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.


What people are saying about Fish 2.0

  • "Fish 2.0 helped us grow our business, but more importantly, it helped us optimize our business. We are doing more, and doing it better. I don’t believe we would have gotten here as quickly if we had not gone through the Fish 2.0 planning exercise."
    - Dane Chauvel, Fish 2.0 Finalist
  • "Fish 2.0 is a great way to expand your network. We learned about other fish businesses and opportunities for collaboration--that exposure is very hard to do on your own."
    - Alan Lovewell, Fish 2.0 Finalist
  • "It’s not just a seminar, it’s the real thing – you’re pitching to real people with real money."
    - Gary Ullstrom, Fish 2.0 Finalist
  • "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 and Fish 2.0 Advisor
  • "If you’re a start up in seafood, or if you’re an existing company with a social or environmental component, Fish 2.0 is definitely where you want to be."
    - Martin Reed, Fish 2.0 first prize winner
  • "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 Semi-finalist
  • "All the people we dealt with on the Fish 2.0 team were great to work with—we’d have no hesitation to do it again."
    - Ed Robinson, Fish 2.0 Finalist
  • "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 Third Place Winner 2013
  • "It changed the way I prepare for all sorts of investor interactions, and it greatly improved our success."
    - Hoyt Peckham, Fish 2.0 Semi-finalist
  • "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
  • "People found us through the media around Fish 2.0 – people who want to have shrimp locally have gone out of their way to contact us."
    - Gary Beatty, Fish 2.0 Semi-finalist
  • "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, Fish 2.0 Semi-finalist
  • 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 & Fish 2.0 Judge