Skip to content

5th Annual Entrepreneur’s Forum

Click Here for a Gallery of Event Images


A Rising Tide

July 17-18, 2019
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

These are exciting days in marine robotics.  The industry is growing, new companies are being created weekly, and investors are waking to the opportunities in the ocean domain.  Technology created in markets as diverse as additive manufacturing, autonomous cars, and consumer robotics is being repurposed to change how we design, build, and use robots.  The growth is tied to increasing human activity in the ocean.  In marine science, in industry, and in defense, robotics is moving mainstream.  However, substantial challenges remain.  In the 2019 Marine Robotics Entrepreneurs Forum, the discussion focused on defining the challenges facing the industry and framing initiatives we can collectively undertake to accelerate progress.  Working together we can create a rising tide of ocean innovation to understand and wisely use the ocean.



Location: Clark Building, 5th Floor, WHOI Quisset Campus

8:00am – 8:30am Registration and Breakfast
8:30am – 8:45am Welcome and Introduction: A Rising Tide Floats All Robots

  • Jim Bellingham, Director, WHOI Consortium for Marine Robotics
  • Mark Abbot, President and Director, WHOI
8:45am-9:15am Keynote Speaker John Leonard, Toyota/MIT
9:15am – 10:45am Session 1: Perspectives from Entrepreneurs / Lessons Learned

10:45am – 11:00am Networking Break
11:00am – 11:45am Company Flash Talks
Rapporteur: Leslie-Ann McGee, Assistant Director, CMR 

11:45am – 12:45pm Lunch
12:15pm – 12:45pm Lunch Talk Chris Scholin, President & CEO, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
12:45pm – 2:15pm Session 2: Market Trends and Development

2:15pm – 2:45pm Networking Break
2:45pm – 3:30pm Company Flash Talks
Rapporteur: Leslie-Ann McGee, Assistant Director, CMR

3:30pm – 5:00pm Session 3: Launching New Enterprises

5:00pm-6:30pm Networking Reception


Location: Islin Marine Facility, WHOI Village Campus

8:00am – 10:00am Showcase Exhibitor and Demonstration Set-Up
9:00am – 10:00am Long Wave Talks
Location: Smith Conference Room

10:00am – 12:00pm Exhibits, In-Water Demonstrations and Short Wave Talks
Location: Islin Marine Facility

  • 10:00am – 10:30am – Tend Ocean / Drone Tug
  • 10:30am – 11:00am – Teledyne / Benthos UTS Deck Box Subsea Survey with new GPS Feature
  • 11:00am – 11:30am – Short Wave Talk 1 – Robot Operating System (ROS) / Carl Kaiser, WHOI
  • 11:30am –12:00pm – L3 Technologies OceanServer / Iver AUV
12:00pm – 1:15pm (Lunch provided) 
Special Keynote Panel – “The Future of Innovation"
Location: Redfield Auditorium

  • Tom Curtin, Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory/UW & Senior Fellow at the Institute for Adaptive Systems
  • Christine Fox, Assistant Director, Johns Hopkins Applied Research Lab
  • Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (No Slides)
  • Jim Bellingham, Director, WHOI Center for Marine Robotics (Moderator)
1:45pm – 4:15pm Exhibits, In-Water Demonstrations and Short Wave Talks
Location: Islin Marine Facility

  • 1:45pm – 2:15pm – Sea Machines / Autonomous Vessel
  • 2:15pm – 2:45pm – Aquabotix / Swarm Diver
  • 2:45pm – 3:15pm - WHOI / JetYak Remote Surface Vehicle
  • 3:15pm – 3:45pm – WHOI / Assymetric Propulsion
  • 3:45pm – 4:15pm – Short Wave Talk 2 – Roundabout Database / John Reine, WHOI
4:15pm – 5:15pm Reception, Wrap Up and Breakdown
Location: Islin Marine Facility DunkWorks Tour: 4:15pm – 4:45pm. Meet at Tent Podium.