Lab2Market Oceans: A nationwide call for graduate and postdoc research students to get paid to gain business skills

June 9, 2023  |  ,
Logo for Lab2Market Oceans / Logo du programme Lab au Marché Océans During Ocean Week Canada and on the heels of World Oceans Day, the Ocean Startup Project with the support of its partners launched a call for applications for its fourth cohort of Lab2Market Oceans.

In alignment with other Lab2Market Validate programs, Lab2Market Oceans is a 16-week program (8 weeks fulltime) that welcomes virtual participation by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and recent graduates from any Canadian university, nationwide.

Through Lab2Market Oceans, participants will gain new skills, validate their ocean research and explore potential business opportunities. Student and postdoc participants also get a $15 000 stipend.

Lab2Market Oceans is part of the Ocean Startup Project, hosted by Memorial University, in collaboration with the University of Victoria, and supported by the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Mitacs and Springboard Atlantic.

“Making Canada the best place to start and grow an ocean company includes ensuring that the talented researchers within Canadian post-secondary institutions have the skills and the option to follow a commercialization path,” said Don Grant, Executive Director at the Ocean Startup Project. “The support of our partners is essential for delivering Lab2Market Oceans nationwide. Preparing participants to graduate with an entrepreneurial foundation is not only good for them, but also for the impact their research can make on the oceans and this planet when effectively rolled out and commercialized.”

A total of 57 teams have participated in Lab2Market Oceans since the program started in 2020. Participants interviewed 2,553 customers to date and more than 24 teams have continued to pursue entrepreneurship, commercialization or accelerator/incubator programming. Cohort III’s numbers from 2022 have yet to be tallied and added to the 24 figure. So far, Lab2Market Oceans teams have raised more than $850,000 in funds.

“Lab2Market Oceans helps emerging innovators and entrepreneurs from Canadian universities receive essential support as they address challenges and take advantage of opportunities related to the ocean sector.” said Dr. Paula Mendonça, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Memorial University. “Participants are opening up new doors as they enhance their professional networks, explore new business ventures and foster a better understanding of the ocean ecosystem.”

Student and postdoc participants form a team with their supervisor or a faculty member as the team’s technical lead. Teams also get access to an industry mentor and experts who will guide the teams in learning entrepreneurial methodologies and business best practices with topics such as customer discovery, market sizing, stakeholder engagement, intellectual property, regulatory processes, revenue stream, cost structure, and more.

Lab2Market Oceans, which is part of the Lab2Market Validate stream, will be accepting applications from June 08 to July 31, 2023 for the January 2024 cohort. Prospective applicants who have questions are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming information sessions, which will be repeated weekly on Mondays, from June 12 through to July 31 at 4pm NDT/ 3:30pm ADT/ 2:30pm EDT/ 11:30 PDT. More information, including how to apply, can be found at

About the Ocean Startup Project
The Ocean Startup Project inspires, initiates and invests in early stage entrepreneurs, making Canada the best place in the world to start and grow an ocean company. The project team creates and delivers activities to support ideation through commercialization, for innovators and entrepreneurs from industry to academia. As a co-funded national collaboration, the Ocean Startup Project offerings complement existing industry accelerators, incubators and other support organizations across Canada’s world-class innovation ecosystem.

Our activities are possible due to support from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and our partners: Genesis Centre (NL), Invest Nova Scotia (NS), Creative Destruction Lab (CDL – Atlantic), New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NB), Prince Edward Island BioAlliance (PE), Springboard Atlantic, Technopole Maritime du Québec (QC), and the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (BC). Together with our partners, the Ocean Startup Project is accelerating how homegrown startups get their technologies to market and is attracting international companies to Canada’s shores.

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