Canada’s oceantech ecosystem leads first-ever OceanFest for entrepreneurs, innovators and investors

July 13, 2023  |  ,
Jen Laplante - Canada's Ocean Supercluster speaking to OceanFest attendees in Montreal
MONTRÉAL (July 13, 2023) ― National and regional organizations that support and drive Canada’s blue economy gathered today in Montréal for OceanFest 2023. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Ocean Startup Project and Novarium rallied to hold this first-time, in-person event that focused on entrepreneurship and early stage oceantech companies. OceanFest took place as part of the annual Startupfest, which over the past 13 years has earned billing as one of the world’s must-attend startup conferences.

“Canada is home to some of the best ocean startup ecosystems in the world, where early stage companies are increasingly looking at ocean applications and first-use cases for their innovation. The global ocean economy is set to outpace the growth of the broader economy by 20 per cent and in the work we do every day we see first hand that this is a space where Canadian companies can lead,” said Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

From presentations to pitches, from booths to networking, and from expert advice to informal meetings, OceanFest provided entrepreneurs, founders, innovators, startup teams and investors with plenty of opportunities to explore Canada’s blue economy. OceanFest partners engaged with hundreds of people throughout the day.

“The ocean startup ecosystem in Canada has so much momentum. OceanFest brings together founders, partners, industry and a growing number of ocean investors. Oceans represent one of the biggest economic and impact opportunities Canada has in the next century and OceanFest will showcase that.” said Don Grant, Executive Director of the Ocean Startup Project.

In addition to the three propelling partners for this event, the ecosystem partners for OceanFest included: Altra | Sanexen, Aqua Action, DeepSense, FLOTS, Port of Montréal, Port of Québec, and Secretariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes.

“Bringing together nearly a hundred partners at OceanFest is proof of our determination to perform better and to structure the development of the blue economy in Quebec and in Canada. More and more startups are offering solutions with strong growth potential for the development of maritime resources and the application of technologies in marine engineering and intelligent navigation. We must continue to accelerate the deployment of these solutions worldwide, thanks to our many international collaborations, so that Québec innovations are recognized globally,” said Martin Beaulieu, founder of Novarium and CEO of La Zone Bleue.

For more information about OceanFest, visit

About the Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly capable, inclusive workforce. The OSC has approved 86 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 130 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information, visit

About Novarium
Novarium is an innovation campus dedicated to the blue economy and that is generating synergies between Quebec entrepreneurs, research centres, investors and industry. Its vertically-integrated accelerator FLOTS supports startups and industrial partners in the development and commercialization of sustainable solutions that tackle the most pressing climate challenges, such as ocean preservation. Founded by Martin Beaulieu, PhD, entrepreneur and CEO of La Zone Bleue, Novarium is also part of an international blue economy innovation network, and acts as a major catalyst for maritime knowledge with more than a hundred researchers involved in the fields of oceanography, marine biotechnology, marine engineering, data management and marine biology. For more information, visit

About the Ocean Startup Project
The Ocean Startup Project is making Canada the best place in the world to start and grow an ocean company. As a co-funded national collaboration, our offerings complement existing industry accelerators, incubators and other support organizations across Canada’s world class innovation ecosystem. The Ocean Startup Project’s activities are possible thanks 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). For more information, visit

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