BlueTech Boost Incubator Program

Carefully crafted support to propel early-stage companies.

The BlueTech Boost is a 10-week, hybrid incubator program designed to help founders overcome hurdles and reach specific milestones. We provide direct mentor support, connect founders to Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s subject-matter expertise, and supplement with micro-grant funding to help move founders along the pathway towards growth.

Get Access To:

  • Tailored Support: Each cohort participant will be paired with a Gulf of Maine Ventures point person who will build a support plan customized to meet your unique needs, ensuring the perfect fit for your project.
  • GMRI Expertise: Draw upon the expertise of internationally recognized research scientists, seafood supply chain and fisheries experts, and climate change leaders who are committed to collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges.
  • Microgrants: Gulf of Maine Ventures will award micro-grants on a sliding scale of $2,500-$7,500 based on company needs and milestone scope. The grants are non-dilutive and can be used for match, where appropriate.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with a vast network of professionals, collaborators, and investors who can propel your ideas to greater heights.

The BlueTech Boost

Our program is crafted to deliver customized support to each participating company, fostering meaningful connections within the cohort and leveraging an extensive GMRI network. This model is designed for maximum impact with minimal intrusion, propelling companies swiftly toward their next stage of growth.

By the end of the program, you'll emerge with a well-defined operational plan, fully equipped and poised to transition into your next phase of company growth!


  • Stay tuned for details on Cohort 3 in Spring 2024


  • Team: Two founders with at least one at full-time
  • Sector: Products focused in the ocean sector that have evidence of product-market fit and are primed to scale
  • Geography: Have relevance or connection to the Gulf of Maine region including the Canadian Maritimes (does not necessarily need to be located in the region, but must have technical relevance, potential for customers, etc.)

BlueTech Boost is relevant for businesses in the following sectors:

  • Seafood: Solutions that enable the production, traceability, and marketing of fish, kelp, shellfish, and under-utilized species
  • Climate Change: Technologies offering solutions in the areas of ocean-related carbon reduction, sequestration, adaptation, and mitigation.
  • Ocean Data: Hardware and software innovations that improve operations, forecasting, and decision-making for ocean-based users.
  • Sustainable Oceans: Solutions that monitor water quality, improve ecosystem health, and protect coastal access and infrastructure.
  • Ocean Energy and Shipping: Software, data, monitoring, analysis, and services related to the implementation of renewable energy sources in the region.
  • Other Ocean Products: Products and technologies sustainably derived from ocean resources with broader applications.


  • One-on-one expert support: Throughout the program, there will be weekly check-ins with an assigned Gulf of Maine Ventures mentor to discuss milestone progress, roadblocks, and provide specific support — including business plan feedback and introductions to contacts within our network of resource providers and industry partners. The Gulf of Maine Ventures mentor will also facilitate up to four 1-hour meetings with a GMRI technical advisor with science and/or industry expertise specific to your company’s sector and milestone needs.
  • Cohort Group Sessions: There are four 1-hour group sessions hosted by Gulf of Maine Venture mentors and external experts. These sessions are tailored to meet the needs of the specific cohort and may include topics like early-stage fundraising strategies and how to build a brand.
  • BlueTech Boost Showcase: During the last week of the program, Gulf of Maine Ventures hosts a showcase event at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute for founders to introduce their companies, present the progress toward their milestone objectives, and their upcoming roadmap of priorities to an audience of GMRI staff, institution and industry partners, and early-stage investors. In person attendance is an expectation of the program.



BLUEiQ: a women-owned startup that is seeking to revolutionize undersea threat detection through machine learning-powered passive acoustic sensing. Their low-power technology leverages sound to safeguard biodiversity, surveil underwater threats, and gather essential data for conservation efforts and risk mitigation. They are actively seeking partnerships within the fisheries and offshore wind sectors to collaborate on a pilot program that demonstrates the ability to detect, classify, and localize marine mammals.

Net Zero Edge: a Nova Scotia-based company pioneering the shift of data centers to the seafloor. They aim to construct the world's most sustainable data centers by leveraging the natural cooling properties of ocean currents and reducing reliance on traditional energy-intensive cooling techniques. Net-Zero Edge (NZE) is actively building partnerships with key stakeholders, including researchers, investors, and regulators, to ensure a successful and compliant launch of their inaugural subsea data center off the east coast of the US.

Seaport Systems: a New England-based company dedicated to bringing critical environmental data to the working waterfronts. With real-time access to environmental data, aquaculturists will gain unparalleled visibility into the productivity of their farms, allowing them to make well-informed decisions and optimize their operations as they scale up. Through the support of BlueTechBoost mentors and technical advisors, they gained operational insights for sensor deployment and a better understanding of how their product could support the marine research market.

Sustainable Sea Products: a Portland-based company creating eco-friendly paper products from Maine seaweed. Their first product, SeaSmoke, is a rolling paper that can be used as an alternative to traditional paper or tobacco products. They have partnered with a local cannabis dispensary to fine tune their prototype for market release, and are now looking at entering the food services to-go packaging industry with their seaweed-derived material.


Aloft makes clean, renewable, and free wind energy available for ship propulsion. Their sails are deployed on vessels to reduce fuel consumption and emissions without operator intervention. They are actively seeking partnerships within the fisheries and aquaculture sectors to collaborate on a pilot program to get their 1/4-Scale prototype out on the water to verify performance on recent upgrades.

Shred Electric electrifies marine operations by replacing gasoline generators and pumps with battery kits. Their US patent-pending ShredConnect™ technology integrates commercial batteries with renewables to power motors, haulers, and pumps. In the program, they are understanding how to move to net carbon zero, and also develop their marketing and outreach plans for their technology.

WaveWise designs a hardware to software product that allows seaweed farmers to maneuver their crop through the water column to access nutrient rich (deeper) waters and help mitigate damage from storms. Sensors to their ballast buoys track ocean and farming to help optimize growth. During the program, they will further develop their operations and testing plans.

Coastal Measures builds a streamlined environmental data collection platform to provide real-time data access for environmental monitoring, renewable energy capture optimization, and AI assisted system assessment. During the program, they define their strategic growth path as they launch DriftAlong, a low-cost drifter to map coastal currents with a built-in connection to Coastal Measures’ Online Platform for Environmental Data (OPED).


Is this in person or virtual?

The program is primarily virtual with the possibility to schedule in person meetings if your team is local to Portland, Maine. The final week of the program we will bring founders to Portland to wrap up with their showcase event.

What is the time commitment of the program?

The time commitment for the virtual programming is on average 1-2 hours per week. This includes weekly check-ins with their Gulf of Maine Venture point person, sessions with their Gulf of Maine Research Institute advisor, and group workshops.

Do I need to be located in the US to apply?

No! We accept companies operating globally but you must be able to articulate a potential reason to connect with the Gulf of Maine (whether that be ecosystem resources, access to markets, etc.). The program is fully virtual, with the exception of an in person final presentation. The final presentation date will be available when we send out award notices.

Is there funding associated with the program?

We provide small, non-dilutive grants as part of this program. The grants range from $2,500 – $7,500 based on your application and presented needs. Companies receive 50% of their grant upon submission of their award package, and the remaining 50% is paid upon completion of the program, including presenting at the final showcase. The grants are non-dilutive and can be used for match, where appropriate.

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