Our Team

Scott Schmidt

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Scott graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration of Finance. He has extensive start-up, operating, financial, and managerial experience, where he has earned a strong understanding of accounting, project management, logistics, marketing, and financial reporting. Scott began his career with the co-founding of Impulse One, a full-service CPG marketing company, where he oversaw the development of SOP's, sales and marketing campaigns, brand development, the development of an international supply chain, managed compliance with FDA, USDA, and the Department of Agriculture in all 50 states, oversaw one corporate acquisition, one joint venture with a public company, and managed growth to over $21M in revenues. Shortly thereafter, Scott made his first real estate investments and subsequently co-founded a real estate syndicate, Building Forts Real Estate Investment Fund, and Climbing Fences, a real estate construction company, where he serves as CEO and President, respectively. In 2014, Scott co-founded Venice Fixes, a bicycle marketing and e-commerce platform, where he served as Chief Operating Officer and oversaw sourcing and logistics. Venice Fixies turned a profit in year 1 and was divested. Scott Schmidt currently serves as Chief Investment Officer of the Schmidt 2001 FLP and manages equity and debt investments in the petrochemical, medical, real estate, and beverage industries, and maintains a Directors role in the early and growth-stage companies.

Brian Schmidt

Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer

Brian graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Supply Chain Management. Over the past 5 years Brian has produced and managed artists and logistics for events including hosting over 100,000 people in a single weekend. He has organized international tours, planned live content entertaining hundreds of thousands, and managed complex artist relationships. He prides himself on consistently applying his environmentalist ethos and supply chain management expertise to ensuring that his events are socially conscious and environmentally sustainable. Brian currently serves as Artist Relations Manager for Electric Zoo Festival (90,000 attendees) and Imagine Music Festival and Artist Relations Manager (60,000 attendees). Brian also serves as Music Department Manager and Artist Relations Manager for Summit Series, an invite-only event series curated for industry leaders. Summit creates unique gatherings and events designed to catalyze entrepreneurship, creative achievement, and global change to create a more joyful world. Speakers and performers have included Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Kendrick Lamar, Reed Hastings, and Quentin Tarantino. Brian is working now to connect the Summit community and the artists that he has worked with throughout his career to direct attention to the potential of seaweed solving humanity's problems.

Brandon Scott Barney

Co-Founder and Director of Research & Communications

Brandon is an American broadcast journalist and serial entrepreneur with a social conscience. He is co-host of Southern California's longest running public radio program covering the digital revolution: KPFK 90.7 FM's Digital Village Radio. His segment, DigitalCulture.LA, co-produced and co-hosted with Brittney Gallagher, is on investigation into the history and future of science and technology and how computers and the internet are changing our society. Mr. Barney is a leading researcher on technological disruption and has advised government officials and corporate leaders from around the world on the impacts of emerging technologies. Brandon is committed to the advancement of the Southern California and specifically the innovation ecosystem known as Silicon Beach. Mr. Barney manages the Non-Profit, Intellectual Property, and Startup groups at the Barney Law Firm. He trains students of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds in after school and summer school programs throughout Southern California that provide Americans with real world experience on the front lines of technology working with the most innovative organizations to solve the biggest problems facing humanity. Brandon has made his home in the creative soul of Los Angeles: Venice Beach. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Venice Symphony Orchestra and the Open Temple and he volunteers at the Israel Levin Senior Center helping Los Angeles' most senior citizens live well. Brandon is working now to connect Silicon Beach to the new blue economy and the potential of seaweed to heal the sea, soil and air.

Macrocystis Pyrifera

Giant Kelp

M. pyrifera is one of the fastest-growing organisms on Earth. They can grow at a rate of 60 cm (2 ft) a day to reach over 45 m (150 ft) long in one growing season.

Duncan Preston

Chief Advisor

Duncan Preston is a Project Director at Helena. Duncan has over 20 years experience in global energy markets with specific experience in investing and operating in Africa. He has held senior positions in Europe, Africa, and Asia working on long-term development of energy businesses. Recently, Duncan has focused on investing in green and renewable energy businesses primarily in off-grid markets in emerging markets:, particularly Africa. Despite difficult operating environments, these markets provide solid fundamentals for scaling out new businesses. Duncan joined Helena as he saw that despite people wanting to improve their carbon footprint, there was frustration at all stages in the market. Consumers didn’t know their choices; innovators can’t find R&D support, and developers can’t find financing or scale their businesses. He hopes that Helena can use its network and expertise to help facilitate the development of ground-breaking technologies and businesses in order to make an impact on global emissions without being forced to cut economic development. Duncan holds a First Class degree in Economics from the University of Southampton in the UK. He is based in Dubai and Los Angeles.

Mark Chasan

General Counsel and Advisor

Holistic attorney (Exemplar Companies-Blockchain/ICOs, Cleantech, Natural Brands, Digital Media, Regenerative Economy), Eco-social entrepreneur & regenerative community developer (AWE Global, Inc.); Internet veteran, digital media pioneer and serial entrepreneur with a public exit (Emusic); Fortune 50 executive (IBM); and Whole systems integrator, strategist & finance consultant that helps eco-social companies & entrepreneurs obtain the resources they need to succeed as well as increase both personal and organizational wellness, wisdom and wealth (Transformative).

Brian Esposito

Strategic Advisor

Brian (37), a United States Citizen, and Founder & President of Esposito Intellectual Enterprises, LLC (EIE) www.eie.rocks. EIE ultimately became a holding company for over 20 years of work, business startups, and investments. Focuses stem from manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality and hotel development, restaurants, commercial real estate, liquor, technology, media, energy, oil & gas, TELCOM, aviation, space, maritime, music, TV & Film, education, beauty, medical technology, security, hemp, and fashion. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to any team with his drive, ethics, and passion of connecting executives around the globe. LinkedIn Profile link: http://linkedin.com/in/brianjesposito

Maximiliano López Frisbie


Max is Professor of Aquaculture at UABC and CEO of Albiomar. Max has expertise in the cultivation and processing of Macrocystis and various aquacluture species.