How the 2013 Fish 2.0 worked

The 2013 Fish 2.0 Competition offered finalist competitors up to $75,000 in cash prizes, semi-finalists a prize of $2,500, and all finals participants access to investors interested in the fishing and aquaculture sector.

Competition Details

The competition was open to all wild capture based fisheries businesses and also to any aquaculture business based on seafood from closed containment recirculating systems (full or partial) or from in-ocean tank systems.  All competitors advancing beyond Phase 1 received free one-on-one time with experienced advisors to help them refine and package their ideas. Entries were judged on their business quality, presentations and investment potential.  Additional points in the competition were awarded for business ideas that offer improvements in local economic and/or environment sustainability.  These qualities could be built into the competitor's business plan during the course of the competition and were not required to enter.

The competition took place in several phases. Competitors receive feedback from investors and judges at each phase before spending additional time on their business idea. The phased approach breaks down the work load over the 9 month competition period for participants and offers competitors assurance that their efforts are worthwhile before they spend additional time on their entry.

In each phase, competitors:

  • Created an online entry to provide details about the venture.
  • Received scores from judges to determine if they advance to the next phase.
  • Were assigned an advisor to help develop the entry as needed (Phases 2, 3, 4). They had a chance to approve the advisor and to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.

 Final Event: networking and prizes

The final phase concluded with an in-person, 2-day event on Nov. 12-13, 2013, at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California. This provided:

  • 10 Finalists with an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of experienced judges offering real time feedback for each.  This also exposed the business idea to a broad audience of investors.  Finalists had multiple opportunities to meet potential investors.
  • 10 Semi-finalists had an opportunity to learn from their peers and to meet investors and advisors who can help them move forward with their ideas.
  • Multiple networking opportunities for all with investors, advisors, business leaders and sponsors of the competition.
  • Information and learning sessions for both competitors and investors.
  • An awards ceremony announcing the cash awards for the top three proposals and for the top semi-finalist.

Get involved!

  1. Although the 2013 Fish 2.0 is over, we are currently preparing for the next competition, to be launched in January 2015.
  2. Please click on "Connect with Fish 2.0" to the right, so we can keep you up to date with Fish 2.0. There is no commitment to compete if you fill out this form to connect, so you can enter your information now to receive updates. You can unsubscribe at anytime.

What people are saying about Fish 2.0

  • "The Fish 2.0 organizers have done a fantastic job creating the world's first fishing and aquaculture business plan competition. Our advisors and the webinars have been top-notch, and the amount of interest and number of investors Fish 2.0 has attracted are incredible."

    - David Walfish, Fish 2.0 Competitor and Third Place Winner 2013
  • Fish 2.0 will help fill a critical missing part of the ecosystem around financing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. We look forward to connecting this effort to our thousands of investors motivated by positive social and environmental change.

    - Margot Kane, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Calvert Foundation
  • "Although it was at times an exhausting process, the outcome was to provide us with a much clearer vision of the future of our business than we had when this journey began nine months ago.  I don’t know how the team at Organic Ocean can possibly thank you for what you’ve contributed to our business."
    - Dane Chauvel, Fish 2.0 Competitor
  • "Typically fishermen and investors live on opposite ends of the spectrum with one not understanding the other. This competition puts great minds from different industries together so that ultimately, it is our fisheries that benefit at the end of the day."
    - TJ Tate, Executive Director, Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance
  • "Just learning about the impact investment world was quite interesting and will help us make solid connections with investors and lenders who fully appreciate what we are doing.  There is no doubt in my mind that we have, and will continue to benefit from the competition."
    - Ed Robinson, Fish 2.0 Competitor
  • "Fish 2.0 takes the fish by the fins and creates a much needed mechanism through which the right industry experience, innovative thinkers and financial backing can come together to move new ideas in seafood to market."
    Kit Barron, Managing Director, CapLog Group, LLC
  • "When people ask me how it went, I tell them... it was simply amazing to meet so many like-minded individuals in one place, at one time. Thank you for making that possible. I'm so grateful that we were chosen as semi-finalists and invited to attend."
    - Diane Durance, Fish 2.0 Competitor
  • "We believe that creating sustainable fisheries will have long-lasting impact on ensuring and improving the livelihoods of large populations in the developing world."
    - Beau Seil, Managing Partner, Unitus Impact
  • "It became clear to us that the fundamental intent of Fish 2.0 was to nurture as many viable sustainable seafood businesses as possible, as evidenced by the excellent pro-bono strategic advisors with whom each business entry was matched."
    - Kevin Scriber, Fish 2.0 Competitor
  • "As a non-profit organization, Fish 2.0 has completely changed the way we think about our work.  Whether we win the competition or not, the value was in the journey - learning to apply business principles to the way we conduct our work."
    - Jason Philibotte, Director of Conservation International's Hawaii Fish Trust.
  • "The team at the Fish 2.0 competition have really stepped up to the plate in creating and supporting a venue that has not only been helping me in refining my business readiness and providing me with expert advice and resources, but importantly giving me with the chance to make that critical connection with potential investors who believe in the opportunities of this new and emerging market."
    - Rob Terry, Fish 2.0 Competitor