Ocean Innovation Africa - OceanHub Africa Acceleration Program 2023 Movemeback African initiative cover image


OceanHub Africa is launching the fourth cohort of its eight-month acceleration program to support up to twelve of Africa’s most promising impact for-profit startups focused on preserving and restoring the health of the ocean.

The accelerator is on a mission to support ocean-minded start-ups with the express aim of nurturing an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that effectively mitigates the effects of global warming as well as the overexploitation and pollution of the oceans. Leveraging its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, it will deliver to the accelerated start-ups an online program that seeks out sustainable pathways yielding stable profits (ROIs) and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa.

Become part of OceanHub Africa portfolio will allow you to:

  • Unlock a network of leading ocean experts, mentors (entrepreneurs, investors, innovation experts, impact experts, scientists, lawyers, etc.), impact investors and potential clients
  • Get support to fast-track your growth by acquiring new customers or running your first Proof of Concept, and scaling your business through commercial contracts and fundraises
  • Engage with like-minded entrepreneurs within the Blue Economy space


  • Your start-up is ocean-minded: it has a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution or overexploitation of the ocean)
  • 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

Selection Criteria

Impact and Vision

  • How much is environmental and/or social impact embedded into your culture and/or part of your long term goals
  • How impactful is your business with respect to ocean pollution, overexploitation, and/or tackling global warming and its effect on oceans

Business Model

  • Product-market fit and market potential
  • Innovative approach
  • Current traction and/or growth strategy
  • Scalability


  • IP owned
  • Business built on reliable technology(-ies) including both software and hardware
  • Innovation
  • Adaptability and scalability


  • Team size
  • Team background
  • Relevance of distribution of responsibilities, priorities
  • Ambition and passion


Service Package:

  • Up to $75k worth of cloud service thanks to our partner AWS Activate
  • Over $40k worth of mechanical engineering design software licences for prototyping and virtual testing, thanks to our partner 3DExperience Lab
  • Access to Dassault Systèmes, Amazon Web Services and international marketplaces and/or salesforce for finished products of accelerated startups
  • Legal advisory sessions with Sidley Austin (multinational law firm) worth up to $50k
  • Advisory sessions with: Mercator Ocean International on data management, Blue Oceans Partners (ocean impact Venture Capitalist fund), Ocean14 Capital ocean impact Private Equity fund), WWF-SA, Dept. of Oceanography University of Cape Town, EuroSIMA (OceanTech experts) and more!

Mentorship & Support

  • Participation in an in-person training bootcamp
  • Tailored business skills and personal development 1-1 coaching
  • Sales, Product Development, Communication and Business Development Support
  • Access to our network of scientific, business, impact and investment experts from international corporations, foundations, universities and IGOs


  • Access to networking events and conferences, including a stand and stage time at the Ocean Innovation Africa annual summit
  • Access to potential clients (market leads) for local and international expansion
  • Access to our international network of ocean-impact incubators/accelerators to scale overseas
  • Access to key external partners

Fund-Raising Support

  • Potential funding of up to 10k USD
  • Support in preparing and running investor pitches, including training sessions with partner investors directly
  • Support in structuring deals, including reviews by transactional and commercial lawyers
  • Access to a large portfolio of impact investors part of our ecosystems (inc. SWEN Blue Oceans, Ocean14 Capital, Finca Ventures, Conservation International Ventures, Builders Vision, AquaSpark, Athelia …) as well as corporate venture capitalist funds

About Ocean Innovation Africa

Ocean Innovation Africa is a platform that showcases African ocean-impact initiatives and convenes international entrepreneurs, corporate entities, investment groups, research groups, NPOs, and authorities working in the Blue Economy ecosystem in Africa. We believe that innovations led by science, technology and entrepreneurship will provide the necessary leverage points to deliver system level impact, substantially contributing to solving ocean pollution, over-exploitation of ocean resources and climate change, at a magnitude and pace matching those of the ocean crisis. Ocean Innovation Africa is hosted by Catalyze Events, an expert in conference and business event planning in Africa, and overseas promotion of African businesses, and OceanHub Africa, a Cape Town based catalyst initiative that supports African ocean-impact ventures through its acceleration program.