Just 40 companies remain in the US-based Fish 2.0 sustainable seafood competition and will pitch to investors, Nov. 7-8, at Stanford University, California, the organizers announced Tuesday.
“This is the strongest group ever,” said Monica Jain, the founder and executive director of the every-other-year competition, which started this time with 184 initial competitors and had been narrowed to 70 before the latest elimination round.
Among the remaining finalists are VakSea, a Baltimore, Maryland-based company that has come up with a new way to deliver vaccines to fish, and OneForNeptune, a company with offices in California and New Mexico that’s making jerky out of white fish offcuts. Undercurrent News took a look at both companies in an article last month.
Jain noted a rise of contestants this time in “seatech,” including new monitoring, visibility, production and processing tools among the contestants. Also, more than half of the companies remaining in the race are based outside the US.
The 24 final contestants with the highest scores at Stanford (in California) will be grouped into one of four segments: ventures taking pressure off wild fisheries; aquaculture product and related technologies; transparency, traceability and fisheries technology; and supply chain innovations. They will then give three-minute pitches to a panel of expert judges.
The field will be narrowed down further to 16 finalists who will give 90-second pitches directly to an audience of 300 seafood experts and investors, the organizers said.
The winners will receive cash prizes, but the real prize will be winning over potential investors and business partners, Nick Mendoza, the founder and CEO of OneForNeptune, told Undercurrent in an earlier interview.