The Ocean Startup Project is awarding $1.4 million to 40 early stage ocean technology companies through the Ocean Startup Challenge as part of efforts to foster ocean innovation in Canada.
In recognition of 2021 marking the start of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, this year’s competition placed a focus on sustainable ocean
solutions for the blue economy.
“The quality of sustainable ocean solutions brought forward by these founders is what will continue to define Canada as a global leader in the blue economy,” said Don Grant,
Executive Director of the Ocean Startup Project. “Because of the momentum in Canada’s ocean startup ecosystem, and the strength of the founders and ideas brought forward, we
felt compelled to fund twice as many early stage ocean startups.”
The number of winners more than doubled compared to last year’s Challenge, with a high calibre of applicants submitting solutions that were evaluated by industry-leading reviewers.
The 2021 cohort of challenge winners includes three from Vancouver.
Seahawk Robotics and A20 Advanced Materials were Growth Stream winners which consisted of multiple awards of up to $100,000. The Growth Stream is designed for early stage companies with impressive milestones and some traction.
Seahawk provides increased access to ocean data by using drones capable of landing on water and deploying sensors below the surface. A20 is developing the next generation of underwater adhesive and bonding coatings.
Traxe Technologies was a Idea Stream winner of awards up to $25,000. The Idea Stream was designed for entrepreneurs or teams early in their development. This stream is for Canada-based entrepreneurs with ideas or pre-revenue ocean technology companies.
Traxe is developing a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solution for seafood supply chain management software companies, enabling them to deliver seafood traceability to their stakeholders; namely retailers, end consumers, and the government.
“Continued support from the Ocean Startup Challenge will be pivotal in the development of our technology and our business”, said Derek Puzzuoli, Co-Founder and CEO of Seahawk
Robotics. “Last year’s program provided resources that allowed us to expand our capabilities and applications, as well as make meaningful connections with other leaders working in the sector,” said Puzzuoli.
The Ocean Startup Challenge will kick off on October 20th at a welcome event for the founders.
Over the coming months, companies and their teams will work with an Executive in Residence and industry mentors to help them gain a strong early stage foundation so they can demonstrate a proven market interest for their solution.