HALIFAX, NS (September 30, 2020) – The first-ever Ocean Startup Challenge has awarded 14 startup companies with $25,000 each to help the companies advance their technologies and increase market adoption. They will also receive industry support, including coaching from an Executive in Residence. The companies were among 31 shortlisted to attend online bootcamps, receive one-on-one coaching and pitch to the Ocean Startup Challenge final judging panel last week.
Organizers had planned to announce 10 winners of the 2020 Ocean Startup Challenge, but the calibre of the startups led the judges to extend that pool to 14 winners. While all the shortlisted companies showed promise, the winning companies came out on top by convincingly showing that they understood the markets, had innovative technologies and the right team to execute on plans to solve major ocean challenges.
“The winners of the Ocean Startup Challenge showed strong potential to build globally competitive, market-focused solutions,” said Melody Pardoe, Chief Engagement Officer of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. “Through the judging process it became clear that more and more innovators are identifying and pursuing opportunities in ocean sectors, and we’re very excited to see these teams advance their business through the Ocean Startup Project and contribute to Canada’s economic growth.”
From the outset, the Ocean Startup Challenge had a diverse cross-section of 158 applicants from around the world. The 14 winning companies represent startups from British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Washington, D.C. The Ocean Startup Challenge sought companies that would thrive in Atlantic Canada’s ocean tech ecosystem and would potentially find new partners or customers immersed in that ecosystem.
- ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial vessels
- sustainable and traceable fisheries
- advanced processing techniques and new materials
- robotics operating below the waves, at the sea surface and in the air
- extracting added value from ocean byproducts using artificial intelligence and machine vision to enable more
- efficient processing and inspection
- and more
superior sustainable lobster bait substitute based on seafood co-products, replacing environmentally challenging commercial bait fish species.
HALIFAX, NS (September 8, 2020) – After 158 applications flooded in for the Ocean Startup Challenge, the industry reviewers have shortlisted 31 companies to vie for 10 prizes of $25,000 and in-kind support from partners.
“Applicants accepted our challenge by proposing creative solutions to solve industry hurdles, with more than a third of the shortlisted companies having ocean technologies in the earliest stages of development,” said Don Grant, Executive Director, Ocean Startup Project. “Another 19 shortlisted companies applied with working prototypes.”
The shortlisted solutions involve environmental monitoring, reducing marine mammal entanglement in fishing gear, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, technologies to reduce corrosion and biofouling, networks of sensors and analysis tools, sustainable bait alternatives, vision systems, underwater communications and IoT networks, value-added by-products, fish health, and much more.
Nearly two-thirds of shortlisted companies proposed ways to overcome challenges in fisheries and aquaculture. Many of them touched on other challenge areas too, including a fifth of the applicants bringing forward solutions to address healthier oceans, more sustainable transport, and enabling technologies. Additionally, several proposals included solutions to topics in the bioscience and energy challenge areas.
All the shortlisted companies are encouraged to attend invitation-only, virtual bootcamps and will stand to benefit from guidance and support from partnering organizations in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem. The training is designed to arm the innovators and entrepreneurs with the skills to get their solutions to the next stage and prepare for pitch sessions to the final judges.
“We were pleased by the breadth of applications, and the overall response from coast to coast to coast within Canada, and from around the world,” added Grant. “The quality and influx of applications reinforce the momentum and opportunities in this country’s ocean sector.”
