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.
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. Included on the shortlist is one company from Vancouver.
SeaHawk Robotics develops and operates multi-domain UAV-based ocean observation systems that disrupt current paradigms by improving access, increase safety, and reducing costs of data collection.
“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.
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.