THE "Blue Pacific" region is making waves through a global seafood competition which promotes sustainable development in the fisheries sector.
Three fisheries companies from Palau, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are finalists in the Fish 2.0 2017 competition for sustainable seafood businesses. They are among 37 finalists from an initial pool of 184 entrants.
Toata Molea of Didds Fishing Company Ltd (Solomon Islands) and James Sanderson of Indigo Seafood in Palau were still reeling from their finalist status when contacted this week. Both are now working hard with organisers to perfect the pitch they will put to potential investors during the final in November.
Three Pacific Island countries are amongst the 40 finalists from across the globe to pitch to investors at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum.
The Forum will take place on November at the Stanford University in America, a culminating event in the Fiji 2.0 2017 competition for sustainable seafood businesses.
Prior to this event, the Fish 2.0 workshop was held in Suva last year.
Out of the 184 entrants, 40 finalists were selected based on their market traction and high potential for impact in the seafood sector.
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.
FORTY companies have been named as finalists in this year’s Fish 2.0 competition, which aims to connect seafood businesses with investors.
The finalists, selected from 184 entries, have been selected for their market traction, global character and high potential for impact on the seafood sector, said the competition organisers.
They will now have the opportunity to pitch to investors during the Nov. 7–8 during the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum at Stanford University from November 7-8, after which winners will be announced.
"This is the strongest group ever," said Monica Jain, Fish 2.0 founder and executive director. The level of innovation is potentially both system changing and very profitable.
"The finalists—winnowed from an initial pool of 184 entrants—stand out for their "market traction, global character and high potential for impact on the seafood sector."
Fish 2.0 on Monday released the names of 40 companies that will pitch their ideas to investors Nov. 7–8 during the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum at Stanford University, the culminating event in the Fish 2.0 2017 competition for sustainable seafood businesses.
The finalists—winnowed from an initial pool of 184 entrants—stand out for their "market traction, global character and high potential for impact on the seafood sector," the group said. About 50 percent of the finalists are post-revenue businesses, and more than half are based outside the United States.
The seafood business has the potential to improve global food security, ocean sustainability, and the lives of locals, a forum has been told.
Founder of the Fish 2.0 project Monica Jain told the Pacific tuna forum in Port Moresby that to transform the seafood industry, these businesses, however, needed capital investments to grow and take advantage of new markets.
She said the three important keys to moving financing forward in the sustainable seafood field was to have investment-ready ventures, investment-ready investor and resources and support systems for both.
“If we do not have good ventures, there is nothing to lure good investors to go into the Pacific Islands countries to invest.”
After gaining “superfood” status, the market for algae could reach up to $44.7 billion by 2023, according to a new report from Fish 2.0, a business competition designed to increase investment in sustainable seafood startups.
This year, the competition has seen a marked increase in the number of algae-focused startups applying to take part, with more than 10 of the 80 startups making it through to phase three (of four) of the competition working directly with algae.
The new free report explains that algae could transform industries if propagation and distribution are able to mature. The report argues that market demand is already in place and coming from many different industries.
Algae convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into fats and proteins that can be used in oils both for eating and fuel, as well as protein consumable by both humans and animals, and it also contains prized micro-nutrients.
Entrepreneurial interest in sustainable seafood is rising globally, as are the opportunities to succeed with new products and business models. The trend is clear in applications to the Fish 2.0 competition for sustainable seafood businesses: In 2013, 70 percent of Fish 2.0 applicants were from North America—and we wondered if we could persuade a significant number of entrepreneurs from areas such as the South Pacific Islands and Thailand to enter a North American business competition held in English on the Internet. We had our answer in 2015: only about half the entries were from North America, with about one-third coming from Asia and the Pacific Islands.
IT'S that time of the year again when entrepreneurs from the seafood industry can gain further investment for their companies through the Fish 2.0.
The Fish 2.0 is a sustainable seafood business competition supported by the Pacific Trade and Invest Australia.
“If you had the opportunity to generate income for a whole island, what would you do?”
That’s how Lili Kawaguchi opened her pitch during the closing session of Fish 2.0’s Pacific Islands business development workshop. The question grabbed the audience’s attention, as did the rest of the Tongan entrepreneur’s pitch for her seaweed products startup. But it’s a pitch she wouldn’t have made two days earlier, at the start of the workshop.
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United States ambassador to Fiji Judith Cefkin made these comments during the opening of the FISH 2.0 business development workshop in Suva today and added that the US placed priority in promoting sustainable fisheries.
Three-day program in Fiji provides business-building advice, help in applying for global competition; workshop applications due October 5
Fish 2.0 will hold a free three-day business development workshop for Pacific Islands seafood businesses in Suva, Fiji, November 8-10, 2016. Participants will receive expert advice on communicating about their business, training on pitching to investors, and guidance on succeeding in the 2017 Fish 2.0 competition. The one-page workshop application, available at http://www.fish20.org/2017pacifictrack, is due October 5.
Alfred Kalontas, the founder of ALFA Fishing in Vanuatu, bootstrapped his business from nothing to become the preferred seafood supplier to over 70 percent of the hotels and restaurants in the island nation’s capital, Port Vila. He is now starting to export his high-quality, sustainably caught products to New Zealand and is seeing demand from Australia and beyond.
Small seafood companies in the Pacific Islands face all of the regular challenges that small businesses face and then some: remoteness, high transportation costs, and small markets whose consumers often have little disposable income.
Alfa Fishing received an award in the growth-stage category at the 2015 Fish 2.0 Competition Finals and Sustainable Seafood Innovation Forum in the US
The Forum honors companies that demonstrate sustainability, innovation and support for local communities.
Growing retail demand for sustainable seafood from North America and Europe is creating economic opportunities for environment-friendly businesses closer to the fish and the men and women who catch and process them.
In the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, among the world’s richest fishing grounds, a new school of seafood companies is working to keep more of those riches in local communities. Investors will get a look at a half-dozen companies from the regions at next week’s finals of the Fish 2.0 business competition.
Three Fijiian seafood entrepreneurs will feature in the finals of the Fish 2.0 competition in Stanford, California this November.
Fish 2.0 is a business competition seeking to transform unsustainable seafood sector practices into sustainable businesses.
It connects global seafood businesses with potential investors giving them an opportunity to win over US$180,000 in prizes, gain international visibility, find strategic partners and ultimately garner new investments for their businesses.
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