OceanHub Africa
Acceleration Program

2024

Calling for innovative ocean-minded startups

Calling for innovative ocean-minded startups OceanHub Africa, Africa’s leading enabler of ocean-impact entrepreneurship, is excited to announce the launch of the fifth cohort of its eight-month acceleration program. This initiative aims to support up to fifteen of Africa’s most promising impact-driven for-profit startups dedicated to preserving and restoring the health of the ocean. 

What You Can Expect

Joining the OceanHub Africa portfolio offers you: 

     Access to a network of leading ocean       experts, mentors (entrepreneurs, investors,            innovation experts, impact experts,         scientists, lawyers, etc.), impact investors,                        and potential clients.

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

Hands-on support to accelerate your growth, including customer acquisition, executing your first Proof of Concept, and scaling your business through commercial contracts and fundraising.

What We Offer

Service Package

  • Up to $75k worth of cloud service through our partner AWS Activate.
  • Over $40k worth of mechanical engineering design software licences for prototyping and virtual testing, courtesy to our partner 3DExperience Lab.
  • Access to Dassault Systèmes, Amazon Web Services, Hubspot support, and Notion Premium.
  • Legal advisory sessions with Sidley Austin, Bowmans, and Lex Mundi (multinational law firms) based on your targeted market, valued at up to $50k.
  • Advisory sessions with: Mercator Ocean International, Blue Oceans Partners, Ocean14 Capital, WWF-SA, Dept. of Oceanography University of Cape Town, EuroSIMA, and more!

Mentorship & Support

  • Participation in an in-person 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, universitites, and intergovernmental organisations.

Network

  • 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 conducting investor pitches, including training sessions with partner investors directly
  • Assistance in structuring deals, including reviews by transactional and commercial lawyers
  • Access to a diverse portfolio of impact investors and corporate venture capitalist funds
  • OceanHub Africa is a nominator organization seeking to promote its cohort to The Earthshot Prize.
Note: Our program will operate in a hybrid format, combining one-week in-person bootcamp sessions, in-person participation in the annual Ocean Innovation Africa Summit, and remote sessions using online tools and communication methods.

Eligibility

Your startup is ocean-minded, having a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution, or overexploitation)

You are a for-profit entity operating in Africa.

You offer a scalable service or product either on the market or soon to be launched.

Your product/service demonstrates innovation and/or your business model is disruptive.

You are seeking investments or exploring 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

Team

Expertise & Background
Ambition & Passion

Technology

IP Owned
Reliability
Innovation
Adaptatibility & Scalability

Timeline 2024

  • 23 March –  5 May: Application period
  • 11 April & 22 April:  Online Q&A Sessions
  • 7 April- 19 May: Screening of the applications
  • 21 May: Announcement of short-listed start-ups
  • 23 May – 31 May: Pitching preparation for shortlisted candidates
  • 5-6 June: Pitching session in front of the final selection committee
  • 13 June: Final selection and announcement to Selection Committee.
  • 28 June: Limit date to sign contract and Public announcement of start-ups selected
  • 4 July: Program starts for 8 months with an online kick-off session
  • 9-13 October:  In-person Bootcamp in an African capital city (TBA)
  • First Quarter 2025: Graduation in-person during the  Ocean Innovation Africa Summit (exact dates to be confirmed)

High-Level Terms

What we expect from entrepreneur(s):

    • Availability (at least 1.5 full-time equivalents dedicated to the project).
    • Limited commitment to other support programs concurrently.
    • Transparent communication and cooperation.
    • Involvement of at least 2 key C-level team members in the acceleration program.
    • Commitment to cover the travel expenses (airfare and visa) for 1 representative attending the in-person bootcamp and Ocean Innovation Africa. Accommodation and food support will be provided.
    • Reporting to OceanHub Africa and other stakeholders.
    • Success fees of up to 3% on subsequent fundraising (over the program duration + 2 years) and up to 10% on commercial contracts secured through OHA’s introductions