Competition to Reward Innovators and Entrepreneurs Who Can Solve Ocean-Related Industry Challenges

HALIFAX, NS (June 5, 2020) – Today, the Ocean Startup Project launched a competition, the Ocean Startup Challenge, 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. To that end, the Ocean Startup Challenge is designed to find and support innovators and companies developing products or technologies that can be applied to solve such challenges. There has never been a better time to start and grow an ocean company in Canada.

The 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 respective 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



Donald Grant, Executive Director, Ocean Startup Project