Partnerships & Collaborations – Meet Alex Ridout

Next post
Alex Ridout head of partnerships seabin project

Meet Alex Ridout, pictured on the right, our Head of Partnerships. With an incredible work history in the NGO space and passionate about the beach, environment and outdoors, Alex is a fantastic addition to the Seabin team. A born communicator, Alex is a networking extraordinaire and is surprised every day by the incredible companies she gets to work with through Seabin.

If you’ve ever wondered what the day in the life of a Head of Partnerships looks like, read on to get to know Alex!

Hi Alex, welcome to the team! Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up by the beach in Australia, have lived and travelled extensively overseas and have eventually found my way back, currently based beachside in Sydney. After spending a lot of time exploring and working across the USA, Asia and the EU, I’m a firm believer in being global and connected to the world.

I’ve always tried to have the ocean on my doorstep, aside from a dry stint in NYC where I settled for the Hudson! I’m a dog person even though my family nickname is Cat; I’m a middle child, so whilst I’m chilled and easy going, I’ve got some issues; I can talk about almost anything and enjoy it; and I’ve always been super interested in people and placed huge value on my relationships and friendships.

What are some of your favourite hobbies? How do you spend your spare time?

When I’m not working, and need to chill, you’ll probably find me on the water, reading or sleeping. When I want to have fun, I’ll hang out with my mates and eat or I’ll hit the shops – I take my shopping very seriously and couldn’t think of a better day than one spent trying on clothes with mum. Aside from that, I love the outdoors and sport; travelling and exploring, fly fishing; talking smack; and drinking the perfect Campari (preferably in a seaside Italian town).

What first sparked your interest in working for start-ups?

I’d been working with companies who were pushing boundaries through innovation and dealing with driven self-starters in my previous job at Advance, so naturally, I was drawn to the start-up space. Part of my role had been to identify exceptional & entrepreneurial Global Australian’s and that’s how I came across the Seabin Project – I was attracted to the company because of the passion and purpose driving the organisation.

Solving Problems Collaboratively

At Seabin, we’re all about creating something new, solving problems and pushing out the frontiers to improve the health of the planet – I find this stimulating and rewarding. It’s never dull, you have to be a self-starter and it’s always all hands-on board! Whether it’s emptying the Seabins and analysing the data, to building meaningful working relationships.

There is a lot to like about working in the start-up space but things I appreciate most is that exposure to a deep level of ownership and responsibility; the scope of opportunity; and you get to dip your toe in all aspects of a business. The learning and growth opportunities are endless if you want them to be. Having worked for NGOs and big businesses in the past, this is a good transition for me – I’m literally learning new things every day!

Tell us, where have you previously worked?

My first big gig out of Uni was at consulting firm Deloitte. It was the perfect job to introduce me to business, the working world and provide me with basic skills and train me up. I worked with some great people there who I still keep in touch with and come across in my current role. After a break travelling the world, I worked at a Multicultural Marketing firm, creating in-touch advertising for Chinese, South East Asian and Muslim audiences in Australia for clients like Telstra and Woolworths.

I found myself in the NGO space after that, working for a company that provided educational tools and programs to the regional and low-socio economic areas of Australia.

Managing Programs and Partnerships

These roles made my transition to Advance an easy one – a Not-for-profit, in the global space, managing programs and relationships. Through Advance, I galvanised my interest in innovation and Australian companies at the cutting edge of new technologies. One of these companies was Seabin Project.

Advance had some great supporters and networks – companies like Dow Chemical, CSIRO and Atlassian as well as the federal government. The biggest reward however was meeting all the incredible Australian’s who were pushing the boundaries around the world in their field. These relationships have been helpful in my new role.

What does the day in the life of a Head of Partnerships look like?

Well… because the Seabin Project has now become an accidental global brand, we get an overwhelming amount of corporates and businesses approaching us to align their company, products or their missions with us. And my job is to see how we can partner up and make something happen. Part of my job is also to reach out and approach people we would like to align ourselves with, to look for sponsorship, CSR or Sustainability program budgets which assists Seabin Foundation.

Seriously, no day is the same…which is what makes it so fun!

Some days begin with a call to a US-based company who are using recycled plastics to build tarmacs for airport runways. An hour later I might be speaking with a beauty company that use sustainable materials to produce their packaging and are keen to collaborate – or even one of the world’s largest beauty brands that want to start making a difference! After that, it could be a face to face with a cool French Venture capitalist group who have opened an arm in Australia to support start-ups in the sustainability space; and after that, when Europe is waking up, it could be a Spanish sock company that want to collaborate around an ocean collection for their new sock line!

Other times I’ll be hands-on emptying one of the Seabin’s in Sydney Harbour and talking away with the marina folk who host our Corporate Sponsored Seabin’s. I also work out of a great co-working space, WorkClub, which is a hub for creative and driven businesspeople, which makes the quieter days more interesting!

Another important part of the job day-to-day is simply being around people and telling the Seabin story. Seabin Project are really supportive of things like attending conferences and other relevant events help to really spread the message of Seabin and allow me to meet likeminded people.

What’s been the best thing about working for Seabin?

Working for a purpose driven company that’s honestly making a real difference. That excites and encourages me. We only have one earth (at this stage anyway!) and it’s so important that we use innovation and passion to protect and preserve it as best as we can. I’m also constantly being surprised by how many people really care – I see this in people across the board, from corporate’s working in oil and gas; to boat owners and surfers; to the 14-year-old boy who’s concerned about the future.

Aside from that, the team’s pretty great!

Alex Ridout head of partnerships seabin project

Alex (right) and Seabin COO Mahi out on the Ocean in Sydney Harbour

Being a company focused on cleaning our water, with the added bonus of a cracking business, made the Seabin Project an easy fit for Alex.

Global attention drives us towards a more sustainable future

With so much global attention on the health of our oceans, the issue of plastic pollution is growing by the day. Big brands, corporates and even start ups are looking at ways to do that little bit more for a healthy and sustainable future. The issue is so large that it is nearly impossible for any one person to solve the issue alone, this is why the team at Seabin Project are focusing on partnerships and collaborations.

If you’re looking to work with Seabin Project, Alex is here to help. Whether you’d like to donate, collaborate or look at a long-term partnership, we’re looking forward to working with you. The future for Seabin is an exciting one, and we’re always looking to partner with like-minded brands and companies that want to support our planet.

A big thank you to Alex for taking the time to sit down with us, and if you’d like to get in touch, you can send her an email here.

Subscribe to our newsletters