Kelly Zheng is not your typical doctoral student. Juggling her PhD at the University of Waterloo with a graduate business degree, she's utilizing her research in quantum machine learning to make a real-world impact. Her startup, Coastal Carbon, co-founded with Thomas Storwick, is revolutionizing the way seaweed growth—critical for carbon sequestration—is measured. Thanks to the Entrepreneurial PhD Fellowship, Zheng is fast-tracking the commercialization of her research, providing a seamless and cost-effective solution for measuring seaweed and facilitating carbon offsets.
Coastal Carbon has already gained traction, winning multiple startup awards and securing pilot projects. The fellowship has equipped Zheng with both the hard and soft skills needed to drive her venture forward. Through the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program, she's been able to apply course content directly to Coastal Carbon's day-to-day operations. It's not just the coursework but the community around it that has enriched her journey, offering diverse perspectives that are shaping the future of her innovative startup.