OceanHub Africa
Acceleration Program

Calling for innovative ocean-minded startups

OceanHub Africa is launching the fourth cohort of its eight-month online incubation program to support up to ten of Africa’s most promising impact-for-profit startups focused on preserving and restoring the health of the ocean, while developing equitable and sustainable livelihoods.

The accelerator is on a mission to support ocean-minded startups 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 ocean. Leveraging its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, it will deliver to the accelerated startups a program that seeks out sustainable pathways yielding stable profits (ROIs) and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa.

What You Can Expect

Becoming part of OceanHub Africa portfolio will allow you to

Unlock a network of leading ocean experts, mentors, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation experts, scientists, lawyers, authorities, potential clients, impact investors...

Engage with like-minded entrepreneurs within the Blue Economy space in Africa and abroad.

Get support to fast-track your growth by acquiring new customers or running you first Proof of Concept, and scaling your business through commerical contracts and fund raises.

What We Offer

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 to an in-person training bootcamp in Cape Town
  • Tailored business skills and personal development 1-to-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 non-dilutive funding of up to 10k USD from OceanHub Africa
  • 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
  • OceanHub Africa is a nominator organization seeking to promote its cohort to The Earthshot Prize.


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

You are 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

Our Selection Criteria

Impact & Vision

Positive Impact on the ocean
Aligned vision with OceanHub Africa

Business Model

Market & Traction
Commercial Value
Strategy for growth & scalability


Expertise & Background
Ambition & Passion



Timeline 2023

  • 31 March–14 May: Application period
  • 7 April-20 May: Screening of the applications
  • 24 May: Announcement of short-listed start-ups
  • 25 May – 3 June: Virtual pitching of shortlisted candidates
  • 14-15 June: Pitching session in front of the final selection committee
  • 21 June: Final selection and announcement to Selection Committee.
  • 3 July: Public announcement of start-ups selected
  • 6 July: Program starts for 8 months
  • 9-13 October:  In-person Bootcamp in an in-person in Cape Town
  • Graduation will take place during the next Ocean Innovation Africa Summit (exact date to be confirmed)


What we expect from entrepreneur(s):

    • Availability (at least 1.5 full-time equivalents dedicated to the project).
    • Transparent communication and cooperation.
    • 2 key C-level team members minimum involved in the acceleration program.
    • Commitment to cover the traveling cost of 1 representative for the in-person bootcamp in an African capital city (air transport and visa).
    • Reporting to OceanHub Africa and to other stakeholders.
    • Success fees of up to 3% on the next fundraising (over the duration of the program + 2 years) and success fees of up to 10% on commercial contract obtained through OHA’s introductions.