Press release

Accelerator program for blue tech startups leveraging artificial intelligence launches in Portland

New Blue w(AI)ve accelerator aims to improve investment-readiness of early-stage companies leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to develop ocean-based products and services.

PORTLAND, Maine — February 6, 2024 — The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) is pleased to partner with Northeastern University’s Roux Institute and Institute for Experiential AI to launch a first-of-its-kind 16-week accelerator program focused on the intersection of two rapidly-emerging sectors of the economy: artificial intelligence (AI) and blue tech. The program, called Blue w(AI)ve, will support seven early-stage companies leveraging AI for ocean-based solutions around the world.

The inaugural cohort includes startups from the U.S., Canada, and Israel. These companies represent promising blue tech innovators focused on the exploration, conservation, and sustainable use of ocean resources. The companies and their advisors gathered in-person in Portland on Tuesday to kick off the program.

Their work demonstrates innovation within traditional sectors such as maritime transportation, commercial fisheries, and marine conservation, and holds potential applications across several relevant industries, including renewable energy, biotechnology, environmental monitoring, and sustainable aquaculture.

“For ocean-based startups, AI isn't just a tool; it's a catalyst for unlocking novel solutions and leveraging the incredibly large amount of data available by monitoring our waters,” said Chris Wolfel, Associate Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Venture Creation, Northeastern University.

A cross-disciplinary selection of scientists, AI experts, and investors will offer customized support to companies in the program. Participants will receive support from a scientist-in-residence from GMRI, a data scientist-in-residence from Northeastern’s AI Solutions Hub, and an investor-in-residence from Bold Ocean Ventures. The companies will also receive support from additional venture funds such as Propeller and Glasswing Ventures.

"The program is turbocharging blue tech startups for investment success while positioning Maine as a leader in ocean-related artificial intelligence solutions," said Blaine Grimes, GMRI’s Chief Ventures Officer. “Through this accelerator and other efforts, we aim to bridge the gap between innovative, blue economy businesses and the capital, technical knowledge, and networks needed to help them grow.”

Funding provided by the State of Maine and Maine Technology Institute.


  • Blue Latitudes is a women-owned marine environmental consulting company, dedicated to transforming offshore platforms into permanent artificial reefs. The company is developing FishLAT, Fisheries Location Assessment Technology, which is a spatial planning tool that provides location-specific fisheries information to help inform decisions on offshore energy removal, reefing, or installation. Through initiatives like FishLAT, Blue Latitudes aims to conserve fish habitats, reduce decommissioning costs, and champion a more sustainable future for offshore energy. (New Hampshire, California, Georgia)

  • Coastal Carbon provides underwater remote monitoring for seaweed aquaculture and ocean restoration. The technology provides precision aquaculture insights, addressing issues such as biomass measurement, harvest planning, and preventing seaweed degradation due to biofouling, as well as measurement and verification of carbon and biodiversity credits. (California and Ontario)

  • Coastal Measures is an environmental data company. The company operates a cloud platform, CUMULUS, that uses AI and other data science techniques to seamlessly bridge the gap between raw data and informed decisions for customers in aquaculture, renewable energy capture, insurance, and risk management and mitigation. (New Hampshire)

  • Deep Voice is an AI-based passive acoustics monitoring system currently focused on the conservation of marine mammals. Their system facilitates acoustic analysis, enabling high-quality conclusions in significantly shorter time frames when compared to human analysis. (Israel)

  • LOOKOUT is an AI marine camera system with 360-degree computer vision and augmented navigation that plugs into any standard helm display. Their product synthesizes data from charts, AIS, computer vision, and the cloud, then fuses it into one intuitive, 3D augmented reality view to improve situational awareness and spot hazards for boaters. (Rhode Island)

  • Nekton Labs leverages ocean sensing and AI to measure, verify, and predict marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) with high accuracy and precision. (California)

  • SeaDeep is developing AI to map, monitor, and explore the ocean. Monitoring our ocean’s most important resources, from Japan to the Gulf of Mexico, SeaDeep AI safeguards our coral reefs, undersea infrastructure, and offshore energy assets. (Massachusetts)

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI):

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute develops and delivers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. Located in Portland, ME, the institute is dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. For more information, visit

Gulf of Maine Ventures:

Gulf of Maine Ventures is the entrepreneurship and innovation arm of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute based in Portland, Maine. We catalyze solutions to global ocean challenges by supporting climate and ocean-economy companies from ideation all the way to investment.

The Roux Institute at Northeastern University:

The Roux Institute at Northeastern University, located Portland, Maine, serves as an engine of innovation, talent–building, and economic growth for Portland, the state of Maine, and northern New England.

The Institute for Experiential AI (EAI) at Northeastern University:

The Institute for Experiential AI researches and develops human-centric AI solutions that leverage machine technology to extend human intelligence.

Bold Ocean Ventures:

Bold Ocean Ventures (BOV) is a venture capital fund investing for both competitive venture returns and scalable impact. We do this by connecting science and capital to invest in companies at the forefront of ocean innovation, catalyzing solutions for a productive, sustainable, and climate-resilient Blue Economy.

This is a group photo indoors.

Media Contact

Elijah Miller
Elijah Miller Communications Director (207) 228-1667 [email protected]