For founders focused on the digital ocean, where underwater acoustics and imaging, sensors, robotics and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), data, predictive analytics and AI are transforming the sustainable ocean economy.

Founders in the Oceans Stream develop sustainable technology solutions and innovative business models for harsh ocean environments with world-renowned ocean science, engineering, infrastructure, and applied research.

The ocean economy is enormous and growing with the annual global market value for ocean-related goods and services currently estimated at $3 trillion USD. The ocean economy is poised for significant changes driven by two factors – sustainability imperatives and digital technologies – creating opportunities for massively scalable ocean science- and technology-based startups. 

Capitalizing on Atlantic Canadian universities’ world-class research expertise at the intersection of sustainability and technology in oceans, the Oceans stream brings together experienced entrepreneurs, investors, oceans experts, and scientists. CDL startups work with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research.

The startups attend five in-person objective-setting sessions between October and June. CDL is a non-profit organization. There are no fees for participation and CDL does not take any equity. Learn more about the CDL program.

“The ocean is the new economic frontier. It holds the promise of immense resource wealth and great potential for boosting economic growth, employment and innovation. And it is increasingly recognized as indispensable for addressing many of the global challenges facing the planet in the decades to come, from world food security and climate change to the provision of energy, natural resources and improved medical care. While the potential of the ocean to help meet these challenges is huge, it is already under stress from over-exploitation, pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change. Realising the full potential of the ocean will therefore demand responsible, sustainable approaches to its economic development.”

The Ocean Economy in 2030, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Who should apply?

The Oceans stream is particularly suited to coachable research teams and startups involved in ocean technology. This stream is tailored towards early-stage companies (early venture or growth) or even projects (pre-incorporation); however, startups at all levels of maturity.

Example Innovation Areas:

  • Robotics and autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Underwater acoustics and imaging
  • Relevant AI software and systems

Our Mentors

CDL mentors include accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced operators, and active angel and venture investors. Mentors meet every eight weeks in Halifax to help founders set objectives over the program’s nine-month duration.


John Risley
Robert Orr
Chris Huskilson
Justin Manley

Contact jeehan.javed@creativedestructionlab.com to discuss the CDL program and your ocean related venture.