African-based start-ups have until Sunday, 22 May 2022 to apply to an eight-month acceleration programme presented by OceanHub Africa. The third cohort will seek innovative solutions that would support overcoming the overexploitation, pollution or climate change challenges the continent’s ocean is currently facing.
The programme is set to run from mid-July until the end of February 2023. In a media release, OceanHub Africa says it aims to support ocean-impact ventures by accelerating their exposure, innovation and financial capacities.
Since its launch in 2020, the Cape Town-based accelerator has supported 16 African ocean-minded start-ups in various sectors of the so-called blue economy. This includes aquaculture, fisheries, shipbuilding, marine renewables and biotechnologies, coastal tourism and ocean sports, awareness and education, data exploration and the ocean plastic circular economy.
In total, the OceanHub Africa business accelerator has supported them to raise $5.4 million.
The next edition of the Pan-African accelerator is described as a hybrid event. It includes an in-person bootcamp in Cape Town, which will cover training sessions on access-to-market, investment readiness in the impact space as well as feedback sessions on pitches.
At the end of February 2023, the accelerator will organize the fourth edition of Ocean Innovation Africa, its international Summit dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the African Ocean Space. During this event, the start-ups selected for the acceleration program will have the opportunity to showcase their innovation, pitch their business and network with potential investors, policy makers and corporates involved in the ocean innovation space.
Following the end of the programme, the selected candidates will take part in OceanHub Africa’s alumni programme through which they will benefit from fundraising, business development and networking support.
- Your start-up must be ocean-minded. It must have a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution or overexploitation of the ocean) and promote ocean equity.
- You are a for-profit and operate in Africa.
- You have a scalable service or product available on the market or soon to be available on the market.
- Your product or service is clearly innovative and/or your business model is disruptive.
- You are looking for investments or new markets.
Start-ups from previous cohorts include the South Africa-based Inseco that farms insects and turns them into a high-protein powder for fish farming purposes. Its solution allows to prevent overfishing of bait fish which, although commonly used to produce fish meal in the aquaculture sector, are essential to the marine food chain.
Soso Care in Nigeria is a social for-profit business which proposes a waste-to-health service. The startup allows people in underserved communities to redeem plastic recyclables to finance their yearly health cover, contributing to solving Nigeria’s plastic pollution and access to health challenges.
Plant Biodefenders in Tanzania has developed a climate resilient and organic pesticides proven more efficient than harmful pesticides against two of the main invasive pests affecting crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Named Vuruga, the patented biopesticide can not only contribute to food security and increase revenues for small scale farmers but it can also help regenerate coastal and marine ecosystems by resorbing spillage of chemicals into the ocean.