Funding awarded to seafood contest winners
By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on 15 November, 2013
Three seafood and aquaculture companies were awarded a total of USD 75,000 (EUR 55,642) in funding this week through the Fish 2.0 competition. The global competition connects sustainable seafood entrepreneurs and investment firms that want to invest in sustainable seafood businesses.
“Through Fish 2.0, we gave seafood entrepreneurs an opportunity to show that there are both financial gains to be made in these markets and great opportunities to improve the conditions in ocean environments and coastal communities,” Monica Jain, founder of Fish 2.0, told SeafoodSource. “These entrepreneurs offer investors the opportunity to help build viable businesses that contribute to food security, ocean sustainability, and thriving local communities.”
San Francisco-based Blue Sea Labs received the first place award of USD 40,000 (29,676). Blue Sea Labs is using e-commerce and software to shorten the supply chain, while providing transparency throughout it. “Our first project involves managing ecommerce for 15 fishermen selling through our platform and drop-shipping from their location — think etsy for seafood,” according to a statement on the company’s website.
Blue Sea Labs is also in a private beta for several companies shipping parcels overnight.
In second place, Cambridge, Mass.-based Cryoocyte was awarded USD 25,000 (EUR 18,547). Cryoocyte is developing a novel technology to cryopreserve fish eggs. Egg freezing will enable fish farms globally to become less spawning-dependent and produce year-round at full capacity.
Cryoocyte is developing the technology to benefit aquaculture operations in first would countries as well as hatching operations throughout developing countries. “Frozen eggs could be transported over greater distances than traditional wet methods of transporting fry or fingerlings, enabling centralization of the highly technical and capital-intensive aspects of fish breeding,” according to a company statement.
Cryoocyte also will create a genetic egg bank of critically endangered and wild species to preserve aquatic biodiversity.
Meanwhile, Ho’oulu Pacific received USD 10,000 (EUR 7,418) in funding for its system that integrates aquaponic technology with distributed agriculture to manage a network of households to commercially grow fish and vegetables in Waimanalo, Hawaii.
“We empower these families to grow their own food and provide opportunities for surplus produce to be sold back to the community,” the company said.
More than 80 businesses entered the first annual Fish 2.0 competition and over 100 investors and other experts offered feedback throughout the competition.