionate about the environment, sustainability and Blue Circular Economy projects - protecting the Ocean.


Sanne Persson

Chief Social Media Officer

  • LinkedIn

Born and raised in a small seaport in the south of Sweden, the ocean has been constant in Sanne's life; both as a place for recreation as well as a creator of livelihood for the community. Sanne holds a B.A in Media and Communication Studies and a B.S.c in Business and Economics with a major in Business Administration. She has completed a communications internship in Lisbon at the Swedish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, worked as communications officer and her day time job is now as marketing coordinator for a Swedish' knowledge company. 


Rimmie Duraisamy

Chief Web Officer

and Community Lead

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Rimmie comes from the western coast of India and has been living in Sweden since 2015. She has a background in Mechanical engineering and has experience from working in the automotive industry. Rimmie is currently pursuing her PhD in the field of Wave Energy Harvesting systems at KTH, Stockholm. Through her work, she aims at solving the challenges involved in the design and development of ocean energy harvesting.

Rimmie can’t resist the charm of the Scandinavian outdoors, enjoys long hikes and loves to be around animals. Having recently taken diving lessons, she is looking forward to true blue underwater adventures. 


Frida was born in the northern part of Swedish Lapland. She has always enjoyed spending time in nature, and the ocean and rivers of the north will always hold a special place in her heart. Frida is studying a Degree of Master of Science in International Business at Umeå University in Sweden. She studied one year in the California Bay Area and one exchange semester at NOVA School of Business and Economics in Lisbon, Portugal. Frida is passionate about sustainable business growth, management and marketing and is committed to being a part of the solution - for our blue planet. 

Frida Olovsson

Ocean Ambassador Leader

Digital Marketing Projects  

  • LinkedIn

Karen is a recent bachelor graduate in International Studies and Economics from the University of Oslo. While she grew up around the Trondheimsfjord, Norway, she has spent 1.5 years of her life in Eastern Canada, studying and working as an intern at the Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa. Her love for the ocean and ocean sports has been with her throughout her life, and she has competed nationally in flat water kayaking. During her exchange semester at NOVA SBE, Lisbon, this interest was revitalized through surfing. Karen is passionate about bringing forward blue and green solutions through supporting innovative and sustainable business ideas and promoting the circular economy principles.

Karen R. Østgaard 

Ocean Community Challenge Leader

  • LinkedIn

Advisory Board and Jury Assembly

Our competent and experienced advisors support us and our Start-Up entrepreneurs on their enture journey

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Anette Nordvall

Venture Partner, Butterfly Ventures

Anette leads the OCC Jury Assembly and is an active early stage tech investor focusing on ICT and deep-tech science based innovation while adding global environmental goals into the mist.  Anette has received multiple recognitions; One of Sweden’s most powerful tech investors 2016, Nordic 100 most influential persons 2018 and mentioned in EBAN 2018 report on 200+ most active Business Angels in Europe. Anette was crowned “Sweden’s nicest Business Angel” at Venture Cup Sweden 2018. Anette is a Partner at Stockholm Business Angels, Managing General Partner at Nordvest, Venture Partner at Butterfly Ventures, Chairwoman at “We Don’t Have Time”, Managing Partner and founding investor at Cross Nordic Capital and former Chapter President and CEO of Keiretsu Forum Nordics.

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Ann Carpenter

Founder & CEO, Braid Theory


Assembleia Geral

Ann Lee Carpenter, the co-founder and CEO of Braid Theory, serves as an advisor to deep tech companies in ocean/maritime, transportation and goods movement, and related industrial sectors. She brings more than 30 years of experience in strategic planning, marketing, business development, and community outreach. Braid Theory, located at AltaSea in the Port of Los Angeles, focuses on efforts to grow a sustainable blue economy with pre-accelerator, accelerator and venture studio programs targeting blue economy entrepreneurs. These world leading programs connect seamlessly to Ocean Community Challenge for the awarded teams after completing OC acceleration preparation program, and final qualification assessment.

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Marcus Hølland Eikeland

Program Director & Partner, Katapult Ocean & Katapult Climate

Marcus has a background as angel investor and as a co-founder of 4 startups. He was the first hire in Katapult, and is leading their efforts in building the most comprehensive impact program in the world as the Program Director. Marcus also lead Katapults first white-label program in Copenhagen from 2018-2019. Marcus has double academic degrees;

Both MSc and MBA.

