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The Blue Pipeline business incubator will accept applications for its first cohort of businesses through the end of the month, an extension beyond the initial Sept. 12 deadline. A pilot project of the Alaska Ocean Cluster Initiative, the incubator is a Seward-based support organization for “early stage ocean-related businesses” and startups.

The applications received so far “reflect the diversity of Seward’s maritime economy,” said manager Justin Sternberg. “We’ve got everything from robotics to ecotourism to repair for fishing equipment.”

Sternberg, who was hired last month, formerly worked for Continuum Industries and Blue Evolution. He has experience in seaweed mariculture and worked on Anchorage’s LED streetlight program.

Modeled on the startup incubators of the tech industry and drawing on experience from a selection of international coastal communities, the Blue Pipeline is designed to connect its participants to a network of advisors and potential investors.

Applicants will demonstrate the viability of their business idea to a board of advisors on a “pitch day,” much the same way that tech industry hopefuls persuade angel investors and venture capitalists to help get new ideas off the ground. 

The Pipeline will hold an open house on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the K. M. Rae Building at 125 Third Avenue. The event will begin at 5 p.m.

The City of Seward, Chamber of Commerce, and Alaska Ocean Cluster partnered to fund the program.