Six winners emerge in fast-paced sales-pitch contest.
Nearly 40 entrepreneurs took to the stage at Stanford University last week to pitch their seafood industry-changing innovations in front of a room full of discriminating investors. Although just six left with an official prize, all could claim a measure of success in what will be the final iteration of a contest boasting “Shark Tank” vibes and Silicon Valley buzz.
At the 2019 edition of the Fish 2.0 Global Innovators Forum, founder Monica Jain exulted in the momentum her event created since it launched in 2013, when there was “nothing out there” for investors to sink their teeth into. Over the course of four competitions spanning six years, Jain said the sales-pitch contest became the “pulse of change” that seafood had long needed.
“The future of seafood is here,” she said. “We believed progress would accelerate if we could help investors and entrepreneurs build the knowledge and connections they needed to get promising ideas off the ground and move capital into the sector. Innovation is about more than labeling; it’s products and services that are fundamentally changing the industry. Many of them don’t touch seafood at all.”
The winning innovations covered a wide swathe of seafood supply chain and aquaculture input issues, from robots and blockchain to barley and coconut husks. Winners were named in six categories: global seafood, U.S. seafood, Australian seafood, ocean and seafood technology, supply chain change and aquaculture.