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Rita Sousa

Partner, Blue Pioneers Fund 

Rita Sousa is Partner at Faber Blue Pioneers Fund, an early-stage Fund, investing in the early stages of high potential deep-tech startups aiming for high positive impact on ocean sustainability and climate action. Rita has been working in VC for 7 years, is a jury member for the EIC/European Commission and has previously worked in energy & utilities, innovation and CRM consultancy. Rita is a Mechanical Engineer (IST), MSc. Energy/Environment (Strathclyde), MBA (AESE/IESE BS) and MiF (Católica BS).

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Ron Tardiff

World Economic Forum, Ocean Innovation Lead and Lighthouse Lead 1000OceanStartUps

Ron currently Leads the UpLink Ocean impact pillar of Friends of Ocean Action at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Prior to this, he worked for Sustainable Ocean Alliance to build the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders. While engaging and empowering ocean youth from many angles, at the start of the pandemic Ron built the Ocean Solutions Microgrant Program, the first program in the world to provide small grants to youth-led ocean projects on a global scale. The program has funded more than 200 projects in more than 50 countries. Ron has conducted research, developed strategy, managed projects, and supported outreach for 11 organizations on issues ranging from fisheries governance to marine education. Ron is a marine ecologist with degrees in Marine Sciences, Maritime Studies, Aquaculture, Environment & Society, and holds a Master of Advanced Studies in Sustainable Blue Growth. He has studied at 8 universities and research institutions around the world and lived, worked or studied in 10 countries. Ron is a scientist and policy wonk at heart driven to improve ocean governance and innovation, increase equitable access to marine resources and services, and to restore ocean biodiversity. 


Robin Teigland

Professor, Chalmers University of Technology and Founder, Peniche Ocean Watch 

Robin is Professor of Strategy and Management of Digitalization at Chalmers University of Technology. Apart from moving research forward, she has a long track record leading international projects, working with startups, digital transformation and implementation of digital technologies. Teigland is the Director of Ocean Data Factory in Sweden and as co-founder of the Ocean Tech Hub and @penicheoceanwatch, she co-initiated Ocean Community and is actively working to develop the blue circular economy in Peniche. 2017 and 2018 she was listed as one of the most influential women in tech in Sweden. In her free time, Robin enjoys surfing longboards waves and co-running her Ocean Tech Hub coworking/coliving space and Go4Surf school in Peniche, Portugal.

Start-Up Mentors and Experts

Our competent and experienced advisors support both our Community and our Start-Up entrepreneurs

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Ana Pinela

Beta-i and Program Leader, AspBAN

Ana Pinela works at Beta-i Collaborative Innovation as a Senior Innovation Consultant and Project Leader, where she is currently responsible for coordinating and managing the Atlantic Smart Port Blue Acceleration Network (AspBAN), a project co-funded by the European Union’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Ana has a Master and a PhD in Marine Sciences and Conservation of Biodiversity and over 15 years of experience working as a Researcher, Consultant and Project manager in international projects. Since 2018, after attending the Blue Growth Summer School of the University of Ghent, she has been focused and dedicated to coordinating and managing projects in the area of the Blue Economy.

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Pedro Cerdeira

Founder & MD,

Business Plug

Pedro is a mentor, advisor and business angel passionate about the startup ecosystem, bridging the gap between investors and startups and helping companies to scale and develop their business internationally. He has mora than 25 years of experience in the Enterprise IT market, held several senior international business development, sales management and alliances and channel management positions in Oracle, Brocade, EMC2, Compaq/HP, Alcatel and Accenture. He holds a MSc in Computer Engineering, and 2 post-grads, Advanced Management Program for Executives, and Advanced
Program in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management.

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Jim Cooper

Co Founder & Chief Science Officer, Braid Theory

Jim Cooper has over 20 years of experience from start ups, market research, market intelligence and competitive analysis experience. Jim is co-founder and CTO for Braid Theory, an early stage start up advisory and consulting group in California, US with extensive traction in BlueTech. Jim also has a strong acumen innovation in the the field of Syntetic Bio.

