Services & Activities

The Ocean Startup Project organizes and delivers services and activities that range from ongoing to one-off, formal to informal, and direct to indirect offerings. Our primary activities include the Ocean Startup Challenge, Creative Destruction Lab, and Lab2Market Oceans. Additionally, we go the extra mile to inform you and spark your inspiration, connect you to the right resources, boost emerging innovators, host networking sessions, and consult about market needs.

Ocean Startup Challenge

The Challenge is open to diverse entrepreneurs and innovators from rural, Indigenous and urban communities across Canada, and internationally, who have innovative solutions to ocean industry problems. During the initial phase in 2020, the Ocean Startup Challenge awarded 14 prizes of $25,000 and business support to the winning startups and scaleups, involving individuals and teams who are developing technologies that have large market potential. Even applicants who are not selected as Challenge winners still benefit from training during invitation-only bootcamps, and guidance and support from partnering organizations in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem. For more info, visit oceanstartupchallenge.ca

Creative Destruction Lab (CDL – Atlantic), Oceans stream

CDL – Atlantic, a seed-stage program for massively scalable, science and technology-based companies, has launched an oceans-specific specialty stream. Each cohort of upward of 20 companies takes tech founders through an objective-setting process to enhance their performance and improve the likelihood their companies will succeed. The cohort gains: mentoring from top-notch industry entrepreneurs and angel investors; advice on tech roadmaps; support for business development; and opportunities to raise capital. The CDL Oceans stream focuses on ocean technology companies using sensors, data, robotics and autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics and AI, and other disruptive technologies that could transform the sustainable ocean economy. For more info, visit creativedestructionlab.com

Lab2Market Oceans

To seed Canadian universities with the skills necessary to commercialize research, Lab2Market (L2M) Oceans equips participating teams with entrepreneurial skills and mindsets necessary for successfully taking research out of labs and out to customers in the marketplace. This intensive, seven-week long program awards each team up to $15K to participate. Every team consists of three members: a graduate student (advanced Master’s, PhD or postdoctoral student), a faculty member who already supervises the student’s research, and an industry mentor. L2M Oceans is delivered by Memorial University and made possible thanks to our supporters: Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and our six pan-Atlantic founding partners. For more info, visit lab2market.ca

Informing and sparking inspiration

By hosting regular webinars featuring ocean entrepreneurs, ocean industry leaders and ecosystem partners, and creating engaging content that highlights ocean innovators, we have reached countless individuals keen to contribute to Canada’s ocean economy. We have also hosted bootcamps designed to help early stage teams at startups develop core competencies like managing intellectual property, business model canvas, design thinking, lean startup methodology and more. When we announce calls for applications for our formal activities, we host info sessions to share details about upcoming cohorts and how to improve your chances of a successful application.

Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Connecting and partnering

We take pride in helping you connect with organizations and people in the innovation ecosystem that align with your current needs. You can count on us to watch for ways to connect you with our extensive domestic partners and international ones too. To stay plugged in, we also present and hold virtual exhibits at external events and organize cross-ecosystem collaborations.

Networking

From virtual meetups to open-mic pitch sessions to in-person and online Engage Cafés, we organize and host ways to bring diverse groups together. These networking sessions are free to attend and typically involve engaged groups. Follow us on our social channels or check the News and Events section of this website to register for future sessions.

Consulting for market needs

Promising early stage innovators and startup teams have access to our Executive in Residence and other team members who have in-depth, ocean-focused business expertise to share. Through our Emerging Innovators Program, you could: be matched to experienced industry mentors or partners, receive recommendations for professional programming available elsewhere in the innovation ecosystem, uncover gaps in your business plan via feedback and using our ocean idea development white paper, and be part of our quarterly mock pitches to gain input that strengthens how you present to prospects like customers, investors, funding agencies or partners.

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