The following post is from Innovacorp marketing & communications assistant Michael Bochoff.

From rescuing endangered marine life to advancements in underwater communications, it’s an exciting time for the ocean sector. Take a look at the six early stage ocean technology companies participating in the inaugural Start-Up Yard at COVE cohort.

Ashored -

Having previously received funding through Dalhousie’s Launch Oceans and Launch Dal’s Collide programs, Aaron Stevenson, Maxwell Poole and Ross Arsenault have created a solution that can not only help fishermen, but also help prevent death of an endangered species. By equipping crab and lobster traps with geo-tracking and underwater buoys to collect data, fishermen can locate lost or stolen traps and eliminate entanglement of right whales.

When it comes to ocean technology, the team holds Nova Scotia in high regard. “When you look at what we have for resources, it’s no contest,” said Aaron. “Our oceans and our harbour – that’s something we can’t take for granted. It’s something we have an advantage of over anywhere else in the world.”

Acoubit Communications

Specializing in underwater communications, Colin Ross and Tejinder Sandhu are looking to improve signal transmissions between Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). AUVs tend to be sporadic and unreliable since they’re often operating in harsh environments. The duo is developing a system that’s both reliable and can communicate over long distances.

Creating something reasonably priced that can fit in smaller devices will be essential. “Being able to connect and communicate between submerged assets is going to be a critical component for the expansion of effective AUV operations,” said Colin.


Louis Beaubien, Grant Wells and Mike Smit are looking to take ocean-based logistics to the next level by developing a technology solution to improve supply chain efficiency in the ocean sector. With organizations drowning in mass amounts of data, the goal is to help them tap into the value that data holds, which organizations may find difficult to retrieve.

“We would like to have something in place in terms of a prototype by the time we finish with our engagement with COVE and the Start-Up Yard,” said Louis. “We’d like to put this in the hands of the early adopters in the next year.”

Sedna Technologies -

Former roommates at St. Francis Xavier University, Sheamus MacDonald and Aleksandr Stabenow are collaborating on a traceability system for the seafood and fisheries industry, specifically targeting the live lobster industry. By eliminating waste and decreasing mortality through real-time condition monitoring, it allows harvesters to take better care of their catch and provide a higher quality product to the public.

Start-Up Yard at COVE presents a unique opportunity for the team to develop a product of high integrity and address obstacles plaguing the industry. “Through our experience in commercial fishing, we know where some of the fragmentation is, so that’s what we’re looking to correct,” said Sheamus.


Ulaş Güntürkün combined his research on fifth-generation cellular communication technology and physics literature to create an underwater communication system that will deliver information, even in the harshest conditions. This particular technology will be used to collect data in ocean environments, as well as mine detection and pipeline exploration for oil and gas markets. 

“Robustness and reliability will be the key feature of our product,” said Ulaş. “The big advantage of our communication system is that it will be truly eco-friendly since we are reducing the transmission power to 10 per cent of what is currently the industry standard. In other words, we are making a lot less noise underwater.”

Maritime bioLoggers -

Co-founders Franziska Broell and Andre Bezanson developed a tagging device to monitor and track the movement of marine life while working with Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network (OTN). Once a tag is attached, it collects and stores data that can be used to measure an animal’s activity and underwater behaviour.

Franziska brings a high level of expertise to her product and believes Nova Scotia is the best place to expand her start-up. “There are so many great resources here. There’s really no other place in Canada like this,” said Franziska.


The six cohort companies each receive $25,000 in non-dilutive funding and access to mentoring, workspace, workshops and experts.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 3, 2018