Africa’s First Ocean Impact Event

27 November 2019  〉Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront

The Event

This event gathered the key regional players of the ocean economy and tech ecosystem to start shaping Africa’s first ocean impact hub, based in Cape Town: OceanHub Africa.

International and local experts were invited to the event to share and participate, alongside selected delegates, in designing the future of the OceanHub Africa initiative: a platform to inspire, develop and support more ocean-minded businesses in Africa.

This event provided the platform to:

  • Build the beginning of an Ocean-impact ecosystem for the Western Cape & into Africa
  • Incorporate stakeholders input for legitimacy and commitment, to improve our capacity to implement high-impact ocean-minded developments
  • Provide strategic focus and materials to design OceanHub Africa’s KPIs and roadmap for 2020, in a bid to place Cape Town as a pioneer of a decidedly more sustainable and innovative ocean economy

Our Values





Our Vision

Bring together the thought leaders and stakeholders of the ocean economy, demonstrate the economic viability of a decidedly more sustainable blue economy in Africa and inspire ocean-conscious entrepreneurs


The Challenge

Build an ecosystem of local and international partners who have a vested interest in the Oceans with one common goal: Ocean Impact


The Action Track

Identify sustainable and disruptive scale-up solutions to provide them with the resources they need to demonstrate ROI for ocean Impact

The Programme

27 November 2019

Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront

After a welcoming address by Tim Harris (CEO – Wesgro) and a lunch-talk by Arabella from Eat To Thrive, the Ocean Innovation Africa team presented the ambitions and work done to date on the development of OceanHub Africa.

International guests shared their experience of building and running an oceantech ecosystem overseas.

Our facilitator ran workgroups to draw the critical steps and processes required to drive the Ocean Change ecosystem in the Western Cape. The outputs of the workshops have been consolidated and used to draw out the main workstreams and define the priorities of this movement.

The event was concluded by a cocktail networking session on the V&A docks at Bootleggers.



Welcome address [speech]

Tim Harris, CEO of WESGRO - tourism, trade & investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape - will give a welcome speech.


Tim Harris – CEO WESGRO

Event objectives outline [presentation]

Kerry Petrie, collective thinker and facilitator for the event, will detail the objectives for the day.


Kerry Petrie – Collective thinker

Eat to Thrive [Interactive lunch]

Arabella, who has spent years educating about conscious eating, will serve a sustainable lunch and share her knowledge.


Arabella Parkinson – Chef for Eat To Thrive

Making the case [ocean facts presentation]

We depend on our oceans: they are the life-support system of our planet producing half the oxygen we breathe, driving the weather globally, transporting life giving water around the world. Their immensity and depth are the sources of their sheer power.  However, they also depend on us: because of our relentless impact on them through pollution, climate change and the degradation of marine biodiversity, they are now considered as the main driving force behind the increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters across our lands.


Stephanie Canac – Co-founder OceanHub Africa
Alexis Grosskopf – Co-founder OceanHub Africa

OceanHub Africa [pitch]

OceanHub Africa, the first African ocean-impact catalyst, is on a mission to help existing ocean-minded initiatives grow by providing them with the resources they need to succeed and by bringing together the key players from the ocean-impact economy (entrepreneurs, businesses, universities and research centers, non-profits, governments, investors). Through this holistic approach, OceanHub Africa hopes to inspire more entrepreneurs to join the movement and find innovative solutions to our threatened marine ecosystems, proving the economic viability of a decidedly more sustainable ocean economy.


Stephanie Canac – Co-founder OceanHub Africa
Alexis Grosskopf – Co-founder OceanHub Africa

Katapult Ocean accelerator insights [interview]

Maren Hjorth Bauer, CEO and co-founder Katapult Ocean - main Ocean-impact accelerator in Europe -, will share her experience.


Maren Bauer – CEO Katapult Ocean

French OceanTech Cluster insights [presentation]

Christophe Sellier, CEO of EuroSima & Kevin Lestrade, CEO of BytheWave (France) will inspire us, sharing the success story of the French OceanTech cluster based in Biarritz.


Christophe Seiller – CEO EuroSima
Kevin Lestrade – CEO ByTheWave

Entrepreneurs’ needs [panel discussion]

South-African ocean-minded start-ups will share their stories. The objective is to identify the support and resources they need and to better understand what OceanHub Africa should offer.  


Daniel Smith – Marketplace engagement at Abalobi
Mark van Vijk – Co-founder Oceans without Limits
Simon Wijnberg – Co-founder Impact-Free Water
Sara Andreotti – Co-founder SharkSafe Barrier

Stakeholders’ expectations [presentation]

OceanHub Africa’s team will share an analysis of the other stakeholders’ expectations based on surveys and field study including: ocean economy businesses, universities/research centres, investors, NPOs and governmental institutions.


Stephanie Canac – Co-founder OceanHub Africa
Alexis Grosskopf – Co-founder OceanHub Africa

Stakeholders’ expectations [floor discussion]


Coffee break


OceanHub Theory of Change [presentation]


Kerry Petrie – Collective thinker

Community building & stakeholder mapping [workshop]

Each group will get to know each other, stakeholders will share who they are, why they care about Ocean Impact.


Key Outcomes for OceanHub Africa [workshop]

After a brief community building and stakeholder mapping, each group will reflect on key outcomes and priorities for OceanHub Africa.


Coffee break


OceanHub Africa Activities mapping and commitments [workshop]

Each group will discuss the detailed activities OceanHub Africa should pursue and how they are contributing/ can contribute.


Report back and wrap up [floor discussion]


Networking drinks


Raison d'être

Promoting the Ocean Revolution

We depend on our Oceans as much as they depend on us. “

Oceans are the life support of our planet. They drive our climate, provide food and water to all living things, and connect our continents. The annual value of the global Ocean’s Economy is estimated at $1.5 trillion and expected to grow substantially to double by 2030. However, our societies are already generating tremendous stress and strain onto these ecosystems and this vast untapped economic potential needs to be addressed in a radically more sustainable manner. We believe it is down to businesses to implement that change and up to us to promote more Oceans-conscious innovative businesses.

Ocean Innovation Africa seeks to gather entrepreneurs, ocean-lovers, corporates, organizations and research institutions to build an Ocean economy ecosystem around innovation with one common goal: Ocean Impact.

Taking place in Cape Town, at the crossroad of 3 oceans (India, Atlantic & Southern Oceans), the event benefits from the presence of a multitude of ocean reliant industries, a well-structured startup ecosystem, strong scientific & research networks in oceanography with world-class centers and universities, as well as the vicinity of all the major environmental regulators nationally.

We believe that science, technology and entrepreneurship will provide the necessary leverage points to address the world’s biggest challenges. Our purpose is to help foster a new model for cooperation focused on our Oceans and based on impact-driven innovation – a program where talent and capital flow toward a world where people and nature thrive. And it will all start on November 27th, in Cape Town, at the Ocean Innovation Africa event.

Copyright 2019 - Ocean Innovation Africa