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Twenty East Coast companies, from Aquafort of St. John's to Dartmouth's Sedna Technologies, are among the 39 shortlisted for 10 prizes of $25,000 prizes offered in the Ocean Startup Challenge.
The challenge, a project of the Ocean Startup Project funded through Canada’s Ocean Supercluster program, is meant to help businesses with ideas and products to help solve problems for ocean industries.
Don Grant, executive director of the Ocean Startup Project, said 158 applications were received for the competition.
The applications were reviewed by ocean industry experts and whittled down to 31 for final assessment to determine the 10 prize winners.
Each of the shortlisted companies will have the opportunity to attend virtual boot camps, where they will get guidance and support from mentors from the ocean industry to help them prepare for the final pitch session to the judges.
Those pitches will be made to the judges, Dragon’s Den style, Sept. 22-24.
“Hopefully we’ll be a little gentler than Dragon’s Den,” Grant told SaltWire in an interview earlier this summer, “but we’ll have a good cross-section of people judging this and there will be questions, and probably some tough ones I would think.”
In a press release earlier this week, Grant said the applications received proposed creative solutions and more than a third of the companies had ocean technologies in the earliest stages of development.
“Another 19 shortlisted companies applied with working prototypes,” he added.
The shortlisted solutions involve environmental monitoring, reducing marine mammal entanglement in fishing gear, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, technologies to reduce corrosion and biofouling, networks of sensors and analysis tools, sustainable bait alternatives, vision systems, underwater communications and IoT networks, value-added by-products, fish health, and much more.
Nearly two-thirds of the shortlisted companies proposed ways to overcome challenges in fisheries and aquaculture, said Grant.
Some of the applicants also offered solutions to address healthier oceans, more sustainable transport and enabling technologies.
“We were pleased by the breadth of applications and the overall response from coast to coast to coast within Canada, and from around the world,” said Grant. “The quality and influx of applications reinforce the momentum and opportunities in this country’s ocean sector.”
The 10 winners will be announced Sept. 30.
The companies in contention
* 3F Waste Recovery (Main Brook, NL)
* Acoustic Bait Technologies (Antigonish, NS)
* Aquafort (St. John's, NL)
* Blue Lion Labs (Waterloo, ON)
* Copsys Industries Inc. (Halifax, NS)
* Dartmouth Ocean Technologies (Dartmouth, NS)
* Ghost Fishing Busters (Porters Lake, NS)
* Glas Ocean Electric (Halifax, NS)
* Grand River Robotics (Waterloo, ON)
* Greenoil Solutions (Frasers Mountain, NS)
* Harmony Desal (Cambridge, MA)
* HydroNet (Menlo Park, CA)
* Impactful Health Research and Development Inc. (Montréal, QC)
* In Nature Robotics (Hanwell, NB)
* Kavacha (Canoe Cove, PE)
* Marecomms Inc. (Halifax, NS)
* Marimetrics Technologies Inc. (Dartmouth, NS)
* Orcinus Technologies (St. John's, NL)
* Pelagis Data Solutions (Point Edward, NS)
* Planetary Hydrogen Inc. (Gatineau, QC)
* Polyamyna Nanotech (St. John's, NL)
* Prosaris Solutions (Hammonds Plains, NS)
* qualiTEAS (St. John's, NL)
* SeaChange Biochemistry Inc. (Clark's Harbour, NS)
* SeaHawk Robotics (Vancouver, BC)
* Sedna Technologies (Dartmouth, NS)
* Sentry: Water Monitoring and Control (Charlottetown, PE)
* Subait Inc. (Dartmouth, NS)
* Tracker Inventory Systems (Sydney, NS)
* Virgil Group LLC (Washington, D.C.)
* WeavAir (Toronto, ON)