UNCW-Connected Businesses Advance to “Fish 2.0” Finals

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By Milthon Lujan

USA.- Three North Carolina companies, including two with UNCW ties, are finalists who will present their ideas to promote a sustainable shellfish industry at the “Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum” for entrepreneurs Nov. 7-8, 2017, at Stanford University.

Of the 40 finalists in the competition, which could lead to investment in their businesses as well as cash prizes, ShellTrak and ShellBond are Wilmington companies with ties to UNCW.

In March, UNCW and the Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation hosted a Fish 2.0 workshop for entrepreneurs working to promote a sustainable shellfish industry through new technologies and business ventures. Three other Fish 2.0 finalists attended the workshop to polish their business models and presentations for the upcoming competition: The Sandbar Oyster Company of Morehead City; Gaskiya Diagnostics of Baltimore, MD.; and the Florida-based Pensacola Bay Oyster Company.

Diane Durance, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship director and a previous Fish 2.0 competition finalist, was instrumental in organizing the regional workshop, which was made possible by a grant by NC IDEA to the UNCW-affiliated MBCOI. The university’s Strategic Plan encourages research that leads to new discoveries and commercial applications.

“We want UNCW to be identified as the place where entrepreneurial solutions to marine science challenges have a home,” Durance said. “Hosting events like Fish 2.0 enables the university to demonstrate the resources and expertise available to help entrepreneurs turn ideas into innovative startups.”

Fish 2.0 works through a unique global network to connect seafood businesses and investors to grow the sustainable seafood sector.

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