Climate Tech

Two Australian startups are part of this year’s Ocean Impact Pitchfest

- October 12, 2023 2 MIN READ
Ocean Impact Organisation cofounders Nick Chiarelli & Tim Silverwood. Photo: Tasha
Ocean Impact Organisation cofounders Nick Chiarelli & Tim Silverwood. Photo: Tasha/Spindrift Stories
Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) has selected 12 finalists in The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2023, including two from Australia.

OIO’s CEO Nick Chiarelli, who’s just returned from New York Climate Week, the final 12 were chosen from 200 applications across 54 countries and embrace.

They span a range of environmental solutions, from ropeless fishing gear that protects endangered right whales from entanglements, to low-carbon construction material made from invasive seaweed by Australian startup Kelp Island. – 

“The past six-months have seen big developments in the ocean health innovation landscape, with growing investor interest, capital being deployed, and startups reaching new heights. Ocean health investing is the rapidly emerging little brother to climate tech”. 

“The goal of OIO is to discover, celebrate, and support diverse startups working on scalable solutions to transform ocean health and one of the ways we’ve done that to date is through our global Pitchfest competition. In four years we’ve had well over 700 startups apply and have been thrilled to hold 46 up as finalists.” 

OIO’s recently appointed Innovation Programs Manager, Elisa-Marie Dumas said it was incredibly challenging to select the 12 finalists.

“Coming from a career in climate-tech I am impressed and excited by the potential for startups working at the nexus of oceans and climate,” she said.

“There’s a rich future in this space for Australia, the region, and the world.” 

The ultimate winner of Ocean Impact Pitchfest will be judged by members of the 1000 Ocean Startups coalition of investors and incubators, then announced at OIO’s INNOVOCEAN showcase at the Australian National Maritime Museum on November 22. 

The Winner will receive $50,000, with five additional $10,000 cash prizes awarded on the night.

The 12 finalists (in alphabetical order) are: 

Cleaner Seas Group (UK): Cleaner Seas Group aims to keep microfibre pollution out of the ocean with every wash via their plug-and-play washing machine filters.

Kelp Island Australia (Aus): SeaBrick is a kelp-based building material for maritime architecture that aims to address invasive Sargassum blooms and reduce the construction industry’s environmental footprint.

LiftLabs (USA): LiftLabs’ ropeless fishing system mitigates whale entanglements, protecting the North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW) and the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities.

NovFeed (Tanzania): NovFeed transforms organic food waste into a concentrated protein product for aquaculture, reducing the reliance on fishmeal from ocean forage fish.

Ocean Ecostructures (Spain): Ocean Ecostructures develop microreefs to turn grey infrastructure into blue oases by restoring marine life in damaged environments.

OnDeck Fisheries AI (Canada): OnDeck Fisheries AI aims to build a better future for the world’s oceans by automating fisheries monitoring and analytics in an accessible, scalable way.

PlusTik (Indonesia): PlusTik takes low-value, hard-to-recycle plastic from landfill and create high-impact products that serve a circular economy.

Pull to Refresh (USA): Pull to Refresh aims to sequester carbon by sinking invasive sargassum seaweed.

Seawater Solutions (UK): Seawater Solutions supports coastal communities with seawater farming and restoration projects, rehabilitating degraded land into wetland ecosystems for climate adaptation, carbon sequestration, and regenerative agro-ecologies.

Unleash Future Boats (Germany): Unleash Future Boats develops zero-emission maritime solutions powered by green hydrogen and fuel cells.

Washbox (Aus): a mobile, closed-loop tool wash system for construction trades that saves water and helps stop pollutants from entering waterways.

Wholechain (USA): a blockchain-based traceability solution built to enable trust, coordination, and transparency in fragmented global supply chains.

You can watch the pitch videos from all 12 finalists here