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NEIA members 3F Waste Recovery and qualiTEAS among winners of Ocean Startup Challenge

From The Ocean Startup Project:

HALIFAX, NS (September 30, 2020) – The first-ever Ocean Startup Challenge has awarded 14 startup companies with $25,000 each to help the companies advance their technologies and increase market adoption. They will also receive industry support, including coaching from an Executive in Residence. The companies were among 31 shortlisted to attend online bootcamps, receive one-on-one coaching and pitch to the Ocean Startup Challenge final judging panel last week.

Organizers had planned to announce 10 winners of the 2020 Ocean Startup Challenge, but the calibre of the startups led the judges to extend that pool to 14 winners. While all the shortlisted companies showed promise, the winning companies came out on top by convincingly showing that they understood the markets, had innovative technologies and the right team to execute on plans to solve major ocean challenges.

“The winners of the Ocean Startup Challenge showed strong potential to build globally competitive, market-focused solutions,” said Melody Pardoe, Chief Engagement Officer of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster. “Through the judging process it became clear that more and more innovators are identifying and pursuing opportunities in ocean sectors, and we’re very excited to see these teams advance their business through the Ocean Startup Project and contribute to Canada’s economic growth.”

From the outset, the Ocean Startup Challenge had a diverse cross-section of 158 applicants from around the world. The 14 winning companies represent startups from British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Washington, D.C. The Ocean Startup Challenge sought companies that would thrive in Atlantic Canada’s ocean tech ecosystem and would potentially find new partners or customers immersed in that ecosystem.

Diversity went beyond geography to the makeup of the companies’ innovators. Fifty percent of the winning companies have women founders or co-founders, and two of the companies have founders or co-founders with Indigenous roots. The winning company founders are focused on solutions involving:

  • ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial vessels
  • sustainable and traceable fisheries
  • advanced processing techniques and new materials
  • robotics operating below the waves, at the sea surface and in the air
  • extracting added value from ocean byproducts using artificial intelligence and machine vision to enable more efficient processing and inspection
  • and more

“The judges looked for the best of the best across varied market sectors, geography and technology readiness,” said Donald Grant, Executive Director at the Ocean Startup Project. “The innovators wowed us with their passion for entrepreneurship and overcoming problems facing our
oceans.”

Click here to see the list of winners and a description of their projects.

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