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In February 2020, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced one of its first approved projects: The Ocean Startup Project, an effort to create, grow, and attract high-quality ocean technology companies.

The project was founded on the collective belief that Atlantic Canada with its diverse, innovation ecosystem is ideally suited to play a catalyzing role for our country to realize its potential as a global leader in ocean innovation. The initiative will also prepare entrepreneurs and innovators to take advantage of opportunities in the ocean economy.

Six pan-Atlantic partners founded and backed the project including Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) - Atlantic, Genesis, Innovacorp, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, PEI BioAlliance, and Springboard Atlantic.

The Ocean Startup Project's initial phase concentrates on connecting with entrepreneurs and researchers to identify ideas and companies with the potential to solve challenges facing the ocean sector. The project's next phase will be on acceleration and incubation programs to prepare companies for success.

Success would see the project acting as a driving force in doubling the number of ocean startups in the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem, increasing commercialization and generation of intellectual property, and boosting collaborations between ocean startups and end-users.

“The Ocean Startup Project represents an unprecedented collaboration and investment to grow more ocean companies in Atlantic Canada. This is an incredibly important part of building capacity, expanding our capabilities, and setting ourselves up for success as we embark on what we know will become a $3 trillion global ocean opportunity by 2030,” said Ocean Supercluster CEO Kendra MacDonald.

Ocean Startup Project

The Ocean Startup Project supports innovators and entrepreneurs through:

Events & training opportunities

The Ocean Startup Project hosts events, workshops and boot camps to help create connections between industry leaders and startup innovators and boost the entrepreneurial capacity of our ocean community.

Ocean Startup Challenge

The Ocean Startup Challenge supports innovators who are tackling major challenges in the ocean industry. In the first phase of the Challenge, up to 10 companies will receive $25,000 and guidance to help further validate their solution. Companies that succeed in the first Challenge will have access to a second competition where winning entries will each receive up to another $200,000.

Lab2Market Oceans

Lab2Market Oceans gives Ph.D. students, mature graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows the training they need to move promising technologies from the concept phase in an academic lab out to customers. With $15,000 to fund each Lab2Market Oceans project, these candidates learn the customer development process, gain entrepreneurial training, grow their professional networks, and improve their odds of commercial success. Lab2Market ocean is led by Memorial and Dalhousie universities, in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick and the University of Prince Edward Island.

CDL–Atlantic Ocean Stream

CDL–Atlantic is a seed-stage program for scalable, scientific- and technology-based companies. The oceans-specific stream focuses on the digital ocean. The aim is to support ocean technology companies that are looking to transform the sustainable ocean economy using sensors, data, robotics and autonomous vehicles, and predictive analytics and artificial intelligence.

Upcoming Ocean Startup Project events:

  1. $25K Ocean Startup Challenge (June 4 to August 14)
  2. Lean Canvas Workshop, with Memorial University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (July 9)
  3. Ocean Innovators Meetups (July 16, August 13)