OceanHub Africa Acceleration Program 2022

Accelerating innovative ocean impact-for-profit startups in Africa


OceanHub Africa is launching the third cohort of its eight-month acceleration 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.

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.
  • Engage with like-minded entrepreneurs within the Blue Economy space.

Check the startups of our previous cohorts here


What we offer

Service Package:

  • Up to $75k worth of cloud service thanks to our partner AWS Activate
  • Free access to IoT prototyping thanks to our partner Macrocomm
  • 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
  • Advisory sessions with: Cullinan & Associates (international environmental law firm), Cape AI on machine learning and AI implementation, Macrocomm on data management and implementation of IoT, 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 in Cape Town
  • 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

Note: this year, our program will be operated  in a hybrid format with 1 in-person bootcamp in Cape Town and remote sessions 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 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


Timeline 2021

  • 4 April – 22 May: Application period
  • 23-27 May: Screening of the applications
  • 27 May: Announcement of short-listed start-ups
  • 31 May – 7 June: Pitch training
  • 15 June: Pitching session in front of the final selection committee
  • 20 June: Final selection and announcement to Selection Committee.
  • 13 July: Public Announcement of start-ups selected
  • 18 July: Program starts for 8 months
  • 7-13 August:  In-person Bootcamp in Cape Town

Gradutation will take place during the next Ocean Innovation Africa Summit (in February 22 Exact date to be confirmed)


High-Level Terms

What we expect from the 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 Cape Town (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


    May 22, 2022
    Program dates Jul 19, 2021 - Mar 18, 2022
    OrganizerOceanHub Africa
    Website Visit website
    Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Southern Territories, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia
    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