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Startup Spotlight: ExpeditionZero

We have a diverse and dynamic group of startups in our community, each with unique backstories and experiences as entrepreneurs. The Startup Spotlight series is designed to acquaint you better with our community. This week we feature ExpeditionZero, who discuss the highs and lows of running a startup, and how they are building the future of sustainable adventure sailing.

How did you come up with the idea for the business?

We co-founded a successful, award-winning Adventure sailing business called Wavysail during Covid – this has grown organically to operate internationally and has been awarded the UK’s #1 adventure sailing business. Our focus, from the start was inclusive and environmentally conscious adventure. As part of this, we were the first operator to measure the Co2 footprint of all our expeditions – but we realised,  this only scratches the surface – sailing is fundamentally polluting and we need to fix that. This led us to found ExpeditionZero.

Why does the industry need the solution you're providing?

There are two challenges we overcome – firstly, we’re giving the 6,000 professional sailing operators affordable and flexible access to purpose-designed vessels built for Commercial Adventure sailing. Secondly, ensuring these vessels set new global standards in terms of environmental impact. We’re aiming for a 90% reduction in full lifecycle impact.

What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?

By far the best thing is the people that give up their time, skills and experience to support our vision, amazing people that help in so many ways. I am humbled to be connected to so many talented, wonderful people, and together we are going to redefine commercial adventure sailing – that’s pretty exciting!

What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?

The biggest challenge is accepting the scale of what we’re doing here – It was actually when we joined Yachting Ventures in Dubai and won the SMART Yachting award. M3 said our plans could disrupt the whole yachting industry and it hit home that a 90% reduction in environmental impact is hugely significant. The other challenge is deciding where to invest our limited time and money – making every penny count – because you need to make a lot of hard choices “pre-funding” – everyone has great ideas on how to spend the money you don’t have!

·Any bits of advice for entrepreneurs getting started in this space?

Any startup is a tough journey. I have the advantage of having supported numerous entrepreneurs on the journey, so I know how hard it can be – but even so, it is like being constantly hit in the face, falling down and getting up again. Talk to other founders, if they tell you it’s all an amazing, exciting and fantastic journey, they’re simply lying!

So, talk to people who have been on the journey and are transparent about the highs and lows. Look for opportunities to collaborate wherever you can, because especially when you have limited funds, partnerships are the way to make magic happen. Give trust and help others as much as others help you.

What's the plan for the future of the business? Where do you see the company in 3-5 years?

Within five years, we will operate the worlds largest fleet of custom built, 'Net-zero' adventure sailing vessels – leasing them to sailing operators worldwide. The future of sustainable adventure sailing is coming and it’s called ExpeditionZero!


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