14 businesses will receive ICX prizes, designed to help innovative sustainable seafood ventures grow
The competition’s cash prize winners were announced Nov. 8 at the close of the Fish 2.0 2017 Innovation Forum at Stanford University. Those awards went to the eight seafood ventures—one in each of the competition’s six regional and two global tracks—that earned the highest scores from investor-judges.
All of the 39 finalists from around the world who presented at the Forum were eligible for ICX prizes. These prizes are unique opportunities for ventures to gain market insights and expertise from industry leaders who support growth and innovation in sustainable seafood. Offered by investors and buyers, intermediaries and other seafood companies, ICX prizes include invitations to work directly with industry leaders on investment structures and growth plans or developing branding and market penetration strategies; to attend investor and industry events; and to meet and present to retail and wholesale partners in Europe and the U.S.
“It’s important for us to support the growth of the sustainable seafood sector as well as innovations in this sector,” said Guy Dean, vice president and chief sustainability officer at Albion Farms & Fisheries. “Fish 2.0 does just that, and their results have been fabulous. As a successful protein company, we are happy to help coach and mentor entrepreneurs because they will ultimately create positive impact for our industry and for future generations. In addition, this is a great opportunity for us to learn about new initiatives. In fact, we gain as much value in learning about the prize recipient’s innovation as we hope the prize recipient gains from our input and work with them.”
ICX prize recipients were chosen based on fit with the prize criteria and ability to take full advantage of the prize.
“Given Alltech’s ACE principle commitment to agricultural solutions that benefit the animal, consumer and environment, and to improving aquafeed specifically, we were eager to partner with Fish 2.0 in identifying companies that might be able to complement our core competencies and capabilities,” said Dr. Sasha Tozzi, algae technical manager at Alltech. “We are very excited to meet NovoNutrients to learn more about their technology, which could have many applications in Alltech’s animal nutrition. ShellBond’s capability to use swine waste as a source of a natural carotenoid antioxidant is another compelling match.”
Here is the full list of ICX prizes and winners, by prize sponsor:
Albion Farms & Fisheries
Prize: A full day of expert consultation with the Albion Farms & Fisheries senior leadership team and CSO, including advice and insight on opening new market opportunities and business growth strategies.
Winner: Fish Extend of Santiago, Chile, whose product extends the shelf life of fresh fish using natural ingredients, reducing production losses due to spoilage.
Prize: Two passes for ONE: the Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2018, and private meetings in Lexington with members of the Alltech team.
Winners: NovoNutrients of Sunnyvale, California (also the competition’s Supply Chain Innovation track winner), which is using food-grade bacteria to make fish food from industrial carbon emissions; and
ShellBond of Wilmington, North Carolina, whose technology solves problems in oyster habitat restoration, spat sedimentation, oil cleanup and nonorganic antioxidants in salmon farms.
Prize: One-day consultation with the Australis CEO and leadership team on how to introduce new products to market and/or scale an aquaculture enterprise.
Winner: VakSea of Baltimore, which has developed a patented oral vaccine delivered via fish feed that promotes healthier fish and decreases antibiotic use in aquaculture.
Calvert Impact Capital (formerly Calvert Foundation)
Prize: Half-day expert consultation with Calvert Impact Capital lending staff who lead its Women Investing in Women program, including mentorship, guidance and information on accessing financing.
Winner: American Unagi of Thomaston, Maine (the competition’s short-pitch winner), which grows locally harvested glass eels to market size in a land-based aquaculture system.
Prize: Two half-day meetings or one full-day meeting for up to three people with the FishChoice leadership team, who will share FishChoice’s expertise on sustainable seafood ratings and certifications.
Winner: Fair Agora of Bangkok, whose Verifik8 monitoring and verification software collects data from fish farms and cooperatives to help seafood buyers make safe and responsible choices.
Prize: Two tickets to the IntraFish Seafood Investor Forum in either New York or London.
