November workshop in San Francisco gives entrepreneurs a head start on applying for global business competition; participants build a local investor and partner network, make crucial connections
Fish 2.0, the global network for sustainable seafood businesses, is launching a track for California-based ventures in its 2018¬–19 business competition cycle. The track kicks off with a two-day workshop and networking event Nov. 28–29.
Supported by the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), the California track is open to businesses involved in seafood supply chains, climate resilience technologies, or seafood production, harvesting, and trade. OPC and Fish 2.0 are co-hosting the kickoff event at the Schmidt Marine Technology Partners offices on San Francisco’s waterfront. The program will help ventures improve their business strategies and investor presentations, as well as give entrepreneurs, investors, and experts interested in ocean health and seafood ventures a chance to meet. Participation is free at both the workshop and reception, but anyone who wants to attend must apply online by Oct. 28. If the event reaches capacity, preference goes to those who register early.
Fish 2.0 has also published a new research briefing on opportunities and innovations in California fisheries.
Workshop provides a head start on success in the Fish 2.0 competition
The workshop prepares entrepreneurs to compete in the Fish 2.0 competition by giving them expert advice on communicating about their business in a way that attracts interest, practice pitching to investors and buyers, and guidance on integrating social and environmental sustainability into their business strategy. The second day closes with a three-hour networking reception and pitching opportunity that brings entrepreneurs together with investors and experts from industry and government, allowing those interested in growing the California sustainable fisheries and oceans sectors to meet one another.
Track aims to support local fisheries, increase climate resilience
Enhancing resilience to climate change, developing ways to connect fishers to local markets, reducing waste, and increasing transparency in seafood supply chains are major themes in the track.
“OPC’s Sustainable Fisheries Program envisions thriving and sustainable ocean fisheries, port communities, and coastal economies in California,” says Deborah Halberstadt, OPC’s executive director and deputy secretary for ocean and coastal matters. “Sponsoring the Fish 2.0 California track allows us to spur sustainable seafood businesses that will ensure California fisheries and fishing communities can thrive and advance innovations that can help us understand and adapt to climate change impacts on the ocean.”
Adds Alan Lovewell, founder and CEO of Real Good Fish in Moss Landing and a finalist in the inaugural Fish 2.0 competition: “What we do in our state has everything to do with sustainable fisheries globally. California is a leader in fishery management and sustainable seafood production. The Fish 2.0 California track is the perfect platform for California to maintain or increase its lead. Our business gained pitching experience, public exposure, and a broad network of people and organizations that see opportunity in creating healthier seafood systems.”
At least 75 percent of Fish 2.0 finalists gain investment, partners, or customers
Fish 2.0, now in its fourth competition cycle, builds networks among entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders to spur growth and innovation in the sustainable seafood sector worldwide. At least 75 percent of finalists in Fish 2.0 2017 made connections during the program that resulted in new investment, partners, or customers.
“Fish 2.0 truly helped us focus our message and business model, and making connections with other competitors was a tremendous experience,” says Kortney Opshaug, founder and CEO of Redwood City–based Blue Ocean Gear. “Not only was it phenomenal to network with others in the same challenging space of sustainable seafood, but it also led to business partnerships and opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Participants in the 2018¬–19 Fish 2.0 competition cycle will have opportunities to meet with investors at various points as they progress through the competition. The top ventures will also be invited to pitch at the Fish 2.0 Global Innovation Forum, taking place in fall 2019 in Silicon Valley.
Applications for the online competition open Nov. 28 for all California participants. Throughout the process, participants get feedback from investors on their plans and presentations as well as opportunities to learn from a range of expert advisors and leaders in the field. Investors gain access to up-and-coming seafood innovators and an early look at trends in the sector.
“California enterprises have always done well in Fish 2.0, so we’re excited to open a whole track to ventures that contribute to the health of the state’s rich seafood culture and coastal waters, as well as to economic growth,” says Fish 2.0 Executive Director Monica Jain. “Creating a hub of investors and entrepreneurs interested in growing California’s sustainable seafood supply and addressing ocean climate challenges will allow the state to develop models that can work throughout the U.S.”
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.