Entries closed for 2024

African Ocean-Impact startups, are you looking for strategic partners or investors?

For the 5th 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.

2024 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 R10 000 towards your travel costs if coming from outside of Cape Town

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


  • 1st Prize R40 000

  • 2nd Prize R20 000

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 20th-22nd February 2024 (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


  • 20 October 2023: Call for Ocean Impact Startups
  • 21 January 2024: Startup Registration Deadline
  • 25 January 2024: Announcement of Finalists
  • 5-9 February 2024: 1:1 mentoring session
  • 20-22 February 2024: Participation in Ocean Innovation Summit and Pitch Competition
(2023 Prizes Sponsored by French Embassy in South Africa)

2023 Winners

1st prize of R15 000:
Healthy Seaweed Café
Healthy Seaweed cafe is an ocean-climate based social enterprise that innovates, processes and produces diverse seaweed-based foods of high quality and nutritional value while creating markets for women seaweed farmers in Tanzania.

2nd prize of R11 250:
Ukwenza VR
Ukwenza VR creates Educational Virtual Reality Content anchored on a behaviour change centred curriculum to help audiences develope empathy for the environment and take positive action while instigating systemic change to support their new behaviours.

3rd prize R7 500:
Dracoss produces a greywater recycling machine for restaurants, homes and gyms to reduce their water consumption. Dracoss aims to make recycling water accessible to everyone from the municipal level and industrial level to the micro social level.

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