Call For Applications: OceanHub Africa Acceleration Program 2024-2025

OceanHub Africa, Africa’s leading enabler of ocean-impact entrepreneurship, is excited to announce the launch of the fifth cohort of its eight-month acceleration program. This initiative aims to support up to fifteen of Africa’s most promising impact-driven for-profit startups dedicated to preserving and restoring the health of the ocean.

Our accelerator is committed to nurturing environmentally conscious and profitable ventures. We strive to foster an economy that effectively combats global warming, overexploitation, and pollution of the oceans. Leveraging our extensive network of stakeholders and facilitators, we offer an innovative hybrid program. This program is designed to identify sustainable pathways that ensure stable profits (ROIs) and opportunities for scalable growth across Africa.

What you can expect

Joining the OceanHub Africa portfolio offers you:

  • Access to a network of leading ocean experts, mentors (entrepreneurs, investors, innovation experts, impact experts, scientists, lawyers, etc.), impact investors, and potential clients.
  • Hands-on support to accelerate your growth, including customer acquisition, executing your first Proof of Concept, and scaling your business through commercial contracts and fundraising.
  • Engagement with like-minded entrepreneurs within the Blue Economy space.

Explore the startups of our previous cohorts here

What we offer

Service Package:
  • Up to $75k worth of cloud services through our partner, AWS Activate.
  • Over $40k worth of mechanical engineering design software licenses for prototyping and virtual testing, courtesy of our partner, 3DExperience Lab.
  • Access to Dassault Systèmes, Amazon Web Services, Hubspot support, and Notion Premium.
  • Legal advisory sessions with Sidley Austin, Bowmans, and Lex Mundi (multinational law firms) based on your targeted market, valued at up to $50k.
  • Advisory sessions with Mercator Ocean International, Blue Oceans Partners, Ocean14 Capital, WWF-SA, Dept. of Oceanography University of Cape Town, EuroSIMA, and more!
Mentorship & Support
  • Participation in an in-person training boot camp.
  • Tailored business skills and personal development 1-1 coaching.
  • Sales, Product Development, Communication, and Business Development Support.
  • Access to our network of scientific, business, impact, and investment experts from international corporations, foundations, universities, and Intergovernmental Organizations.
  • Access to networking events and conferences, including a stand and stage time at the Ocean Innovation Africa annual summit.
  • Opportunities to connect with potential clients for local and international expansion.
  • Access to our international network of ocean-impact incubators/accelerators for global scaling.
  • Access to key external partners.
Fund-Raising Support
  • Potential funding of up to $10k.
  • Support in preparing and conducting investor pitches, including training sessions with partner investors
  • Assistance in structuring deals, including reviews by transactional and commercial lawyers.
  • Access to a diverse portfolio of impact investors and corporate venture capitalist funds.
Note: Our program will operate in a hybrid format, combining one-week in-person bootcamp sessions, in-person participation in the annual Ocean Innovation Africa Summit, and remote sessions using online tools and communication methods.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Your startup is ocean-minded, having a direct or indirect positive impact on the oceans (addressing climate change, pollution, or overexploitation).
  • You are a for-profit entity operating in Africa.
  • You offer a scalable service or product either on the market or soon to be launched.
  • Your product/service demonstrates innovation and/or your business model is disruptive.
  • You are seeking investments or exploring new markets.

Selection criteria:

Impact and Vision
  • How much is environmental and/or social impact embedded into your culture and/or part of your long term goals.
  • How impactful is your business with respect to ocean pollution, overexploitation, and/or tackling global warming and its effect on oceans.
Business Model
  • Product-market fit and market potential.
  • Innovative approach.
  • Current traction and/or growth strategy.
  • Scalability.
  • IP owned.
  • Business built on reliable technology(-ies) including both software and hardware.
  • Innovation.
  • Adaptability and scalability.
  • Team size.
  • Team background.
  • Relevance of distribution of responsibilities, and priorities.
  • Focus (limited participation in other programs in parallel)
  • Ambition and passion.


  • 23 March –  5 May: Application period
  • 11 April & 22 April: Online Q&A Sessions
  • 7 April- 19 May: Screening of the applications
  • 21 May: Announcement of short-listed start-ups
  • 23 May – 31 May:Pitching preparation for shortlisted candidates
  • 5-6 June: Pitching session in front of the final selection committee
  • 13 June: Final selection and announcement to Selection Committee.
  • 28 June: Limit date to sign contract and Public announcement of start-ups selected
  • 4 July:Program starts for 8 months with an online kick-off session
  • 9-13 October:  In-person Bootcamp in an African capital city (TBA)
  • First Quarter 2025: Graduation in-person during the  Ocean Innovation Africa Summit (exact dates to be confirmed)

High-level terms

What we expect from the entrepreneur(s):

  • Availability (at least 1.5 full-time equivalents dedicated to the project).
  • Limited commitment to other support programs concurrently.
  • Transparent communication and cooperation.
  • Involvement of at least 2 key C-level team members in the acceleration program.
  • Commitment to cover the travel expenses (airfare and visa) for 1 representative attending the in-person boot camp and Ocean Innovation Africa. Accommodation and food support will be provided.
  • Reporting to OceanHub Africa and other stakeholders.
  • Success fees of up to 3% on subsequent fundraising (over the program duration + 2 years) and up to 10% on commercial contracts secured through OHA’s introductions

Deadline: May 5, 2024

Click HERE to Apply

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