• A new nutrient for aquaculture, from microbes that consume carbon waste

    Global Aquaculture Advocate
    • James Wright
    • February 12, 2018

    NovoNutrients readies its ‘microbial consortium’ to produce nutraceutical aquafeed additives

    The pace of innovation in aquaculture feed ingredients is picking up. Entering the fray is a Silicon Valley-born biotechnology firm that, according to its recently appointed CEO, is “coming out of the lab” to commercialize a fishmeal alternative and specialty feed additives that are customizable for numerous seafood species.

    NovoNutrients, a company originally formed to produce biofuels, has several advantages as it breaks into aquaculture. First is CEO David Tze – an experienced investor across the entire seafood value chain, from production to feeds to distribution – who joined the company in October.

    Secondly, NovoNutrients’ primary input is extremely cheap or even free. In fact, carbon waste producers currently flaring industrial gases could instead pay the company to take the chemicals off their hands.

  • Fish 2.0 Offers Cash, Advice to an Ocean of Seafood Start-Ups

    Civil Eats
    • Sara Harrison
    • January 25, 2018

    With the seafood industry in transition, these entrepreneurs are pitching ways to make it more sustainable.

    In a large ballroom at Stanford University’s Arrillaga Alumni Center, jittery entrepreneurs make their way onto a small stage to pitch their sustainable seafood ventures. Out of 184 applications, only 40 have made the cut. Among the finalists are a mail-order oyster startup that will ship the food overnight to your door, a manufacturer of devices that track lost fishing gear, an Alaskan processing facility looking to expand, and training programs that teach Peruvian fishermen how to operate more sustainably.

    They’re taking part in the third bi-annual Fish 2.0 competition, and the stakes are high. Many of these entrepreneurs have never made a pitch in front of an audience before. And with some of the largest and most respected investors in the sector, including Rabobank, Aqua-Spark, and Obvious Ventures, eagerly looking on, competitors are anxious to make a good impression. Flanked by projectors and armed only with a microphone and a remote to advance their slides, entrepreneurs from as far away as Italy, Peru, and the Solomon Islands have only a few minutes to make their pitch in front of a four-judge panel and a room full of potentially lucrative connections.

  • Hatching a plan for Florida oyster farming

    Global Aquaculture Advocate
    • Jodi Helmer
    • January 23, 2018

    Panacea Oyster Co-op and Pensacola Bay Oyster Co. aim to build Sunshine State’s first hatcheries

    Rob Olin started Panacea Oyster Co-op with the goal of providing farmers with everything they needed to grow and sell premium oysters at a profit. There was just one problem: The Crawfordville, Fla., facility lacked a critical component for success.

    “We don’t have a hatchery,” he said. “If we want to be successful, we need to close that loop.”

    Panacea currently produces 20,000 oysters per week – a number expected to jump to 60,000 as soon as this spring when the latest batch of spat matures. Since opening in 2015, Olin has relied on limited amounts of oyster seed produced in some Florida clam hatcheries or seed sourced from hatcheries in other states, including those at Louisiana State and Auburn universities, to meet demand.

  • Investment firm raising funds for paper-based disease test kits

    Global Aquaculture Advocate
    • Twilight Greenaway
    • January 15, 2018

    Gaskiya Diagnostics’ affordable, quick solution will target smallholder aquaculture farms

    In aquaculture, disease outbreaks are the ultimate profit killers.

    Because fish are submerged in water, their overall health can be difficult to track. And when disease breaks out in a cage or in a tank, it can be nearly impossible to stop.

    “There’s a period of time before you see it and recognize that you have a problem,” said Brent Whitaker, a longtime veterinarian who has worked in various capacities for the National Aquarium since 1989. “We are very limited in the sorts of medications we can use if we face a disease outbreak.”

  • News Coverage of ICX Prizes

  • Fish 2.0 Awards Second Round of Prizes in 2017 Competition

    • CARMEL, CA
    • December 12, 2017

    14 businesses will receive ICX prizes, designed to help innovative sustainable seafood ventures grow

    CARMEL, CA, December 12, 2017—Fish 2.0 today announced the winners of its 11 ICX (Industry Connection) prizes, the final awards in the Fish 2.0 2017 competition for sustainable seafood businesses.

    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.

  • Buy-valves: Massachusetts farmers grow online oyster business

    Global Aquaculture Advocate
    • Lauren Kramer
    • December 11, 2017

    Fish 2.0 winners Real Oyster Cult tightens consumers’ connection to the sea

    Oyster farmers Rob Knecht and Sims McCormick opted to cut out middlemen and wholesalers with Real Oyster Cult, their fledgling online oyster business, and deliver their briny shellfish direct from farm to consumer.

