Applications for cohort 3
open September 1 to October 31, 2023

Application Form


  • Teams must address an ocean-related challenge with a science- and engineering-based solution. Teams can also address the goals established in the CA Climate Initiative.
  • No affiliation with UC San Diego is required to participate.
  • Teams (2+ people) must commit to attend each of the core startBlue events (e.g. 8 weekly classes, 11 biweekly site-visits and workshops, showcase events) and meet the minimum 8 hours of mentoring time.
  • The program will run January - June 2024.
  • Teams must have a San Diego presence – at this time startBlue intends to be offered in-person. 

This program is best suited to newly forming startups — incorporation, fundraising experience, and prototypes are not required.

Competitive teams can demonstrate market potential, environmental need, sustainable approach, and scientific or engineering merit. Female, veteran, and minority Founders are strongly encouraged to apply.

Why Apply

Turn your concept into a reality through customer discovery, technical advising, access to technical resources, and connection to potential partners to take your new business to the next step.

You will graduate from startBlue competitive for later-stage incubator or accelerator programs, to apply for SBIR/STTR funding, and to secure first funding.

Participants will receive

  • Access to a unique entrepreneurship and ocean science and technology curriculum taught by experts in these fields from the San Diego Region, including Rady School of Management, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the startBlue Program Partners
  • Access to selected makerspace and technical facilities at UC San Diego and in the Region
  • A dedicated industry mentor
  • Guided site visits to Program Partner facilities and local blue tech industry
  • Access to workshops, networking opportunities, and conferences like Blue Tech Week and the Ocean Visions Summit
  • Access to resources offered to members of TMA BlueTech and the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA)
  • Opportunity to pitch at the Triton Innovation Challenge (UC San Diego-based teams only) and the startR Demo Day (all teams)

Graduates will leave with

  • A preliminary pitch and deck including a business concept vetted through customer interviews and advising by scientific, engineering, and industry experts
  • A unique network of domain experts, entrepreneurs, funding partners, and fellow entrepreneurs
  • Real-world experience in ocean innovation that could include development of a prototype, new IP, and/or a newly incorporated business
  • Visibility to potential investors and partners through conference and pitch competitions