Unlock innovation and impact by joining our Ocean Challenges – mentorship, funding, and global visibility await

Dive into our Challenges, uniquely designed to propel early-stage oceantech startups from initial concept to impactful market presence. Our programming is guided by three foundational pillars: Inspire, Initiate, and Invest, ensuring a comprehensive approach to startup development.

The journey begins with the Ocean Idea Challenge, where startups refine their innovative concepts and explore customer needs. This is followed by the Ocean Communities Climate Challenge, focusing on creating solutions that safeguard ocean ecosystems and support coastal communities. As startups move closer to market readiness, the Ocean Startup Challenge emphasizes product development and market entry strategies. For those on the verge of growth, the Boost Challenge provides the essential funding needed to advance.

Our commitment extends beyond challenges. We’ve built a robust network of partnerships to offer mentorship, networking opportunities, and specialized training, crucial for early-stage startups navigating the oceantech sector. This supportive ecosystem, available to challenge winners and alumni – including Lab2Market Oceans teams, facilitates efficient access to global markets with a clear purpose.

Joining our community means more than participating in competitions; it’s about being part of a dedicated effort towards a sustainable ocean future. Your involvement signifies a commitment to innovation that not only seeks commercial success but also prioritizes the health of marine environments. Your participation drives meaningful advancements in the global Blue Economy.

Ready to impact the sustainability and health of our oceans? Explore the links below for more information on our programs and begin a journey where your early-stage innovations make a lasting difference.


Challenges take place throughout the year for startups at various stages – from idea to market-readiness, there’s a challenge for every Founder

The Ocean Idea Challenge is a competition aimed at budding entrepreneurs to validate sustainable ocean technology ideas. Participants can win up to $10,000, receive mentorship, and access to tech innovation hubs by demonstrating market interest in their ideas. The challenge includes skills training, programming, and requires conducting customer discovery interviews to understand market needs. It’s open to ideas that reduce environmental impact, enhance ocean health, or innovate in ocean resource utilization, covering renewable energy, sustainable aquaculture, green shipping, and circular economy in marine bio-resources. Individuals are encouraged to join to form teams and collaborate across diverse fields.

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Logo for the Ocean Communities Climate Challenge - Défi climatique des communautés maritimes

The Ocean Communities Climate Challenge invites innovators and entrepreneurs who are passionate about ocean sustainability and climate solutions for coastal communities to share their ideas, regardless of the development stage. Previous competitions have included regional municipalities such as the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth (Nova Scotia), the City of Port Alberni (British Columbia), and the Ville de Rimouski (Quebec) as partners, highlighting the commitment to addressing real-world coastal issues with globally scalable opportunities. Ideas should aim to improve ocean monitoring, transition ports to net-zero, foster resilient and circular economies, or preserve natural assets. With over $22,000 in prizes, the top three ideas could each receive up to $7,500 to advance their solutions.

Empowering ocean innovation, this dynamic initiative has funneled over $1.4 million into the dreams of dozens of visionary teams, setting the stage for groundbreaking solutions in the ocean industry. It zeroes in on idea/early-stage startups with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4 or below, igniting efforts to transform local assets into global oceanic triumphs. Winners are catapulted into success with up to $40,000 in awards and an extensive suite of business development support, including personalized programming, mentorship, and unparalleled access to industry experts and networking opportunities. This is more than just funding; it’s about fostering a thriving community of innovative ocean technology companies.

And let’s not forget, Canada shines as a beacon for ocean technology growth. With its vast resources, supportive ecosystem, and collaborative environment, it’s the ultimate launching pad for oceantech companies aiming to make waves on a global scale.

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Ocean Challenge: Boost is a strategic funding initiative designed to propel the growth of ocean technology startups that have previously participated in Ocean Startup Project programs. Tailored specifically for alumni on the brink of commercialization, Boost offers a unique opportunity to secure targeted financial support aimed at achieving critical near-term milestones. By evaluating the team’s composition, the potential impact of the funding, the urgency of the proposed milestones, and the progress since the team’s last OSP engagement, Boost aims to accelerate the development and success of promising ocean tech ventures, helping them navigate the challenges of growth and market entry.

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