Lee Van der Voo. Yale 360. Nov. 25, 2013.
Think of it as a live version of Shark Tank, the U.S. primetime TV favorite in which entrepreneurs pitch their fledgling companies to investors.
Twenty pioneers in the sustainable seafood business climbed a stage at Stanford University earlier this month, and by the time they finished wooing the judges, the aptly named Fish 2.0 had schooled the audience in salmon-egg cryogenics, aquaponic gardens, and a large-scale aquaculture farm in South Dakota.
A business competition at heart, Fish 2.0 sought to combine entrepreneurs and investors from both Wall Street and philanthropic circles to spur innovation in the tradition-bound seafood industry. Investors have been wary of the often-opaque seafood business, while entrepreneurs hoping to change the way the U.S. catches, distributes, and markets fish have had difficulty accessing capital.
Fish 2.0 — the brainchild of Monica Jain, the seafood-savvy executive director of California-based Manta Consulting — was designed to bridge that capital gap, breaking down obstacles between entrepreneurs and investors who shared an eagerness for change but who lacked the necessary contacts, knowledge, or skills to alter the course of the seafood industry.