Ocean Startup Project Funds 40 Ocean Tech Startups
October 5, 2021 | News Release
(October 5, 2021) – The Ocean Startup Project is awarding $1.4 million to 40 early stage ocean technology companies through the Ocean Startup Challenge as part of efforts to foster ocean innovation in Canada.
In recognition of 2021 marking the start of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, this year’s competition placed a focus on sustainable ocean solutions for the blue economy.
“The quality of sustainable ocean solutions brought forward by these founders is what will continue to define Canada as a global leader in the blue economy,” said Don Grant, Executive Director of the Ocean Startup Project. “Because of the momentum in Canada’s ocean startup ecosystem, and the strength of the founders and ideas brought forward, we felt compelled to fund twice as many early stage ocean startups.”
The number of winners more than doubled compared to last year’s Challenge, with a high calibre of applicants submitting solutions that were evaluated by industry-leading reviewers. The 2021 cohort of Challenge winners includes diverse representation across industries, technologies and founder backgrounds.
The companies are developing innovative solutions to address major global problems in fishing and aquaculture, shipping and marine transportation, renewable energy, climate, and other sectors. Some ideas and technologies emerging from these startups include: carbon capture, acoustic monitoring systems and drones, and sustainable alternatives for seafood bait and fish feed. Of the 40 companies selected as winners, 30% have female-identifying founders and approximately 13% have founders who are Indigenous.
“This was such an exciting journey we got to experience thanks to the Ocean Startup Project’s platform. Being able to work with their amazing team at such an early stage really helped us accelerate our growth, as I am sure it did for so many of the other amazing founders we’ve met here.” said M. Sazied Hassan, Co-founder & CEO of CORSphere. “We look forward to connecting with industry leaders and subject-matter experts, as we hope to expand our network across Canada,” said Hassan.
The Ocean Startup Challenge will kick off on October 20 at a welcome event for the founders. Over the coming months, companies and their teams will work with an Executive in Residence and industry mentors to help them gain a strong early stage foundation so they can demonstrate a proven market interest for their solution. The Ocean Startup Project will also collaborate closely with ecosystem partners to provide workshops and events tailored to ocean founders’ needs.
About the Ocean Startup Challenge
The Ocean Startup Challenge is led by the Ocean Startup Project, a collaborative Ocean Supercluster project that is creating and growing high-potential ocean technology companies and attracting more ventures to Canada’s ocean startup ecosystem. The pan-Atlantic collaborators and co-funders include: Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – Atlantic, Genesis, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance, and Springboard Atlantic. Additionally, the Ocean Startup
Project counts on its supporters: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and the governments of all four Atlantic provinces. Sponsors of the Ocean Startup Challenge include: Cox & Palmer, BMO Canada, RBC, OceansAdvance, DeepSense, Port of Halifax, Emergence, Startup Zone PEI, Emera ideaHUB, Genesis, IGNITE, Enginuity, SEATAC, Volta, Alacrity, En Point and Start-Up Yard at COVE.