(Applications Closed)
African Ocean-Impact startups, are you looking for strategic partners or investors?

For the 4th consecutive year, Ocean Innovation Africa will give the most innovative African ocean-impact startups the exposure they deserve. The annual summit is the principal gathering of investors, industry players and public authorities working towards ocean sustainability in Africa and has become a benchmark for ocean innovation on the continent.

This is your moment to connect with ocean-focused Angel Investors, VCs, industry experts, corporates, grant providers …. by becoming a finalist in the OIA pitch competition.

If you are an entrepreneur operating in Africa, with the potential to disrupt how the ocean’s three main challenges – overexploitation, pollution, climate change – are being tackled on the continent, don’t waste another second: let us help you grow your impact. We welcome startups from any industry, development stage and operating in one or more African countries.

2023 edition supported by:

Up for grabs


  • Pitch on Stage – present your innovation to a top-level audience including investors, authorities, and leading corporations

  • Delegate Pass to summit – attend the Ocean Innovation Africa summit to learn, share, and connect

  • Networking – interact and meet with key players in the African Blue Economy Ecosystem
  • Mentoring – benefit from a 1:1 mentoring session to improve and adapt your pitch for the competition

  • Media coverage – inclusion in Ocean Innovation Africa’s media kit as one of the must watch ocean innovators in Africa

  • Travel Subsidy – receive up to R7500 towards your travel costs if coming from outside of Cape Town

  • Accommodation – finalists from outside of Cape Town will be receive 4 nights free accommodation with breakfast included

Prize Winners

  • Cash prizes sponsored by the French Embassy in South Africa
            First Prize R15,000.00
            Second Prize R11,250.00
            Third Prize R7,500.00
  • Selection to take part in Monaco Ocean Week – receive a fully funded trip from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to take part in the Ocean Innovators Platform at Monaco Ocean Week, from the 21st to the 23rd of March 2023

Opportunity for early registrations!

Applications arriving before January 15th 2023 will stand a chance to be nominated as a finalist for the Earthshot Prize.
Created by Prince William, each year the Earthshot Prize awards five ground-breaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet. The five winners each receive £ 1M and mentorship to scale their solution and accelerate their impact.
OIA conveners OceanHub Africa have been chosen to be part of the 349 nominators worldwide to scour the globe for breakthrough solutions that can solve the biggest environmental challenges.

Criteria for entry

  • Your start-up is ocean-minded: it has a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution or over-exploitation of the ocean)
  • You have a revenue generating business model and operate in Africa
  • You have a scalable service or product available on the market or soon to be available on the market
  • Your company has been incorporated for less than 3 years
  • Your product or service is clearly innovative and/or your business model is disruptive
  • Capacity to be in Cape Town (South Africa) in-person on 21st-24th February 2023 (up to R7500 reimbursement for costs of visa, return flight tickets, food and on-site transport expenses; accommodation and delegate pass to summit provided)

Selection Criteria

  • Impact & Vision: social, environmental and economic impacts
  • Business Model: Market and traction, commercial value, strategy for growth and scalability
  • Team: Expertise and background, ambition and passion
  • Technology: Innovation, reliability, adaptability, scalability


  • 22 December 2022: Call for Ocean Impact Startups
  • 15 January 2023: Limit to be considered as a nominee for the Earthshort Prize
  • 29 January 2023: Limit to register
  • 2 February 2023: Selection of finalists
  • 6-10 February 2023: 1:1 mentoring session
  • 21-24 February 2023: Participation in Ocean Innovation Summit 2022 and Pitch Competition

2021 Winners

NovFeed, a Tanzanian startup producing high-protein fish feed from organic waste, thereby reducing pressure on wild fish stocks and supporting farmed alternatives, won first prize .

Second prize went to SeaH4, a South African company that turns farmed seaweed into biofuel, reducing the impact of human energy needs on the earth’s climate.

Third prize went to EcoAct Tanzania who use equitably sourced plastic waste to make plastic timber for construction. The finished product reduces the demand for raw materials while simultaneously preventing ‘waste’ plastics from entering the ocean.