Fish 2.0 Competition Adds Dedicated Track for Southeast Asia Seafood Entrepreneurs
New track guarantees three spots at final event for Southeast Asia participants; February workshop in Bangkok gives entrepreneurs a head start on applying for the global business competition
Fish 2.0, the global competition and network for sustainable seafood businesses, is adding a special track for Southeast Asian entrepreneurs. The track will kick off with a three-day workshop focused on engaging investors and preparing participants to apply for the 2017 competition.
The Fish 2.0 competition connects seafood businesses from around the world with investors, giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to gain international visibility, win cash prizes, find strategic partners, and attract new investments. Investors, seafood industry leaders, foundations, and economic development agencies support the competition and interact with participating businesses. In the 2017 competition, the top three businesses from the Southeast Asia track will be invited to pitch to investors at the November final event at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Feed the Future Innovative Farmers Project Asia, implemented by Winrock International, is co-sponsoring the Southeast Asia track, along with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, both ongoing supporters of Fish 2.0.
Over 60 percent of Fish 2.0 participants gain new investment, partners, or customers
Over 60 percent of the enterprises participating in the most recent competition, Fish 2.0 2015, gained investment, new partners, or new customers from connections they made during the program. The competition takes place over several months and pairs participants with investors and business advisors who work with them on developing their business strategy and positioning their enterprise to gain investment.
The Fish 2.0 competition is “a unique learning experience,” said Emmanuelle Bourgois, director of FairAgora Asia and Verifik8, a runner-up in the 2015 competition. “It shaped the idea from a concept to a robust business model, boosted my confidence in my entrepreneurship skills, and is the real starting point of this amazing and innovative adventure.”
Workshop provides a head start on applying and preparing for Fish 2.0 2017
Fish 2.0 will kick off the 2017 Southeast Asia track with a free business development workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 28–March 2, 2017. Participants will learn how to communicate about their business in a way that attracts interest, practice pitching to investors and buyers, and get advice on integrating social and environmental sustainability into their business strategy. The one-page workshop application, available at www.fish20.org/seasiaworkshop, is due by Jan. 11.
“The workshop really opened up a new perspective for me on how I can improve my business and interact with investors” and was the “best investment training I’ve ever been to,” said two prior workshop participants. “The accelerator I’ve been participating in was general, [so] it was really wonderful to have seafood-specific questions guiding me toward seafood-specific investors,” said another.
The upcoming Southeast Asia workshop is open to start-ups and established businesses based in the Lower Mekong subregion and Indonesia. In Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, aquaculture-related enterprises and businesses focused on traceability, transparency, and supply chain innovation are eligible to apply. In Indonesia, all types of seafood businesses are eligible, including wild capture as well as aquaculture. Workshop participants are not required to enter the Fish 2.0 competition, but they will get a head start on the application and learn what investors want.
Sponsors support sustainable seafood innovation in Southeast Asia
“Small aquaculture farms in Southeast Asia face ever lower margins due to rising costs and competition,” said Kipp Sutton, agriculture team leader at the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia. “New technology can drive down costs through savings and increased production, providing better incomes and ensuring livelihoods while addressing food security in Asia.”
Kama Dean, program officer at the Walton Family Foundation, added: “Sustainable fisheries are profitable fisheries, and we believe the investment community has a lot to gain by seeking out and supporting companies committed to the triple bottom line. To make sure that happens, we are happy to support Fish 2.0’s efforts to improve the capacity and investment-readiness of Indonesian businesses and give these businesses a showcase among global seafood innovators.”
About Fish 2.0
Fish 2.0 connects seafood businesses and investors to grow the sustainable seafood sector. Working through our unique global network, competition platform, and events, Fish 2.0 participants collaborate to drive innovation, business growth, and positive impact. Entrepreneurs meet potential investors, partners, and advisors that help them accelerate impact and growth. Investors and experts get early access to investment opportunities and learn about emerging technologies and trends. And industry leaders gain direct access to sustainable seafood suppliers and partners.
Sandra Stewart, Thinkshift Communications (USA)