    Five months in they’ve shipped close to 500 boxes (containing 20 to 100 oysters each) to 46 different states. When they walked off with a $5,000 prize after pitching their business to investors at Fish 2.0 (for a New England seafood business with high potential for scalability and a strong branding strategy), it was the ultimate recognition that they’re on the right track.

    “We work seven days a week on this business and it’s nice to get recognition from the industry that validates what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” Knecht told the Advocate. “That was even more important than the $5,000!”

  • Panacea Oyster Co-Op winner of 2017 FISH 2.0 International Business Competition

    • December 6, 2017

    Fish 2.0 closed out its 2017 Innovation Forum today by awarding a cash prize to Panacea Oyster Co-Op. The International Business Competition was held in silicon valley (PALO ALTO, CA), where Rob Olin presented the forum with the Panacea Oyster Co-Op story. Mr. Olin provided additional details to judges during a 5-minute question-and-answer sessions on stage at Stanford University. Winners were selected from six regional and two global tracks.

  • Synthetic, Sustainable Bait Featured at Impact Investment Conference

    • Anthony Dellinger
    • December 5, 2017

    Kepley BioSystems among Most Promising Companies at 2017 Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum

    GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA, U.S., December 5, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Kepley BioSystems (KBI) was one of 40 of the most promising sustainable seafood companies chosen to present their business and products at the 2017 Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum held on November 7-8, 2017, at Stanford University. KBI placed in the top tier of its segment, and the final awards from the academic and impact investment participants’ ratings will be announced later this month.

  • Northline wins honors at Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum

    • Robert Woolsey
    • November 22, 2017

    A Sitka-based seafood processor has won an innovation award — although it hasn’t processed much fish yet.

    Northline Seafoods was one of nine international organizations recognized by Fish 2.0, at its Innovation Forum at Stanford University earlier this month.

    The award has a cash component, but Northline’s co-founder hopes the big prize is new investment in what his company considers a higher-quality product.

  • The Pacific shone at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum – US

    • Jenni Metcalfe
    • November 20, 2017


    Three Pacific Island sustainable seafood businesses were among 40 finalists from across the globe that pitched to investors at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, CA, USA. Representing the Pacific Islands were Didds Fishing Company, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu’s Shepherd Islands Organic Seafood and Indigo Seafood Palau.

    James Sanderson, Indigo Seafood said he was grateful for the opportunity.

    “This has been such an amazing experience, I feel very honoured to have represented Palau and have this opportunity to speak directly to investors and show them what we are doing in Palau as custodians of the ocean to ensure there will be fish for generations to come.

  • Matariki thankful competing for investors

    • Len Garae
    • November 18, 2017

    “I feel blessed to be part of the Fish 2.0 2017 competition, it’s been amazing an opportunity, through the competition I’ve become clearer of my vision for Shepherd Islands Organic Seafood and championing sustainable fishing practices.

    “It’s really important for the next generation, to look after our precious oceans. Employment opportunities in Vanuatu are limited and the work we do helps to provide a sustainable income to families.”

    Owner of Vanuatu’s Shepherd Islands Organic Seafood, Obed Matariki, made the statement during the competition as was one of of three Pacific Island sustainable seafood businesses among 40 finalist from across the globe that pitched to investors at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, CA, USA.

  • Why Seafood Is Poised for Silicon Valley-Style Disruption

    National Geographic
    • Ian Evans
    • November 17, 2017

    Fish 2.0 brings together startups and investors that want to make seafood more sustainable. Founder Monica Jain says emerging technologies and market forces will push the industry to change – sooner rather than later.

    WHEN 40 STARTUPS from all over the world gathered at Stanford University in November, it was not a typical Silicon Valley pitch day. The entrepreneurs competing in the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum saw themselves more like the next Cargill than the next Google.

    Monica Jain, Fish 2.0’s founder and executive director, believes the seafood industry is on the brink of dramatic change, driven by environmental concerns and market shifts such as a growing and more health-conscious global middle class and a boom in aquaculture.

  • Eight winners of the Fish 2.0 business competition snag startup cash and a network

    • Roodgally Hendel Senatus
    • November 17, 2017

    The winners from six regional and two globals tracks took home $5,000 each in cash

    This year’s winners include: EnerGaia, which is rooftop farming spirulina algae in Bangkok, and Sustainable Fishery Trade, which is cultivating fair and sustainable trade among South America’s artisanal fisheries and working to make octopus processing more inclusive of women.

