Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $8M Ocean Startup Project – Phase 3 

For Immediate Release 
July 11, 2024 

(Montreal) Today, at the second annual Oceanfest event at Startup Fest, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) alongside project partners announced Phase 3 of the Ocean Startup Project. With a total project value of $8,020,000, the OSC is providing $5 million in funding, with $2.0 million in funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), $450 thousand from Mitacs and the balance coming from industry partners.  

In 2020, the OSC announced its first innovation ecosystem project called the Ocean Startup Project, bringing together regional incubators and accelerators across Atlantic Canada to work together collectively for the first time to inspire, initiate, and invest in new and early-stage ocean companies. Now pan-Canadian in focus, the Ocean Startup Project has helped more than155 new ocean ventures become established and just four years after being announced, was named a top accelerator in North America by Startup Genome’s global report on the strongest startup ecosystems in the blue economy for 2023.  

Led by New Brunswick Innovation Foundation in collaboration with partners including Technopole Maritime du Quebec; Invest Nova Scotia; Genesis Centre (NL); PEI BioAlliance; Springboard Atlantic; Creative Destruction Lab (Dalhousie University); and COAST Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (BC) will continue to build on this momentum and help make Canada the best place to start and grow an ocean company. 

The global ocean economy is expected to outpace the growth of the broader economy by 20 per cent by 2030. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, together with organizations across the country have launched a five times growth ambition called Ambition 2035. This is a platform that is transformational in nature, but hinges on the ability to nurture and grow more Canadian ocean companies to help deliver on this opportunity. 

Quick Facts – Ocean Startup Project Impacts: 

  • Supported 155+ companies through programming such as Lab2Market Oceans, Ocean Idea Challenge, Ocean Communities Climate Challenge, Ocean Startup Challenge, CDL Oceans to support ocean startups  
  • Distributed approximately $3.2 million in funds 
  • Created more than 350 direct jobs in Canada (and more than 1,000 indirect) 
  • Challenge winners have raised more than $19 million 
  • Several challenge winners have since gone on to lead or partner on projects through Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. 

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster 
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 100 projects which will deliver more than 220 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit 

About the Ocean Startup Project 
The Ocean Startup Project propels Canada as the top destination for ocean entrepreneurs, driving innovation across the ocean economy. Our mission is to transform Canada into a global hub where ocean startups can thrive, from inception to global market presence. Leveraging a network that includes Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and partners from across the country – Genesis, Springboard Atlantic, PEI BioAlliance, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF), Technopole Maritime du Québec (TMQ), Invest Nova Scotia, and the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST) – we bolster Canada’s innovation ecosystem for ocean-focused startups. Our efforts have catapulted us to the forefront, being recognized in the top 5 accelerators/incubators in North America and top 10 globally in the Blue Economy sector according to Startup Genome’s Report. Launched in 2020, we’ve quickly become a global contender, not only speeding up market access for Canadian startups but also attracting international ventures. Join us in navigating the future of the ocean economy, where together, we can unlock the ocean’s full potential. 

“Happy OceanFest to everyone! The blue economy is a key part of our future, so let’s celebrate Canada’s leadership and our ocean innovation ecosystem,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Our Ocean Cluster is helping Canadian startups succeed, creating good jobs and fuelling innovation all across the country.”   

“The Atlantic Ocean has always been our region’s competitive advantage. Investing in new, and early-stage firms will make sure Atlantic Canada keeps our advantage for the next generation; creating more jobs and more opportunity, while protecting and preserving the ocean that supports us all.” 
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 

“Today’s announcement of continued investment in the Ocean Startup Project is good news for our province. Nova Scotia’s blue economy is strong, and we look forward to continued collaboration between government and industry to boost innovation in the region’s ocean technology sector.”  
– The Honourable Susan Corkum-Greek, Minister of Economic Development for the Government of Nova Scotia 

“In 2020 when we first announced the Ocean Startup Project it was to help make Canada the best place to start and grow an ocean company. Within four years it was recognized as one of the top accelerators in North America. We are excited to now announce phase three of the Ocean Startup Project which includes a $5 million investment from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, as we work to build on the momentum that has been created and help even more entrepreneurs turn their innovative ocean ideas into thriving ocean companies.” 
– Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster 

“The renewal of the Ocean Startup Project for its third phase is a huge win for Canada’s ocean economy! Over the past four years, we’ve built incredible momentum, helping early-stage ventures create impactful, sustainable solutions and scale to reach global markets. This renewal showcases the extraordinary results we’ve achieved through collaboration with industry, ecosystem partners and incubators. We can’t wait to keep this journey going, inspiring and supporting the next wave of ocean startups, and continuing to elevate Canada’s role in the global Blue Economy.”  
– Paula Mendonça, Executive Director, Ocean Startup Project 

Media Contacts 
Nancy Andrews 
Chief Engagement and Communications Officer 
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster 

Laurie Batten 
Director of Marketing & Communications 
Ocean Startup Project