Applications open for global Traceability & Transparency, Aquaculture Innovation, Tuna tracks; workshop and networking events slated for Australia, California, U.S. Aquaculture.
The Fish 2.0 sustainable seafood innovation network today kicks off a 2018–19 competition for sustainable seafood ventures that reflects the speed of change in the sector. It’s the most expansive competition and connection program yet, with three global tracks, three regional tracks confirmed (more are expected), broader eligibility, more opportunities for entrepreneurs to meet investors and partners, and a new online connection platform launching later this year.
“The seafood sector is thoroughly reimagining products, supply chains, and technologies—much like the communications industry did after the iPhone—and it’s happening even faster than we expected,” says Fish 2.0 Executive Director Monica Jain. “People see a lot of bad news about seafood. Fish 2.0 innovators bring the good news. The problems in seafood are solvable and they are being solved. We’re seeing remarkable advances aimed at aquaculture sustainability, ocean resilience to climate change, traceability and transparency, reducing waste, and enhancing economic opportunities for fishing communities.”
Accelerating these advances is what Fish 2.0 is all about. The competition, always open to both established and early-stage enterprises, now welcomes businesses seeking partners rather than investors as well as those seeking growth capital. Fish 2.0 has streamlined the online competition to make it efficient for ventures to participate and added networking receptions to workshops so entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts can start forging connections right away.
Three-quarters of 2017 finalists made crucial connections
At least 75 percent of finalists in Fish 2.0 2017 made connections during the program that resulted in investment, new partners, or new customers. Throughout the competition, which takes place online over several months, participants get feedback from investors on their plans and presentations along with opportunities to learn from expert advisors and leaders in the field.
“Fish 2.0 really helped us hone our investor message, build our profile and credibility in the market, and strengthen our networking,” says Eric Enno Tamm, CEO of ThisFish. “We increased our profile among impact and angel investors who are interested in the ocean economy, and we made some great connections with peers, both competitors and businesses that could complement our technology offering. Fish 2.0 was also valuable in benchmarking our business against some of the best startups in the fisheries and seafood market.”
2018–19 tracks focus on global issues, regional hotbeds, aquaculture
Global tracks: Fish 2.0 2018–19’s three global tracks address some of the greatest sustainability needs and market opportunities in seafood. Ventures based anywhere in the world may apply to these tracks, starting today. Applications are due by Oct. 28.
- Traceability & Transparency is open to ventures that advance traceability in seafood supply chains, make supply chains more transparent, or mainstream best practices.
- In the Tuna track, eligible businesses might improve management of wild-capture tuna fisheries, increase product value, reduce waste and bycatch, combat illegal fishing, or benefit the countries where the fish are caught.
- Aquaculture Innovation is open to ventures that improve the growth, sustainability, and profitability of aquaculture; reduce its impact on coastal and marine habitats; or improve sustainability and viability of land-based systems.
U.S. Aquaculture: Sponsored by NOAA, this track aims to grow U.S. aquaculture and is open to businesses in all 50 states—including those working on production, feed, technology, algae, aquaponics, or other innovations. Fish 2.0 will hold three workshop and networking events connected with the track, starting with a Nov. 7–8 East Coast program at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), the University of Maryland’s aquaculture innovation center in Baltimore. The other two events will take place in the Gulf region in February and Seattle in April. Ventures may apply and investors and experts may register on the U.S. Aquaculture track page.
Australia: Sponsored by Australia’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and open to all Australian seafood ventures, this track starts with a workshop and networking event Oct. 23–24, 2018, in Melbourne. Sept. 16 is the deadline for ventures to apply and investors and experts to register.
Pacific Islands: The Pacific Islands track, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, is designed for growth businesses looking to partner or trade with the U.S. and Australia. Pacific Islanders with qualifying ventures are invited to apply for the October workshop in Melbourne, where they can connect with Australian partners and investors.
California: This track, sponsored by the California Ocean Protection Council, is open to any California venture working on ocean climate resilience or any aspect of sustainable seafood, including increasing traceability and transparency in California, improving seafood supply chains and infrastructure, and supporting local fishing communities. A kickoff workshop and networking event will happen later this year; sign up on the California track page for notifications.
Fish 2.0 expects to announce additional tracks and regional events by the end of this year.
To keep the pace brisk, regional and global tracks in Fish 2.0 2018–19 will have their own online competition schedules, and as soon as finalists are selected, they’ll gain admission to the cloud-based investor and partner connection platform. After all tracks complete the submission and scoring sequence, the most innovative finalists from each track will be invited to present at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley next fall.
About Fish 2.0
Fish 2.0 connects seafood businesses and investors to grow the sustainable seafood sector. Working through our unique global network, competition platform, and events, Fish 2.0 participants collaborate to drive innovation, business growth, and positive impact. Entrepreneurs meet potential investors, partners, and advisors that help them accelerate impact and growth. Investors and experts get early access to investment opportunities and learn about emerging technologies and trends. And industry leaders gain direct access to sustainable seafood suppliers and partners.
Cameron Wells, Watterson
Office +61 2 9929 7533 | Mobile +61 414 867 057
In the U.S.:
Sandra Stewart, Thinkshift Communications
Office +1 415 391 4449 | Mobile +1 415 948 8058