  • Fishmeal alternatives, artisanal fishing focus of startups’ innovation efforts

    • Jason Smith
    • November 16, 2017

    PALO ALTO, California, US -- Two very different corners of the seafood sector — efforts to improve conditions for traditional fishers in developing countries and ways to reduce fishmeal makers’ dependence on wild-caught fish — are attracting a fair amount of attention from entrepreneurs.

    Speaking during seafood startup competition Fish 2.0’s “Wild Fisheries and Innovative Fish Feeds” category presentations, six presenters made their cases for funding that they say will help them scale up their successful new ideas.

  • Cucalorus Connect Panel Discusses Accelerating State's Seafood Economy

    • Jessica Maurer
    • November 15, 2017

    One of the topics during the recent Cucalorus Connect conference was the "Acceleration of the North Carolina Seafood Economy."

    The session included a panel led by David “Clammerhead” Cessna of Sandbar Oyster Company; Barbara Garrity-Blake, co-author of Living at the Water’s Edge and instructor in marine fisheries policy at the Duke University Marine Laboratory; and Ryan Speckman, co-founder of Locals Seafood.

    Panelists identified several key problems within the U.S. fishing industry, including the fact that 90 percent of all seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. With a lack of domestic processing facilities, the U.S. is bringing in seafood from across the world, in many cases from countries with scant regulations regarding the handling of seafood. This leads to a wide scope of issues ranging from mislabeling to quality control, panelists said.

  • Flush with interest, startup contest Fish 2.0 to hold year-round selection

    • Jason Smith
    • November 15, 2017

    PALO ALTO, California, US -- The organizers of Fish 2.0 have some changes in store that aim to increase collaboration between seafood startups, investors and others in the sector, but co-founder Monica Jain made it clear that one thing won't change.

    The biannual seafood startup business competition, recently held for the third time at Stanford University, won't update its name to "Fish 3.0" or "Fish 2.1" as if it were a piece of software, Jain said, adding the "2.0" moniker was molded after the user-created content attributes of internet standard Web 2.0.

  • Meet Fish 2.0's award-winning businesses disrupting seafood

    • Jenna Blumenfeld
    • November 15, 2017

    The prestigious seafood business competition Fish 2.0 recently announced the eight winning companies who are working to make the seafood industry more sustainable, traceable and socially conscious.

    Seafood is an essential form of high-quality nutrition around the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, global per capita consumption of fish has risen to more than 44 pounds per year for the first time. This growth is largely driven by the relatively recent adoption of aquaculture, which is used by many more-sustainable-than-you-think fisheries. But in a 2016 report, FAO said that the world’s marine resources are hurting, citing that, “almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now fished at biologically unsustainable levels, triple the level of 1974.” Overfishing, paired with rampant mislabeling and sometimes sub-par working conditions for fishermen, has left the seafood industry in need of repair.

  • Eight winners announced in Fish 2.0 competition

    • Ben Fisher
    • November 14, 2017

    Eight sustainable seafood businesses won cash prizes at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum in Palo Alto, California, U.S.A. last week, beating out a competitive field that had been narrowed down to 22 presenters.

    Among the winners were Real Oyster Cult, based in Duxbury, Massachusetts, U.S.A. which delivers fresh oysters to customers with overnight shipping, and EnerGaia, which is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and grows spirulina, an algae superfood, on building rooftops in the Thai capital.

  • Aquaculture innovators come out of their shells at Fish 2.0

    Global Aquaculture Advocate
    • James Wright
    • November 13, 2017

    Oyster businesses, oral vaccines and a land-based eel farm among the tantalizing seafood investment opportunities

    At the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum last week, a few dozen visionary seafood entrepreneurs cast their lines in a room full of seafood-focused investors, hoping to find one (or more) who could catapult their business to commercialization.

    For some, the global connections forged at the event were reward enough. But for others, their dreams took a step forward toward reality.

    Held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., the biannual conference/competition showcased 40 new seafood businesses, or related services, from around the world. Each was represented by a single entrepreneur who had mere moments – some had 90 seconds, others a full three minutes – to win over a panel of expert judges (not to mention a room of 200-plus attendees) evaluating their pitch, their product, their technology, or their business model.

    Event Founder and Executive Director Monica Jain, whose team vetted 184 applications – many of which were “investment-ready businesses” – said the record-high interest indicated the fast pace of change throughout the sector.