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Calling all aquaculture innovators: Hatch Blue is now taking applications for its third global cohort

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By Milthon Lujan

HATCH, the world’s first accelerator program for sustainable aquaculture startups is taking its third cohort to Hawaii and expanding its program by offering more investment, more locations as well as more industry and investor connections.

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2018 has been a very busy year for the HATCH team. Not only did they set up the world’s first accelerator program focused on the aquaculture industry, they also built up a world class network of mentors and supporters across the whole aquaculture value chain. The numbers – 16 investments made, 2 accelerator cohorts successfully completed involving 14 global aquaculture startup companies. These portfolio companies have already raised €6M+ in follow-on funding, less than one year after the first program began. The Hatch team has also grown from the original 3 founders to a total of 7 full-time team members.

Dr. Carsten Krome, CEO of HATCH said:

“It’s been an incredible year of growth for us and we are extremely proud of our team and indeed our portfolio companies which have shown so much dedication and commitment. This first year has certainly exceeded our expectations and given us the experience and confidence to really double down in 2019. The program this year is the biggest and most sophisticated we have done to date and unique in its set-up not only within the aquaculture sector, but beyond.”

This year’s 15 week long program runs from Aug 26th to Dec 5th 2019 and offers all successful applicants €100k per team, (50k cash, 50k in kind) as well as access to an incredible global aquaculture network, testing facilities, personal, technical and business mentoring sessions and global exposure to all relevant key players in aquaculture.

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The 2019 HATCH cohort will take its participants to Hawaii, Bergen and Singapore. Wayne Murphy, Co-Founder and COO said:

“These incredible locations are a key part of our strategy to provide our startups with a truly Global perspective of the Aquaculture industry and offer an unforgettable experience. It’s all about the value add and now with our Global locations established, each one bringing unique and world class facilities, opportunities, experiences and support, we are incredibly excited as we now call for applications for our 2019 program. HATCH right now is the only all-access ticket to the global aquaculture industry.”

The cohort will start in Hawaii where it will be located at the Hawaiian Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST), an innovation hub of aquaculture perfectly positioned in the extremely diverse Hawaiian ecosystem which is administered by the National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA).

HATCH CEO, Carsten Krome, explained that:

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“HOST Park is the perfect playground for innovative minds that are seeking to make a major difference in the field of aquaculture.” He added that “the world class facilities at NELHA offer perfect conditions for fast prototyping and iterating innovative ideas.”

“The accelerator is in alignment with many existing research and training programs at several campuses of the University of Hawaii” says UH President, David Lasner. “The University of Hawaii is looking forward to playing a significant role in creating a bright future in aquaculture and producing the workforce to support and sustain it”

From there, the accelerator program will move on to its current Headquarters in Bergen, Norway and benefit from the one-of-a-kind ecosystem the “Silicon Valley of the Seas” has to offer. HATCH is connected to all the “major players” in Bergen and is partnered with local innovation hub VIS, as well as direct neighbours international giant Cargill.

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“The support we have received here in Bergen from day one has been and continues to be invaluable” explains Georg Baunach, Co-Founder and Development Director. He adds that “without this outstanding local ecosystem and the access we have been getting, we would not be able to provide the value that we currently are. Bergen truly earns its title as the most relevant aquaculture innovation hub.”

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From the Fjords of Norway, the program will then move to Asia, the world’s largest seafood market and take a deep dive in tropical aquaculture during its final stint in Singapore. In Singapore, the program focus lies on showing the cohort companies what Asian aquaculture looks like (visiting breeding centres, feed mills, hatcheries, and farms) while connecting them with the region’s largest corporate players and relevant investors who understand aquaculture.

Baunach states that:

“We decided to take HATCH to Singapore because of its close proximity to most large aquaculture markets, the presence of large aquaculture suppliers, and great access to Asia-focused venture capital. It also offers good testing and R&D facilities and host some excellent universities. What excites us, is that we see a recent development to establish Singapore as the dominant AgTech hub in the region, led both by public and private organizations. Similarly, we believe in order for aquaculture innovation to happen effectively in Asia, it needs a central go-to-place for entrepreneurs, investors and industry and we are eager to establish Singapore as such a go-to place in the long-term.

And we want to make sure we play our role to create a go-to place for aquaculture innovation in Singapore.”

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HATCH is aiming at accelerating 10 to 14 aquaculture technology startups per cohort, applications are now open under www.hatch.blue/apply and will close on the 28th of June.

 

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