Six ocean-focused startups have been selected for OceanHub Africa (OHA), the first and only ocean impact focused business accelerator on the continent.
OHA is ocean-impact catalyst initiative supporting ocean-impact ventures through acceleration programme and leadership of global ocean-minded ecosystem, nurturing an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that would effectively mitigate the oceans’ over-exploitation and pollution, as well as the effects of global warming on the oceans.
Based at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, at the crossroads of three oceans and home to a strong scientific, technical and business skills ecosystem, OHA has grown pan-African, delivering its programme both online and in-person through a weeklong bootcamp.
The six startups were selected from 128 applicants from 33 countries, and include South Africa’s SeaH4, which offers the maritime sector an alternative to fossil fuels to decarbonise at scale; Ethiopia’s Happy Pads, which develops eco-friendly hygiene products for women; and Nigeria’s Eja-Ice, which offers solar-powered refrigeration systems and cold chain services to small-scale fishers.
The cohort is completed by Kenya’s Kumbatia Seafood, which provides small-scale fishers with capacity building, access to market, cold chain facilities and financing solutions; Nigeria’s Think Bikes, which manufactures electric cargo bikes designed to meet small businesses’ needs across several sectors; and Nigeria’s Scrapays, a waste management service that provides individuals with the support to start, grow and scale their mini-recycling businesses.
The cohort participated in a hybrid bootcamp over the week of September 19-24, with a focus on capacity building, peer learning and bonding. The selected entrepreneurs received training from the OceanHub Africa team, and heard from expert guest speakers.
Over the next few months, the selected blue startups will receive further support from the accelerator’s team, mentors and partners, to grow their business through product development; access to business, engineering and scientific expertise; access to market leads; and hands-on services from corporate partners.
Next year, during the Ocean Innovation Africa Summit, the selected startups will graduate from the acceleration programme, and become part of the OHA alumni group, through which OHA offers access to further mentorship, fundraising and networking opportunities where applicable.