Australian startup accelerator and environmental investor Ocean Impact Organization (OIO) is once again organizing its annual Ocean Impact Pitchfestto find, support and accelerate startups working on solutions to transform ocean health.
Startups have a chance to win a cash prize of A$50,000, with an additional $50,000 up for grabs for startups working on specific ocean challenges and areas of opportunity.
At the Ocean Impact Pitchfest, launched in 2020, more than 400 startups from more than 45 countries have signed up for the program
Last year’s winner was sea forest, a Tasmania-based startup that grows asparagopsis seaweed that is used as a supplement in livestock feed and reduces methane emissions by up to 98%.
Co-founder and CEO Sam Elsom said it was a great honor for Sea Forest to win Pitchfest 2021.
“Our goal has always been to make rapid progress and make a meaningful impact on climate change through emissions reduction,” he said.
“We still have a long way to go, but the support the company is getting through Ocean Impact Organization will help Sea Forest scale its science and engineering IP to create a sustainable seaweed aquaculture industry, regional employment and deliver educational opportunities and positive environmental outcomes for Planet Ocean”.
The 2020 runners-up include a renewable energy company Wave swell energy, which has successfully tested its “blowhole-inspired” technology in Bass Strait off King Island; and Great cover, which converts food waste into compostable stretch film. The company recently raised $11 million in a Series A for its new Melbourne manufacturing facility.
OIO Co-Founder and CEO Nick Chiarelli said they were delighted to host another Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022, thanks to the support of HP Australia and 50+ partners including the NSW Dept of Planning and Environment.
“Since launching the project in 2020, we have seen incredible growth in the global ocean impact innovation ecosystem and in us as an organization,” he said.
“We are constantly inspired by the amazing startups taking matters into their own hands to solve some of Planet Ocean’s big challenges. We can’t wait to see what this year’s Pitchfest reveals.”
This year’s Pitchfest also includes the $10,000 Spotlight Awards, which span five categories: Plastic Pollution Solution, Ocean Monitoring Solution, Sustainable Ocean Harvesting Solution, and Ocean Climate Solution, plus the inaugural NSW Ocean Innovation Award.
Ocean impact showcase
In addition to Pitchfest, the winner, runners-up and Spotlight Award recipients will be announced live during “INNOVOCEAN”, OIO’s new flagship event to showcase innovative new technologies that improve ocean health.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment supports INNOVOCEAN on November 24 at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. A series of ocean impact startups will showcase their solutions alongside live pitches from startups in today’s world Ocean Impact Accelerator Program 2022.
Six startups from Australia, Asia and the US are currently participating in the 7-month program and pitching for investments to build their innovative ventures.
Funded by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the inaugural event includes a special Pitchfest award for a startup working on ocean health solutions in NSW.
Applications for the Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022 are now open until September 20.
Apply at: ocean-impact.org/