The Australian non-profit Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) is launching an Ocean Impact Accelerator Program and VC fund to back startups with solutions to transform the health of the seas.
OIO has already seen startups and entrepreneurs in 45 countries contact them via programs such as the Ocean Impact Pitchfest, Ocean Impact Ideation Program and the HP Generation Impact Incubator since its launch in August 2020.
Co-founder and CEO Nick Chiarelli said OIO has the goal of accelerating 100 ‘ocean impact’ startups in the next five years.
“It’s high time we realised the enormous potential of the ocean as a source of solutions for a sustainable future. Whether it’s abundant energy from waves and tides; zero emissions transportation; seaweed solutions to sequester carbon or the treasure trove of opportunities to feed 9 billion through ocean harvesting – the potential is endless,” he said.
“Australia can and should be a leader in scaling ocean solutions and that’s exactly what OIO is here to help make happen.”
OIO has partnered with climate-tech startup accelerator EnergyLab to co-deliver the program, and with Impact Ventures to support the raise of a $2.5 million early stage ocean health venture fund to invest in the accelerator participants.
EnergyLab CEO Megan Fisher said the link between the climate and the ocean is incredibly clear yet under-emphasised.
“EnergyLab is thrilled to be working with OIO to ensure the best ocean impact startups have the support they need to rapidly scale and tackle the enormous challenges we face,” she said.
Impact Ventures director Piers Grove said: “Impact Ventures is excited to be launching this relationship with OIO to help support founders to access the capital they need to grow. We look forward to working with the participating founders and showing investors how exciting and impactful this emerging landscape can be.”
Applications to the accelerator close on March 10 with the program kicking off on April 26.
You can apply for The Ocean Impact Accelerator Program here