Entrepreneurs polish their pitches and make connections that drive business growth; investors and experts learn about regional seafood opportunities.
Fish 2.0, the global community for seafood innovators, is holding a two-day workshop for U.S. South Atlantic fisheries and aquaculture businesses April 23–24, 2019, at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). The program culminates with a pitch and networking session, where investors and industry experts can hear about emerging innovations and tour the university’s Shellfish Research Hatchery.
The event, sponsored by UNCW, is an active community-building exercise where participants learn from their peers’ real-world experience as well as from advisors.
Participating businesses get five big benefits. They will :
- Pitch to investors in a supportive environment.
- Learn how to talk about their business in a way that grabs attention.
- Hear what makes investors say yes or no.
- See how they fit into the broader seafood sector.
- • Meet potential partners and others who can help their business grow—over 75 percent of participants in prior workshops report making important business connections.
Benefits for investors and experts are equally compelling. They will:
- Get a taste of seafood innovation bubbling up in the region.
- Meet other experts, leaders, and investors looking at the sector's potential.
- Plug into the Fish 2.0 community and build their regional seafood knowledge.
- Hear over 20 pitches from growing fishery and aquaculture businesses.
Participation is free but space is limited—entrepreneurs, investors, and experts who want to attend must register online. The event is open to all fishery and aquaculture businesses from the South Atlantic region (Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic coast of Florida) that are involved in seafood supply chains, climate resilience technologies, or seafood production, including aquaculture, wild harvesting, or trade. There is no cost to attend and no preparation necessary. Early registrants receive priority.
“The South Atlantic seafood industry will benefit from entrepreneurs sharing their innovative thinking and best practices; building businesses that will be productive, profitable, and create jobs; and, best of all, providing the region with sustainable seafood for generations to come,” says Diane Durance, director of the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Fish 2.0 connects seafood innovators with investors, partners, and customers
The South Atlantic workshop and pitch session is part of the current cycle of Fish 2.0, which connects innovators from around the world to grow the sustainable seafood sector. Any eligible business—workshop participants and others—can take Fish 2.0’s two-part online Readiness Assessment. Those that meet the standard become Fish 2.0 Qualified and will be invited to enter the new Fish 2.0 Connect online hub, where they can connect with investors and partners based on mutual interest. The top-scoring businesses—the Fish 2.0 Forty—will also earn a spot on stage at the Fish 2.0 Global Innovators Forum Nov. 5–6, 2019, at Stanford University, where they’ll present to invited investors and experts from across the country and around the world.
At least 75 percent of finalists in the Fish 2.0 2017 cycle, including many businesses from the South Atlantic region, made connections during the program that resulted in investment, new partners, or new customers.
“Participating in Fish 2.0 opens the door to a global community that shares our local entrepreneurs’ passion for and commitment to building a sustainable seafood industry,” says Durance. “Fish 2.0 is the best possible way for an entrepreneur to get connected to a network that provides important and lasting business connections.”
Opportunities start with workshop and pitch sessions
Business-building opportunities through Fish 2.0 start with regional workshop and pitch sessions like the upcoming North Carolina event. On day one, workshop participants dig into financing, what investors want, and trends affecting their market. They also learn compelling ways to talk about their business. On day two, participants practice what they learned and start taking advantage of the Fish 2.0 network. In the afternoon, participants pitch their business to investors and experts, who benefit from learning about emerging trends and get a taste of seafood innovation bubbling up in the region. Investors and experts must register in advance for the pitch and networking session, but the event is free to attend.
Businesses, investors, and experts can tour the university’s Shellfish Research Hatchery (SRH) on April 24. The SRH’s mission is to conduct and facilitate research that contributes to North Carolina’s efforts to restore declining populations of ecologically and commercially important shellfish, and to build a sustainable shellfish aquaculture industry.
About Fish 2.0
Fish 2.0 is a global community that brings innovators together to grow the sustainable seafood sector. Working through our worldwide network, regional events, online Readiness Assessment, Fish 2.0 Connect online hub, and Global Innovators Forum, Fish 2.0 participants collaborate to drive innovation, business growth, and positive impact. Everyone benefits: 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.
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