Ocean Connect’s Opportunities Database contains information on ocean-related academic programs, awards, contests, enrichment programs, externships, internships, fellowships, grants, research projects, scholarships, summer programs, and training programs available to students from middle school through graduate school.

But what do you do when you cannot find an established internship? You create one yourself. After all, getting shut out of one of the programs in the Opportunities Database does not mean you should not and cannot have a similar and equally rewarding experience. Participating in an internship will not only give you the chance to learn about a particular subject in depth but also help you develop skills that can only come from working alongside experienced professionals.  And for anyone thinking about going to college, being able to list your participation in an internship on your college application is a big plus. 

For anyone interested in clean energy and technology for the ocean, here are five startups that just may be looking for an eager student willing to work for zero pay. And check out our tutorial series Creating Your Own Opportunity which will show you how to create your own ocean-science-related internship opportunity when you have not been able to secure a spot in a more formal program.


Mission: Unlocking the power of the ocean.

Wave power has the potential to satisfy 20-30% of global energy demand. CalWave Inc.’s patented technology converts wave energy into electricity at high performance while surviving storms and extreme conditions.


Mission: Building the boat of the future.

Navier is on a mission to make waterways as accessible as roadways by building an all-electric, hydrofoiling boat to unlock a new form of clean, scalable waterborne transportation for both passengers and goods.


Mission: Water purification powered by the sun.

Desolenator is the world’s first modular solar thermal desalination solution that works at scale, harnessing photons of the sun to treat saltwater, brackish water, or contaminated water with zero harmful chemicals for high-quality potable drinking water and ultrapure water.


Mission: Powering the world with wind.

bound4blue offers a foldable and autonomous wing sail system for a wide range of vessels as a complementary propulsion system to produce effective thrust from existing winds, reduce the main engine power required, and deliver fuel consumption and pollutant emissions reductions of up to 40%.

Photon Marine

Mission: Systems built for a brighter future.

Photon Marine is developing the world’s most powerful and intelligent electric outboard motor system and fleet management software to replace traditional motors on both new and existing vessels—without compromising on performance or reliability.