Real Leaders

Coral Vita

Ranking: 148

Industry: Environmental Services

Mission: A commercial, land-based coral farm that grows and transplants species to restore dying reefs. They grow a diverse and resilient array of corals to preserve the ocean’s biodiversity while protecting the health and prosperity of communities, nations, and industries that depend on reefs for coastal protection, food, and income.

What 3 words best describe your company culture?

Committed, Inclusive, and Fun

What quote best exemplifies your company?

“Coral Vita emerged from our lifelong love for coral reefs. Yet these ecosystems aren’t simply inspirational — they’re one of the most important on the planet, sustaining a quarter of marine life and up to one billion people’s livelihoods. They provide habitat for magical biodiversity, feed fisherfolk and their families, shelter coastlines from storms, power nature-based economies, and are a source of life-saving medicinal compounds. But half of reefs are dead and over 90% are on track to die within thirty years. Amidst the climate crisis, Covid19, and global upheaval, we must ask ourselves — what happens when we lose these incredible and valuable ecosystems? And what can we do to protect them?

We’re fighting to regenerate our world’s dying and damaged reefs. While the best possible strategy is for our leaders to stop killing them, until they stop shirking their responsibility transformative adaptation solutions are rapidly needed. By growing diverse, resilient, and affordable corals for large-scale restoration projects, Coral Vita works to preserve the ocean’s biodiversity while protecting the health and prosperity of countless communities, nations, and industries that depend on coral reefs for their well-being, health, safety, and heritage.

Each one of us has an urgent need and a massive opportunity to preserve the ecosystems that sustain us all, and Coral Vita is at the forefront of jumpstarting the Restoration Economy. We need a Coral Moonshot. By investing in ocean health, you’re not just joining a movement for a better world or making a wise business decision – you’re investing in the future of life on Earth. We look forward to planting coral with you one day soon.” — Sam Teicher and Gator Halpern, Founders

How is your product or service having a positive social and/or environmental impact?

Coral reefs are dying at alarming rates and current restoration models are insufficient to protect them and dependent communities. Degradation’s ecological tragedy, which threatens 25% of all marine life, is also a serious socio-economic catastrophe. Coral reefs directly support 1B people in ~100 nations and conservatively generate $30B annually via tourism, fisheries production, and coastal protection. Many of these people are low-income, indigenous, women, and live in regions at risk to other climate change threats and who have limited mobility or economic opportunities.

Coral Vita’s land-based farms integrate breakthrough methods to accelerate coral growth up to 50x (microfragmenting) while enhancing their resiliency to warming and acidifying oceans (assisted evolution). And our model scales: one land-based farm can potentially supply an entire nation’s reefs with sufficient capital investment.

Alongside this novel form of high-tech coral farming, Coral Vita is deploying an innovative for-profit model to sustain large-scale restoration. Given reefs’ tremendous value, we’re working to transition restoration to a commercial industry. Our unique model facilitates revenue generation and better scalability than any current restoration practitioners. We sell reef restoration as a service to customers that depend on reefs’ benefits. As our farms grow diverse, resilient, and affordable coral for restoration projects, they also function as eco-tourism attractions and education centers. Guests pay to visit the farms, where they learn about the importance of protecting reefs, our work, and how they can help, including by adopting coral or planting them with our teams and local dive shops. Students, fishermen, and community members also visit our farm to build local capacity for future jobs in the blue economy, and we emphasize hiring local as much as possible.

What is your company’s vision for the future?

We launched the world’s first commercial land-based coral farm in Freeport, Bahamas in partnership with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and support from the Bahamian government. We’re currently raising funds to expand it into the best coral farm in the world to amplify environmental and economic impact, and ultimately will launch large-scale farms around the Caribbean and globally. Our restoration projects directly benefit communities by sustaining biodiversity, increasing fish stocks, protecting shorelines from storm surges, boosting tourism, and creating jobs (environmental sustainability/workforce development). We ultimately envision a global network of large-scale coral farms in every country with reefs around the world. Through financially sustainable and high-impact restoration, we help preserve reefs for future generations while spurring the blue economy’s growth locally and globally.

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