Supported by NOAA Fisheries, the track is open to all kinds of growing aquaculture businesses—production, finfish, feed, technology, algae, aquaponics, land-based, marine-based, and others—in all 50 states.
The University System of Maryland’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) is hosting the upcoming East Coast program. The two-day event will help ventures improve their business strategies and presentations to investors, as well as give entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts a chance to meet. Participation is free but space is limited: entrepreneurs, experts or investors who want to attend must apply online by Sept. 28.
“The Fish 2.0 process alone is helpful to any entrepreneur looking to be part of the sustainable seafood space—the feedback from workshops, other participants, and reviewers really focused our message and drive,” said Sara Rademaker, founder of Maine-based American Unagi and a finalist in the 2017 competition. “On top of that, it’s connections, connections, connections. We were able to directly connect to investors in the seafood space and continue to see value from those connections.”
Fish 2.0, now in its fourth competition cycle, builds connections among entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders to spur growth and innovation in the sustainable seafood sector worldwide.
“Expanding marine aquaculture is vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, and enhancing coastal resilience,” said Paul Doremus, chief operating officer at NOAA Fisheries. “By supporting sustainable aquaculture innovation, we can increase and diversify U.S. seafood production to deliver economic, environmental, and human health benefits.”
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.
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 be invited to pitch at the Fish 2.0 Global Innovation Forum, taking place in fall 2019 in Silicon Valley.
The three U.S. aquaculture workshops give participants a head start in the Fish 2.0 competition. Entrepreneurs unable to attend the workshop will still be able to participate in the online competition, which will open immediately following the Baltimore workshop.
“People were clamoring for more aquaculture opportunities in the last competition, and now we’ve got them,” said Fish 2.0 Executive Director Monica Jain. “In addition to the U.S. Aquaculture track, we’ve just opened up a global aquaculture track. The time is right for aquaculture to take off. In addition to a huge, underserved national market that wants product, there’s growing global demand for sustainably farmed seafood.”
Entrepreneurs and investors with questions about the workshops or the competition can contact Fish 2.0 at firstname.lastname@example.org.