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Sipping Rum and Shooting Stars - The Perfect Start

It was a balmy summer evening, returning from a night at the local bar, we sat on the deck of the research station I was running on Little Cayman and before we knew it, a company was born.

The 'we' I am talking about is Dr. Karsten Shein and myself, Peter Quilliam. Karsten is a marine climatologist for a respected U.S government organisation, had an idea about turning our static data collectors, known as hobos, into a moving data collection device, something that could be attached to a diver perhaps and the information is collected (somehow) by scientists. It was a great idea, and I loved it.

That evening, in July, we were surrounded by summer thunderstorms with lightening slamming into the sea in from of us, about a million mosquitoes (as Little Cayman was experiencing it's worst outbreak of mosquitoes in about 20 years), the gentle tinkle of ice rolling around the bottom of our glasses, and an occasional shooting star blazing across the night sky. Karsten loves a good rum and when he visits the research station, always came bearing a bottle of his finest sipping rum. We sat on the deck with our feet up and as we sipped the night away, we came up with idea after idea and we knew that we were on to a great thing.

We were about to invent Oceans Eye, the worlds most versatile data recorder and dive log all wrapped in a small portable shell - that night there was nothing that it couldn't do. Now we just needed to figure out how.

Over the next few days we added features and ideas and worked on the basis that nothing was impossible. We came up with the name of our company and called it Sea Crowd. This was related to the premise that we were relying on a large 'crowd' of divers around the world all diving with Oceans Eye in what we determined would be one of the largest marine citizen science projects devised.

So that was the start of what would lead to many sleepless nights developing our concept and creating a proper business plan we could take to investors. It was the start of a long road, and we couldn't do it all ourselves. We needed to build a small loyal team of advisers and partners. I will introduce you to them in the next blog along with some lessons learned as a startup company running before it could walk. Until then, see you on the top side.

Peter Quilliam MD Asia Pacific

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