Project

Blue Economy Innovation Corridor

Harnessing the Gulf of Maine's potential.

We are combining the technical expertise of GMRI with business formation and support services to forge a pathway for Blue Economy entrepreneurs and start-ups, so they can access the investment capital they need to take charge of the region's climate future. This effort will cement the Gulf of Maine corridor, from Maine to Boston, as a global hub of innovation, make our region's seafood industry internationally competitive, generate high quality sustainable jobs, and usher in a new generation of Blue Economy entrepreneurship.

Initiative Objectives:

  • Create and accelerate for-profit companies for entrepreneurs and start-ups who can make positive impacts and generate sustainable growth in the Gulf of Maine.
  • Help scale and develop a range of marine businesses by connecting them with a robust network of regional partners, industry resources, and supportive services.
  • Help fund the growth of our Blue Economy through partnerships with angel investors, venture capital firms, state, local, and non-profit lending entities, and other capital sources.

Join the SPRINT

We will select sixteen bluetech startups and seafood-related businesses with operations and impact in the Gulf of Maine to join the SPRINT. Selected businesses will receive free one year memberships to SeaAhead, join its growing community of bluetech innovators, and gain access to a network of advisors and digital resources. GMRI will also select a subset of this group for immersive business development support by the Gulf of Maine Ventures team. Rolling admissions — apply today!

Maine's Blue Economy

The Gulf of Maine region offers Blue Economy innovators a unique combination of natural resources, research laboratories, higher education institutions, and entrepreneurial support services, but the missing piece of the puzzle is a catalyst to bring those resources to bear on supporting early-stage entrepreneurs. Right now, Blue Economy entrepreneurs bump between institutions and investors, looking for the solutions and capital they need to get started, but many get stuck because there is no unified path or community to support their collective efforts. The result is businesses that are slow to grow, start down the wrong path, or never get launched.

Our Role

Through Gulf of Maine Ventures, we are launching a Blue Economy Innovation Corridor initiative to create and accelerate these businesses in the Gulf of Maine region that are applying technology to traditional and emerging marine industries, in alignment with state and local economic development plans. Gulf of Maine Ventures will act as a catalyst for this effort to grow the region's Blue Economy by connecting the region’s ocean-related research and business development resources with the innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups that need them, as well as by leveraging our institutional capacity, emerging ocean data and climate technology, institutional partnerships, industry connections, and the staff expertise at GMRI. In addition, GMRI has built a unique expertise in the impacts of climate change on the oceans and recently launched a new interdisciplinary Climate Center focused on applied solutions to local, regional, and global challenges related to ocean warming.

A growing list of strategic partners and collaborators will also make this initiative stronger and more representative of Gulf of Maine stakeholders across the board.

EDA SPRINT Project

We are honored to have been selected as recipients of the EDA SPRINT economic relief grant alongside our project partners SeaAhead — a bluetech startup platform founded in Boston. After decades of engagement with marine stakeholders of all kinds, we know Maine is positioned to become the epicenter of our region’s blue economy. This initial investment from EDA starts us down that path.

This relief grant will support our efforts to lead a blue innovation recovery initiative that will provide direct support to regional seafood-related startups and small businesses right now as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Throughout the Gulf of Maine region, a burgeoning group of entrepreneurial businesses are focused on driving innovation in finfish, shellfish and algae aquaculture, as well within U.S. wild fisheries. Their solutions – including supply chain digitization, aquaculture innovations, and new fisheries technology – are essential to global competitiveness in the blue economy.

The EDA SPRINT grant will help us assist seafood-related startups and small business scale-ups by enabling us to:

  1. Scale entrepreneurship support models through a digital platform and simplified access to physical assets.
  2. Deepen and enrich digital mentorship models and connect startups to key mentors.
  3. Increase and enhance access to investment capital.

The end result is an enhanced economic corridor in northern New England that will allow the region to be more resilient to the next economic shock.

a picture of the ULOT net

SPRINT: The Work Ahead

Explore the details of our SPRINT project, and learn more about how we plan to support the seafood industry alongside our partners SeaAhead.

EDA SPRINT Project Partner

This new project strengthens a powerful partnership between the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Sea Ahead – a bluetech startup platform founded in Boston. Our ocean insight and network combined with their start-up support expertise will strengthen the blue economy corridor from Maine to Boston.

Staff Contact


Blaine Grimes
Blaine Grimes Chief Ventures Officer (207) 228-1655 [email protected]

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