LaunchDal graduated its summer cohort of entrepreneurs on Wednesday night with pitches from 11 teams that were heavily weighted in hardware and oceans technology.

Almost all the teams Dalhousie University‘s LaunchPad program are working with or have lined up early adopters, and some have already raised capital from sources other than the university.

Led by entrepreneurship professor Mary Kilfoil, LaunchPad is the summer program offered by LaunchDal, the program at the university that helps students to start businesses. The program offered a total of $100,000 in development costs to the participants.

In introducing the companies, Kilfoil noted that since she and partner Ed Leach began their Starting Lean course five years ago, their programs have helped to launch 100 ventures that created 800 jobs and have raised $20 million.

One notable thing about the 2017 summer program is that three of the 11 teams – ROVault, G.I.T. and Vioa – are in the ocean technology space. That’s significant because the four Atlantic provinces are applying for federal funding for the oceans “super-cluster” and this cluster needs more startups familiar with salt water.

It’s also worth noting that several of the companies are producing hardware. LaunchDal has been working over the past year to enhance its programing for hardware-makers,  who face a different set of challenges than software producers.

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