CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Around the world, ocean-impact accelerators are emerging as societies start to realise the importance of focusing efforts and investments towards healthier oceans. The vibrant city of Cape Town is well-positioned to lead this exciting revolution on the African continent for a number of reasons: it is strategically situated, virtually at the crossroads of three oceans, bustling with marine life and maritime activities; it is home to renowned universities and research centres; and it offers to the innovative entrepreneurs a fertile and dynamic business landscape rich with multicultural and international influences.
Taking part in this exhilarating new movement, OceanHub Africa launched last week during their Ocean Innovation Africa event, supported by Wesgro, the South African French Embassy, the University of Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront. Fifty carefully selected stakeholders from various backgrounds including entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, ocean business owners, non-profits and local authorities gathered to co-create the initiative’s roadmap in a bid to shape a future where both humans and oceans can thrive.
OceanHub Africa is on a mission to inspire and support ocean-minded start-ups with the express aim of nurturing an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that effectively mitigates the effects of global warming as well as the overexploitation and pollution of the oceans.
Set to begin the program early in the first quarter of 2020, OceanHub Africa will launch with the first cohort of six local start-ups. Leveraging its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators it aims to deliver to the new initiatives the following services: an acceleration program that seeks out sustainable pathways yielding stable profits (ROIs) and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa; it will provide a physical working space, access to tailored mentorship, business and scientific expertise; access to market leads; hands-on services from corporate partners (including cloud & IT services, engineering and software suite for prototyping and testing, to name but a few) and support along the fundraising journey, from pitching to structuring deals.
OceanHub Africa is also offering a technology transfer support program that promotes collaboration between researchers and entrepreneurs for science-based innovation. By partnering with local universities, its objective is to find commercial use of scientific patents through the identification of transferable technologies and the incubation of selected projects. This program will strengthen the pipeline of ocean-minded start-ups and leverage the knowledge that lies within universities and research centres.
OceanHub Africa, currently hosted by South African venture fund and technology incubator, SAVANT Technologies, will inaugurate its Cape Town headquarters in February 2020.