Kelly Rosenblatt Kelly Rosenblatt
Senior Manager, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


October 10, 2019


Claire Herring, CEO of Blue Ocean Brain

To better highlight the impressive members of the small business community, we sat down with the 2019 Dream Big Award finalists to learn more about their startup stories, the challenges they have faced, and what the future of business looks like to them. We chatted with Claire Herring, CEO of Virginia-based Blue Ocean Brain, a microlearning company with a fresh and modern take on learning and training programs. Here is what Claire had to say (what follows has been lightly edited for length and clarity):

Q: What inspired the creation of your business? What problem does it help to solve?

Back in 2010, my co-founders and I noticed that people weren’t taking time to learn and invest in their own careers. Action-packed schedules left little time for compliance training, much less time to explore other learning opportunities. Even when time did allow, digital learning was lengthy, and the user experience was cumbersome. We set out to design learning that would inspire 21st century learners. Blue Ocean Brain was founded to create exceptional learning served up in the way our brains learn best. Hundreds of clients later, Blue Ocean Brain has evolved into a diverse organization with a global client portfolio. Despite the rapid evolution, the heart of Blue Ocean Brain remains the same. We are a microlearning company that believes in the potential of all employees, one learning lesson at a time.

Q: What gets you up in the morning?

The excitement that goes with the uncertainty of what each day will bring, along with the hope that we are inspiring people to do great things at work!

Q: When it comes to your business, what has been your proudest moment to date?

Our proudest moments have come when learners around the globe have written to us telling us how Blue Ocean Brain has changed their work life. We had a gentleman from India write to us and let us know that the number one thing that helped him feel valued and connected to his company was the daily learning he received through Blue Ocean Brain.

Q: If selected as the winner of the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, how will you invest the $25,000 grand prize?

We will use the prize to fuel the growth of our diversity and inclusion learning offering by hiring four to five new content writers.

Q: What words of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Embed the needs of your customer in everything you create. Investigate their needs, ask good questions, collaborate, iterate and confirm that you are bringing value to the people or businesses you are targeting to serve. Then, every day, put one foot in front of the other. Solve problems, test new ideas, make mistakes and then celebrate success you find along the way.

To learn more about the 2019 Dream Big Award finalists, click here.

About the authors

Kelly Rosenblatt

Kelly Rosenblatt

Kelly Rosenblatt is the Social Media and Digital Operations Project Manager at the U.S. Chamber.

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