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New Venture Acceleration Program Available for B.C.-based Ocean Innovation Entrepreneurs

New Venture Acceleration Program Available for B.C.-based Ocean Innovation Entrepreneurs

VIATEC Technology Sector Life Sciences/Bio Tech Ocean Sciences and Marine Technology Clean Tech and Environmental Technology VIATEC Member News Program

Early-stage tech entrepreneurs focused on ocean innovation can now apply to the newly launched COAST Venture Acceleration Program

Program aims to advance innovation across Greater Victoria and B.C.’s ocean economy; invites blue-tech startups ready to launch or scale                    

Early-stage tech entrepreneurs focused on ocean innovation can now apply to the newly launched COAST Venture Acceleration Program

Funded by Innovate BC and delivered by the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST) in partnership with VIATEC, the program is designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious ocean technology entrepreneurs, accelerating the process of defining a proven business model for sustained profitability, and helping them effectively grow their business.   
Participating ventures will have access to:
  1. A wide range of proven entrepreneurs and specialists with technology industry backgrounds and specific expertise dealing with the varied issues confronting start-ups and high-growth companies.
  2. Critical connections, supportive network and collaboration opportunities they need to successfully scale their ventures.
  3. Potential investors, partners, sales opportunities and employees — provincially, nationally and internationally.
  4. Workshops, seminars and other structured educational programs that provide knowledge, facilitate learning and share information to enhance entrepreneurial skills and business-critical expertise.
As Executive in Residence (EIR), oceantech leader Shannon Bard will lead successful applicants through a well-defined intake process, review their individual needs, and match them with appropriate support and expertise. 

The Lead of the Climate Venture Studio and Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of British Columbia, Bard has extensive experience in research translation and innovation commercialization of cleantech and sustainability solutions. She has expertise in marine biology and oceanography, coastal habitat restoration, environmental toxicology, eco-risk and human health assessment, and biomedical research.

“If we want new solutions to climate change problems, we need people who are looking at problems in different ways,” says Bard. “We need a host of different ideas coming from founders that are coming from diverse backgrounds, who have different experiences that can bring the intersectionality of their experiences to the table. The B.C. government is really positioning the province to be a world leader in sustainability, and if we can promote green solutions made in B.C., we can export those solutions around the world.”                        

COAST CEO Emilie de Rosenroll says the organization’s mission is to realize the local opportunities inherent in the US$1.5-trillion global blue economy — a number that’s expected to double by 2030. “We’re building on our strengths and have only scratched the surface. B.C. has a major opportunity to play a leadership role in advancing innovative technological solutions that will serve global coastal climate resilience. To do that, we need to support local ideas and startups. By bringing early-stage startups into the C-VAP program we can nurture their potential and contribute to growing this important industry.” 

The COAST Venture Acceleration Program will be delivered by VIATEC. Program Director Rob Bennett says "we are pleased to be leveraging our 11 years of experience in supporting 200 early-stage entrepreneurs through our accelerator programs to deliver this important community initiative."                        

For details, visit Applicants can direct questions to Rob Bennett at          

Media Contacts: 

Amanda Wilson, Marketing & Communications Manager, COAST Cell 250-216-5663,                    

Cell (250) 882-2820, 

About Innovate BC

Innovate BC helps foster innovation in B.C. so that British Columbians in all regions of the province can benefit from a thriving, sustainable and inclusive innovation economy. A Crown Agency of British Columbia, Innovate BC funds and delivers programs that support the growth of the B.C. economy by helping companies start and scale, train talent that meets labour market needs, and encourage technology development, commercialization and adoption. 

About COAST                    

Set on Canada’s Pacific Coast, the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST) brings together people, ideas, businesses and communities to create an innovation hub and cluster where ideas are nurtured and applied. 

Our purpose at COAST is to realize the opportunities of the sustainable blue economy by advancing technological solutions that serve the restorative and innovative exploration of our oceans.                        

COAST is a branch of South Island Prosperity Partnership, an alliance of over 70 public and private-sector partners in Greater Victoria, including local governments, First Nations, post- secondary institutions, industry associations and nonprofits, and major employers. SIPP works to bolster the region’s economic and social prosperity by catalyzing the creation of high-quality, household-sustaining jobs. 

About VIATEC                                    

Based in Greater Victoria, B.C., and serving the South Island region, VIATEC's mission is to cultivate the most cohesive tech community in the world by providing resources to tackle shared opportunities and challenges while boosting a sense of belonging and shaping our region.                        

The organization works closely with its 350-plus members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the local tech sector's front door and its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, they own and operate the brick-and-mortar Fort Tectoria, where they offer office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs. 

Shannon Bard Bio                        

Shannon is the founding Director of Coastal Scene Investigation, supporting stakeholder engagement in resolving complex interdisciplinary environmental health issues, public marine science education, marine ecotoxicology research and conservation programs.                      

Formerly, Shannon was a professor of Environmental Science at Dalhousie University, Director of the Marine Ecotoxicology Laboratory, co-winner of the Senate Environmental Award and inaugural winner of the national YTV Environmental Achievement Award. 

Pacific Canada’s Ocean Potential                    

$3T USD: The projected value of global ocean opportunity by 2030, outpacing the growth of the broader economy by close to 20%. 

$31B CDN: The contribution of Canadian ocean and marine sectors to the national economy each year                    

500%: Economists and analysts expect a five-to-one ROI made in a sustainable ocean economy for the next 30 years. 

SDG14: 70% of the world is covered by ocean, and over 3 billion people rely on marine and coastal biodiversity

75%: B.C.’s ocean tech businesses located on Vancouver Island

100s: B.C. is a world leader in climate policy and home to hundreds of cleantech & digital tech companies - competencies that apply to BlueTech                    

70%: The majority of B.C.’s population lives in coastal zone = over 300 communities and 80 Coastal First Nations
21.5BN: Ocean economy is vital to BC = 8% of GDP 



Additional Info

Media Contact : Amanda Wilson

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