Winners: ColomboSky of Verona, Italy, whose Aqua-X technology for the marine aquaculture industry uses satellite images, in-situ data and expert supervision to monitor and forecast water quality; and
TunaSolutions of Sydney, a fair-trade online marketplace for the tuna industry that connect fishers with buyers and facilitates real-time trading through a series of online auctions.
Prize: Half-day meeting and consultation with the Rabobank North American seafood lending team, and a consultation with Rabobank’s global seafood analyst.
Winner: SmartCatch of Palo Alto, California, whose flagship product is DigiCatch, a remotely controllable video, lighting and oceanographic catch monitoring system.
RSF Social Finance
Prize: One-day visit to the RSF Social Finance offices for coaching sessions with the social enterprise lending team and the RSF marketing team.
Winner: Real Oyster Cult of Duxbury, Massachusetts (also the competition’s New England track winner), which ships fresh oysters from all over North America direct to consumers overnight.
Prize: Half-day consultation with the Stavis Seafoods CEO and responsible sourcing manager, including mentorship, guidance and information on accessing new market opportunities.
Winner: OneForNeptune of Santa Fe, New Mexico, which offers healthy, high-protein snack foods made from underutilized and undervalued U.S. groundfish species and industry offcuts.
Prize: Two-day consultation with specialists from TomAlgae, who will offer advice and expertise on successfully scaling oyster aquaculture production.
Winners: Panacea Oysters of Spring Creek, Florida (also the competition’s South Atlantic and Gulf Coast Shellfish track winner), which is restoring oyster farming in Apalachicola Bay by creating a unified brand and guaranteeing purchases to farmers; and Pensacola Bay Oyster Company of Pensacola, Florida, an oyster farm producing premium oysters for the half-shell market, with the goal of restoring the Gulf Coast’s environment and working waterfronts.
Prize: The Wabel Retail Prize includes an invitation to the Wabel Summit, at least eight meetings with fish buyers from Europe’s largest retail groups, and more.
Winner: Northline Seafoods of Sitka, Alaska (also the competition’s U.S. West Coast track winner), whose unique floating processing facility eliminates waste and extends the shelf life of sustainable wild salmon.
“Our team is thrilled to receive the Stavis Seafoods ICX prize,” said Nick Mendoza, CEO of OneForNeptune. “We’re introducing seafood products to a consumer market dominated by non-seafood meat snacks, which is both a challenge and an opportunity. Guidance from a company that is nearly 100 years old could be pivotal to our success, helping us to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that can derail young companies. This prize gives us an invaluable opportunity to learn directly from Richard Stavis, a seafood innovator who has successfully grown a large company while continuing to focus attention on fishing communities, sustainable sourcing and enhancing consumer awareness.”
Fish 2.0 founder and executive director Monica Jain said the prizes and the spirit behind them exemplify what Fish 2.0 is all about—growing the sustainable seafood industry through connections and learning. “We’re grateful to these forward-thinking prize givers for offering their time and resources to these ventures and to the field,” she said. “Over the past years, these prizes and the partnerships that result from them have led to extraordinary growth acceleration for the winning ventures and the prize givers. These are golden opportunities.”
The prize givers benefit along with the entrepreneurs. “Participation in Fish 2.0 gives us fantastic insight into the sustainable seafood sector—it’s a great way to build our network and learn about the range of innovation and investment activity that’s happening to support sustainable oceans,” said Leigh Moran, senior officer, strategy, at Calvert Impact Capital. “Offering an ICX prize is a great way for CIC to be more involved in Fish 2.0 and continue learning about the sector.”
About Fish 2.0
Fish 2.0 is a Carmel, California–based social enterprise that connects investors and entrepreneurs to grow the global sustainable seafood sector. Working through Fish 2.0’s expanding global network, regional workshops and other events, and online competition platform, Fish 2.0 participants collaborate to drive innovation, business growth and positive impact. Everyone benefits: Entrepreneurs meet potential investors, partners and advisors. Investors and advisors get early access to investment opportunities and learn about emerging technologies and trends. Industry leaders gain direct access to sustainable seafood suppliers and partners.
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