OceanHub Africa Acceleration Program 2023

Accelerating innovative ocean impact-for-profit startups in Africa

OceanHub Africa is launching the fourth cohort of its eight-month acceleration program to support up to twelve 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


May 14, 2023
Program dates Jul 6, 2023 - Feb 9, 2024
Organizer OceanHub Africa
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Artificial intelligence, Big data, Biomass, Biotechnology and medical research, Clean technology, Clean technology and energy, Cloud solutions, Consumer durables, Consumer non-durables, EdTech, Education, Environmental services, 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)
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

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 in an in-person training 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, 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 and remote sessions using online tools and communication methods.”

Eligibility criteria

  • 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.


  • 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
  • 15 June: Final selection and announcement to Selection Committee.
  • 18 June: Public announcement of start-ups selected
  • 6 July: Program starts for 8 months
  • 9-13 October:  In-person Bootcamp in an in-person capital city (TBA)
Graduation will take place during the next Ocean Innovation Africa Summit (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 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.