Four early-stage ocean technology startups have won the first-ever Ocean Idea Challenge.
The challenge was hosted the Ocean Startup Project, national organization working to make Canada one of the best places in the world to start and grow an ocean venture.
“The high-calibre ocean ideas and founder talent this competition drew out from across the country really illustrates the momentum in Canada’s ocean startup ecosystem,” said Don Grant, Executive Director at the Ocean Startup Project.
Two BC-based companies won the top prizes.
One of them is Vancouver’s OnDeck Fisheries AI, a current New Ventures BC competitor. They will receive $10,000 in funding to continue building an automated video review software for scalable and affordable electronic monitoring of commercial fisheries.
“The Idea Challenge was invaluable in helping us validate our business idea and understand its potential through the lens of prospective customers,” said Alexander Dungate, CEO of OnDeck Fisheries AI.
The other is Burnaby’s PhyCo Health, which will receive $10,000 to continue developing biodegradable and non-toxic bioplastic from seaweed.
Newfoundland-based Seathru Technologies and Nova Scotia-based Sustainable Sea Products will also receive $2,500 each.
“In just over two years, we’ve seen significant growth in early stage ocean startups across this country, and we are so impressed by the cutting-edge technologies being developed and the focus on impacting the health of our oceans,” said Grant.
The Ocean Startup Project team creates and delivers activities to support ideation through commercialization, for innovators and entrepreneurs from industry to academia. After two successful Ocean Startup Challenges, the Ocean Idea Challenge was created to fill a gap in the ocean ecosystem by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs with potential cofounders and team members.