In a boost to ocean health worldwide, Australia’s Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) today announced the return of The Ocean Impact Pitchfest, a global initiative to find, support and accelerate startups working on solutions to transform ocean health.
Startups from across the world are invited to apply for the chance to win a $50,000 cash prize for first place with an additional $50,000 to be awarded to businesses working on specific ocean challenge and opportunity areas.
The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022 is presented by HP Australia and supported by a diverse network of 50+ Partners. This year’s $10,000 Spotlight Awards are presented by Zip Water (Plastic Pollution Solution); Dicker Data (Ocean Monitoring Solution); Austral Fisheries (Sustainable Ocean Harvesting Solution) and OIO’s Philanthropy Network (Ocean Climate Solution). This year will also see the addition of the inaugural NSW Ocean Innovation Award funded by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Co-founder and CEO of Ocean Impact Organisation, Nick Chiarelli said, “We’re excited to be back with another edition of The Ocean Impact Pitchfest. Since launching the project in 2020 we’ve seen incredible growth in the global ocean impact innovation ecosystem and us as an organisation. We’re constantly inspired by the amazing startups out there taking matters into their own hands to solve some of Planet Ocean’s great challenges. We can’t wait to see what this year’s Pitchfest unveils.”
Launching in 2020, OIO’s annual Ocean Impact Pitchfest has set the stage for inspiring innovations and scalable enterprises to be rewarded, supported and celebrated for the game changing work they are doing to transform ocean health.
To date, over 400 startups from more than 45 countries have applied to the program with broad diversity in the ocean challenges and solutions each is addressing. Previous Winners and Finalists of Pitchfest include:
Sea Forest (Winner, Pitchfest 2021): a Tasmania-based startup cultivating asparagopsis seaweed used as a supplement in livestock feed that reduces methane emissions by up to 98%.
Planet Protector Packaging (Winner, Pitchfest 2020): a Sydney based startup eliminating expanded polystyrene packaging from food and grocery delivery services.
Great Wrap (Runner Up, Pitchfest 2020): a Melbourne based startup turning food waste into fully compostable stretch wrap for pallet wrap cling film home/ commercial kitchens.
Wave Swell Energy (Runner Up, Pitchfest 2020): an Australian startup generating reliable energy from ocean waves using a novel biomimicry inspired ‘blowhole’ design.
Saathi (Runner Up, Pitchfest 2021): an Indian based startup turning banana and bamboo waste fibres into fully compostable sanitary pads whilst supporting marginalised women.
nextProtein (Harvesting Spotlight Winner, Pitchfest 2021): a Tunisian based startup turning insects into protein for aquaculture and agriculture applications.
Sam Elsom, Co-founder and CEO of Pitchfest 2021 Winner Sea Forest said,“It is such a great honour for a startup like Sea Forest to be named Winner of The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2021. Our goal has always been to make rapid progress and meaningful impact on climate change through emissions reduction. We have a long way to go but the support provided to the company through Ocean Impact Organisation will assist in driving Sea Forest to scale its IP in science and engineering to deliver a sustainable seaweed aquaculture industry, regional employment and educational opportunities and positive environmental outcomes for Planet Ocean”.
(Read more about previous Winners and Finalists from Pitchfest here)
Mike Boyle, Managing Director, HP Australia and New Zealand said of supporting The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022, “At HP, we understand the importance of our oceans and environment and have set an ambitious agenda to be one of the world’s most just and sustainable technology companies by 2030. And while we’re making strong strides, we know that real, lasting impact is achieved through partnerships, and at scale. We’re thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Ocean Impact Organisation, and supporting The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022 to help discover and accelerate groundbreaking solutions that can improve ocean health”.
In an added boost to this year’s Pitchfest, the Winner, Runners Up and Spotlight Award recipients will be announced live at “INNOVOCEAN”, OIO’s new flagship event to showcase innovative new technologies improving ocean health.
Supported with $100,000 funding from the NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment, INNOVOCEAN will take place at Sydney’s Australian National Maritime Museum on 24 November 2022 where a diverse range of ocean impact startups will showcase their innovative solutions to key stakeholders from industry, science, investment, Government and the nonprofit sector.
The event will also incorporate live pitches from startups participating in the Ocean Impact Accelerator Program 2022. Six startups from Australia, Asia and the USA will illustrate the progress they have made throughout the 7-month program and pitch for investment to build their innovative enterprises.
The inaugural event, which is funded by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, includes a dedicated Pitchfest prize for a startup working on ocean health solutions in NSW.
The NSW Ocean Innovation Award will provide $10,000 prize money and an additional $30,000 of relevant products and services to a startup operating in NSW working on innovative solutions to improve ocean health by addressing priority threats to the NSW Marine Estate.
The Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2022 is accepting applications until 20 September 2022. Interested persons will be asked to complete a simple online form before being invited to submit an up to 3-minute pitch video.
For more information and to apply please visit: www.ocean-impact.org/pitchfest2022