Ocean Startup Challenge offering cash prizes to innovators who turn tech into “a wave of opportunity”

Published on
July 22, 2020

Applications are still being accepted for the Ocean Startup Challenge, a competition aimed at supporting innovators in developing and implementing new technologies to solve large ocean problems.

Developed by the Ocean Startup Project, a pan-Atlantic collaboration driven by Canada's Ocean Supercluster, the challenge seeks “to help identify and support innovative companies and individuals who are working on ideas or technologies that could solve major challenges faced by ocean industries,” the organizers said in a press release.

Ideal application candidates are startups that want to solve major ocean industry challenges, specifically in the following areas: aquaculture, fisheries, healthy oceans and ecosystems, bioscience, energy, ocean transportation, or enabling technologies and data analytics. These areas were identified by industry and thought leaders as producing critical pain points, and give “startups a head start with pre-identified industry needs,” the Ocean Startup Project explained.

There is a bounty of rewards up for grabs for companies participating in the challenge, organizers said, including: one of up to 10 prizes of CAD 25,000 (USD 18,643, EUR 16,114) to prototype or develop their solution (and up to another CAD 200,000 [USD 149,147, EUR 128,919] later, if they are selected as winners for phase 2 of the challenge); access to a roster of engaged mentors and innovation leaders ready to guide them; training through foundational bootcamps and other virtual sessions; key resources, support, and connections that innovators need to succeed, including sharing more than CAD 48,000 (USD 35,789, EUR 30,940) in collective services and resources from in-kind sponsors; and a curated experience to help them leverage Atlantic Canada's extensive and supportive innovation ecosystem.

“Applicants who are not among the prize winners will still benefit from training during invitation-only bootcamps, as well as guidance and support from partnering organizations in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem,” the Ocean Startup Project said.

The application deadline has been set for 14 August at 11:59 p.m. ADT. Companies chosen to move on in the challenge will be notified on 4 September, and will carry out their pitch presentations from 22 to 24 September. Finalists will then be selected on 28 September.

Six Atlantic Canadian organizations are behind the Ocean Startup Project: Innovacorp, NBIF FINB, BioAlliance, Springboard, Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic, and Genesis. The collaborative functions on the belief that “Canada is the best place to launch and grow an ocean technology company,” according to the Ocean Startup Challenge website, where interested parties can submit their applications and learn more about the competition.

Photo courtesy of the Ocean Startup Project

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