For a short description of each company’s technology and where they are located, visit https://www.oceanstartupchallenge.ca/shortlist/. The shortlisted companies are:
- 3F Waste Recovery (Main Brook, NL)
- Acoustic Bait Technologies (Antigonish, NS)
- Aquafort (St. John’s, NL)
- Blue Lion Labs (Waterloo, ON)
- Copsys Industries Inc. (Halifax, NS)
- Dartmouth Ocean Technologies (Dartmouth, NS)
- Ghost Fishing Busters (Porters Lake, NS)
- Glas Ocean Electric (Halifax, NS)
- Grand River Robotics (Waterloo, ON)
- Greenoil Solutions (Frasers Mountain, NS)
- Harmony Desal (Cambridge, MA)
- HydroNet (Menlo Park, CA)
- Impactful Health Research and Development Inc. (Montréal, QC)
- In Nature Robotics (Hanwell, NB)
- Kavacha (Canoe Cove, PE)
- Marecomms Inc. (Halifax, NS)
- Marimetrics Technologies Inc. (Dartmouth, NS)
- Orcinus Technologies (St. John’s, NL)
- Pelagis Data Solutions (Point Edward, NS)
- Planetary Hydrogen Inc. (Gatineau, QC)
- Polyamyna Nanotech (St. John’s, NL)
- Prosaris Solutions (Hammonds Plains, NS)
- qualiTEAS (St. John’s, NL)
- SeaChange Biochemistry Inc. (Clark’s Harbour, NS)
- SeaHawk Robotics (Vancouver, BC)
- Sedna Technologies (Dartmouth, NS)
- Sentry: Water Monitoring and Control (Charlottetown, PE)
- Subait Inc. (Dartmouth, NS)
- Tracker Inventory Systems (Sydney, NS)
- Virgil Group LLC (Washington, D.C.)
- WeavAir (Toronto, ON)
About the Ocean Startup Challenge
The Ocean Startup Challenge is a competition designed to support innovators who are developing technologies that can be applied to large ocean challenges. The Challenge is led by the Ocean Startup Project, the first Innovation Ecosystem Project announced by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. The Ocean Startup Project is a pan-Atlantic collaboration to create and grow high-quality ocean technology companies and attract more ventures to the region’s ecosystem. Collaborators include: Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – Atlantic, Genesis, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance, and Springboard Atlantic. In-kind supporters of the Ocean Startup Challenge include BDO Canada, Enginuity, IGNITE, McInnes Cooper, Propel, and Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre.
HALIFAX, NS (June 5, 2020) – The Ocean Startup Project has launched the Ocean Startup Challenge, a competition for innovators and entrepreneurs from rural, Indigenous and urban communities, across Canada and internationally.
While the world’s ocean economy is projected to reach $3 trillion by 2030, to achieve that potential industry must first overcome significant challenges. The Ocean Startup Challenge is designed to find and support innovators and companies developing products or technologies that can be applied to solve challenges experienced by the ocean industry.
Those challenges span aquaculture, fisheries, ocean transportation, bioscience, energy, healthy oceans and ecosystem services, energy, enabling technologies and data analytics.
“For the Ocean Startup Challenge, we sought input from industry and thought leaders who shared their top pain points across each of those areas,” said Don Grant, Executive Director, Ocean Startup Project. “Based on that input, the Challenge presents innovators with a pre-identified potential market need and asks them to step up to apply their ideas or technologies as ways to solve the challenges.”
For the Challenge’s initial phase, up to 10 prizes of $25,000 each will be awarded to the winning startups and scaleups to prototype their solutions. Winners will also receive key resources, support and connections that innovators need to succeed, including sharing $18,000 in collective services and resources from in-kind sponsors. They may also be eligible to participate in a follow-on Ocean Startup Project activity, involving up to another $100,000 awarded to finalists. Even those who are not selected as winners during the Challenge still stand to benefit from training through invitation-only, virtual bootcamps as well as guidance and support from partnering organizations in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem.
“We welcome applications with innovative solutions and perspectives that could have a major impact on industry and the ocean economy,” added Grant. “The Challenge is an opportunity to identify, support and grow the next Canadian ocean tech success stories.”
The Ocean Startup Challenge is led by the Ocean Startup Project, the first Innovation Ecosystem Project announced by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. The Ocean Startup Project is a pan-Atlantic collaboration to create and grow high-quality ocean technology companies and attract more ventures to the region’s ecosystem. Collaborators include: Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – Atlantic, Genesis, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance, and Springboard Atlantic.
In-kind supporters of the Ocean Startup Challenge include BDO Canada, Enginuity, IGNITE, McInnes Cooper, Propel, and Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre. For more information about the Ocean Startup Challenge, visit oceanstartupchallenge.ca.