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Ingrid Maurstad

Impact Director,

Katapult Ocean 

Ingrid is the Katapult Ocean Impact Director, and she is passionate about ocean impact startups. Before she joined Katpult she worked in Ferd, investing in, and supporting social entrepreneurs. She has also extensive experience from financing and leading social inclusion projects in The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF). Ingrid believes that companies with a positive impact on the world are the future, and that financially sustainable startups can scale great solutions for a thriving ocean.  


César Couto Ferreira

Fábrica do Futuro 

César is a Viacom and Vice Media Alumni and Co-Founder of Fábrica do Futuro in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This innovation hub mixes culture, arts and technology and has been granted a merit award from the city of Porto Alegre for its work with Innovation and Technology Development of the State of Rio Grande do Sul. César also Co-Founded ONG Instituto Fábrica focused on mental health and education. He is an Advisory Board Member of Enrich in Brazil and Co-Founder of TippingUP media activism organisation focused on SDGs2030. Mentor and advisor of several startups and scale-ups globally. César is a passionate scuba diver who embraces the ocean below the surface.

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Victoria Ramm

Material Innovation Initiative

Victoria works as Director of Development at Material Innovation Initiative. Prior to this she worked with development for The Good Food Institute also passionate about replacing animal products with sustainable no-harm innovative products. Victoria brings a unique blend of both nonprofit and startup experience; Her career ranges from years at The Humane Society of the United States, where she managed emerging media communications, advocacy, and fundraising, to technology, where she held various roles in business development. Victoria takes pride in connecting innovative thinkers with innovative projects globally.


Malin Friberg

Arthur D. Little

Malin is a Senior Management Consultant starting at CapGemini and now a trusted Manager within Arthur D. Little's Strategy & Organization Team in Stockholm. Her experience spans across Commercial- and Technical domains delivering Vendor Due Diligence, IPO Prospectus, pre-merger strategy formulation and realization as well as growth strategy design, business plan creation and implementation. She has experience from both buy-side and sell-side with financial modelling and scenario construction. Malin has developed a passion for leading market change through use of state-of-the-art technology. Malin holds a dual M.Sc. Degree in International Business and CEMS International Management at the Stockholm School of Economics and University of Sydney Business School. 

Governance and Compliance

General Assembly Board, Executive Board and Audit Board

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Mafalda de Taborda Lourenço

Nunes & Taborda Lourenço, Lawyers

Presidente, Assembleia Geral

Mafalda is the first chairwoman of the OCC Assembly Board, and an innovative and successful attorney. Mafalda is passionate about justice, court procedures and environmental responsibility. 

Mafalda has lived all her life by the ocean and is an active member of the Lourinhã coastal community and west coastal region in Portugal, contributing to ecological initiatives and promoting a zero-waste-lifestyle.

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Sérgio Leandro

SmartOCEAN Peniche and IPL Leira ESTM,

Primeiro Secretário da Assembleia Geral 

Sergio is the Director of the School of Tourism and Maritime Technology of Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (ESTM-IPLeiria) and Scientific coordinator of SmartOcean - Science and Maritime Technology Park, Peniche, Portugal. He is also a member of the MAB UNESCO Portuguese national committee and Co-Manager of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Berlengas. Sérgio is also a member of the MARE research unit, and a principal researcher of FCT Portugal and FEAMP projects within Marine Ecology, Marine Biotechnology, Fisheries and Aquaculture and Ocean Literacy. 

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Carlos Lobo

Founding Partner,

Lobo Carmona & Associados,

Secretário da Direcção

Carlos Lobo is a member of the OCC Executive Board with roots in the Silver Coast of Portugal and a strong advocate for SMART urbanization and digitalization of the Public Sector. Carlos has been a Partner and Manager at the Tax Department of EY Portugal and has held positions as Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, Deputy to the Office of the Minister of Finance and served as an Advisor to the Office of the Minister of Finance. Carlos has a PhD in Law and is a professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, where he has also held positions as the Vice-rector and Pro-rector. Carlos is the Founding Partner of Lobo, Carmona and Associates in Lisbon.


Valdemar Reis

Branch Manager,

Credit Agricola Bank,

Conselho Fiscal

Valdemar works as branch manager for Credit Agricola, also referred to as the "Green Bank" die to its historical ties to farming. It is the world's largest cooperative financial Institution.Valdemar is a strong promotor of environmental and social sustainability and sustainable ventures. He supports his local Portuguese community as President of A.M.A/

Associação musical da Atalaia.

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