OceanHub Africa Acceleration Program 2021

Accelerating innovative ocean impact-for-profit startups in Africa


OceanHub Africa is launching the second cohort of its six-month acceleration program to support up to six 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.

What you can expect

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.

Find feedback from our previous cohort here


    What we offer

    Service Package:

    • Up to $25k worth of cloud service thanks to our partner AWS Activate
    • Free access to IoT prototyping thanks to our partner SigFox (Sqwidnet)
    • 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 SigFox international marketplaces and/or salesforce for finished products of accelerated startups
    • And also advisory sessions with: Cullinans&Associates (international environmental law firm), BVPG (commercial and transactional law), 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

    • Hands-on mentorship from our team of mentors
    • Tailored business skills and personal development 1 to 1 training
    • Sales, administrative and HR support
    • Access to our network of scientific, business, impact and investment experts from international corporations, foundations, universities and IGOs

    A huge 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 expansion
    • Access to our international network of ocean-impact incubators/accelerators to scale overseas
    • Access to key external partners

    Fund-Raising Support

    • Support in preparing and running investor pitches, including training sessions with 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. Blue Oceans Partners, Ocean14 Capital, Finca Ventures, HAVAIC, Sky Ventures, AquaSpark, Fynd Ventures, Athelia … …) as well as corporate venture capitalist funds

      Note: this year, our programme will be operated remotely and delivered using online tools and communication methods.



        • 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 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


        Timeline 2021

        • 20 Jan-5 March: application period
        • 5-12 March: screening of the applications
        • 12 March: announcement of short-listed start-ups
        • 16 & 17 March: pitch training
        • 19 March: pitching session in front of the final selection committee
        • 24 March: announcement of start-ups selected
        • 6 April: program starts for ~6months

        Gradutation will take place during the next Ocean Innovation Africa Summit (last week of Nov – first week of Dec 2021. Exact date to be confirmed)


        High-Level Terms

        What we expect from the entrepreneur(s):

        • Availability (at least 1.5 full-time equivalent dedicated to the project)
        • Transparent communication and cooperation
        • Reporting to OHA and punctually to other stakeholders
        • Success fees of 5% on the next fundraising (over the duration of the program + 2 years) and success fees of 10% on commercial contract obtained through OHA’s introductions


        March 12, 2021
        Program dates Apr 6 - Oct 8, 2021
        OrganizerOceanHub Africa
        Website Visit website
        Targets Africa
        Environmental services, Consumer non-durables, Agritech, Artificial intelligence, Big data, Biomass, Biotechnology and medical research, Clean technology, Clean technology and energy, Cloud solutions, Consumer durables, EdTech, Education, Fish farming, Green transportation and electric motors, HealthTech, Hydropower, Internet of things (IoT), Leisure and travel, Manufacturing, Packaging, Renewable energy, Software as a Service, Solar power, Sports and wellness, Tourism, Transport and logistics, UAVs (drones), Virtual reality, Waste management and recycling, Water, sanitation and hygiene, Wind power
        SDG (9)
        11. Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, 13. Climate Action, 14. Life Below Water, 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal, 2. Zero Hunger, 6. Clean Water and Sanitation, 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure