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Den y Dreigiau – Getting to Know PlantSea


A first-of-its-kind hybrid event matching some of the most exciting start-ups and small businesses in north Wales with investors looking for their next big deal, Business News Wales are joining forces with Menai Science Park, GlobalWelsh and other for Den y Dreigiau – a major Angel and Seed-funding Pitching event.

Eight companies developing forward-thinking solutions in a range of vital sectors from health to artificial intelligence to marine biology and much more will be pitching for between £300k-£1.5M to investors and investor groups from across the UK and beyond, including the Development Bank of Wales, the GlobalWelsh investment network, GS Verde Investment Network and more.

PlantSea are one of the pitching companies. Read on to find out more about their company and their aspirations for the event from Co-Founder Gianmarco Sanfratello.

Who are PlantSea and what does your business do?

PlantSea is developing an innovative platform seaweed-derived technology. Versatile, biodegradable and compostable materials to replace plastics. Our vision is Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution. PlantSea owns IP on their technological processes to improve a unique seaweed-derived material for the production of materials suitable for application in the food packaging, cosmetics and agricultural industries.

When was PlantSea founded and what have been your major milestones so far?

PlantSea was established when first awarded at the InvEnterPrize competition in April 2020 organized by the Business School at Aberystwyth University. PlantSea boats a multidisciplinary team including the three co-founders Alex Newnes, Gianmarco Sanfratello and Rhiannon Rees, who are also co-directors. The founders decided to start a biotech company looking at the research and development of innovative material derived from seaweed. To date PlantSea team manages three feasibility studies for commercialization of new product concept applications in packaging, cosmetics and agricultural industries.

As a business owner, why did you decide to establish your business in Wales?

Since the three co-founders were based in Wales and we got to know the potential support that Welsh government and other Welsh organizations can provide to lead research and innovation for start-up businesses, we wanted to start our business here.

What about M-SParc attracted you to become a tenant there?

We heard of M-SParc when we started collaborating with Bangor University and were attracted by the locations, the spaces, the affordable lease and also by the smart look of the building. The location is great for connection with the rest of the UK which certainly ease the networking between businesses.

Where do you see PlantSea in five years’ time?

PlantSea in five years’ time will be generating revenue as the current patent application will be completed and technology licences for the production of our innovative material will be distributed across many of the packaging manufacturers which have already expressed in adopting the technology.

Explain what being involved in Den y Dreigiau means for you and your business?

Den y Dreigiau is a great opportunity for PlantSea to pitch and share our vision. The start-up is ready for investment rounds aiming to fully patent the technology and drive research to commercialization. We are currently supported by public funding, but private investment is needed to boost the business growth and keep securing our IP.

What do you hope to achieve from the event and what support will you be looking for?

We really want to leave a positive impression and raise interest among the investors. We are looking for raising £500,000 within the next year to be able to bring our first product concept to commercialization by 2024. We already have scheduled a two-year project in collaboration with Bangor University’s Biocomposites Centre, expert in bio-based materials, and Tri-Wall, international company leader in the cardboard manufacturing.

If you were successful in securing support at Den y Dreigiau, how would it help take your business to the next level?

If support is secured through private investment, this will help to complete R&D on our first product concept and bring it to commercialization through our business partner manufacturer Tri-Wall, and funds will support the improvement of PlantSea board team with qualified and experienced staff needed for sales and commercialization with focus on international markets.

Where can we learn more about your business?

Please follow us by checking out the website and our LinkedIn page, or if you want any further information please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing [email protected].

Business News Wales