Hatch accelerator closes investment fund and opens new recruitment program

Published on
February 19, 2020

Hatch, the global aquaculture accelerator program, has just announced the closure of its first USD 8.4 million (EUR 7.7 million) fund. Additionally, the program has opened the application period for its fourth cohort of entrepreneurs, who will be put through a rigorous development regime.

The Hatch program aims to find, develop, and fund disruptive aquaculture start-ups with “innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions that solve real problems.”

The current call is asking for seed or pre-seed companies with proof-of-concept plans for technology to improve the sustainability of the aquaculture sector. They must be willing to dedicate at least two people to focus full-time on their venture for the 15-week duration of the program, which starts on 17 August, 2020.

Chosen applicants will divide their time between the Hatch offices in Hawaii, Norway, and Singapore, where they will participate in a packed program of events, visits, and workshops, and undergo intensive mentoring sessions.

According to Hatch, its accelerator model sets it apart from other approaches to investment, and works better than incubators by focusing on the development of teams rather than individuals, and working with cohorts of start-ups rather than individual companies.

A five-month recruitment process will result in 10 companies being chosen, each of which will receive a cash investment of USD 75,000 (EUR 69,000) and in-kind services worth USD 55,000 (EUR 50,000).

Hatch is one of only two venture capital funds dedicated to the aquaculture space, the other being  Aqua-Spark, based in The Netherlands. The organization has grown from three founders in 2018 to 10 full-time staff as of 2020. It has also appointed several industry heavyweights onto its board in 2019, including Einar Wathne, former CEO of EWOS Group; Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Eric Archambeau and Kai Sato; and Brian Wynn, former CEO of Rubicon Resources.

“Every HATCH team member has either run one cohort of a larger size and/or collected significant on-farm experience, visiting different parts of the value chain from hatchery to distribution. This and feedback from our previous cohorts give us confidence that we can fully deliver the value we are promising," Hatch Managing Partner and Co-founder Carsten Krome said.

Hatch has already made more than 30 investments in aquaculture start-ups, most of which were in one of the first three cohorts. The majority of these are in the process of, or have already raised, follow-on funding, and have taken advantage of the program’s fast-track route to market.

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