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4Ocean starts local, stays local for new global headquarters

A Boca startup ocean cleanup with a public service mission has expanded into the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University. 4Ocean just moved into the former Modernizing Medicine building, said park president Andrew Duffell. The park will be the new global headquarters with room to grow, he added.

The building had been vacant for about 12 months, Duffell said. The medical software company moved into a former IBM space at BRIC, Boca Raton Innovation Campus.

FAU alumni Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze started 4Ocean in 2017 after finding a plastics-covered beach in Bali. “Their eyes were opened to the magnitude of the ocean plastics crisis. They vowed to do something about it,” according to their web site that keeps a running tab on collected trash. On Monday, it was more than 8.3 million pounds.

Besides Bali, the company’s now in Haiti and just announced a presence in Puerto Barrious, Guatemala, said the firm’s Tim Binder. 4Ocean has a contract with the city to keep Boca’s waterways debris free, the city confirmed.

With a link to FAU and plans to fund research on ocean pollution, the company was a natural for the research park, Duffell said. They’ve maintained close ties to the university, especially FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. “They wanted to be closer to the university, faculty and students,” Duffell said.

4Ocean has about 60 employees here and 200 globally, Binder said. Their web site started by selling bracelets to help them identify, capture trash and change consumer habits. Now they’ve expanded into other message merchandise at www.4ocean.com

By Marci Shatzman

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