As part of the deal, Aquaconnect* signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with StartupTN in a bid to foster innovation and support the growth of startups in the aquaculture sector in the state. Backed by the Tamil Nadu government and Sathyabama University the agreement also marks the launch of The Fish Tank-India’s Grand Aquaculture Innovation Challenge.
The Fish Tank aims to promote innovation in the Indian aquaculture sector by providing a unique platform for early-stage startups and college students to showcase their next-generation ideas to the world and scale for impact. The programme will cover broader aspects of the aquaculture value chain, both pre- and post-harvest, wherein applicants can propose ideas related to affordable IoT/software-based solutions to monitor water quality, daily feeding, animal health, biotechnological advancements to improve production efficiency, seafood processing, preservation and value addition, amongst others.
The top ten candidates will have an opportunity to participate in the incubation programme at Sathyabama TBI, with access to resources and mentorship support while also gaining access to StartupTN's blue economy network, which encompasses fisheries research and development institutes, academic institutions, and their facilities across the state. In addition to this, two winners will be selected and awarded with a cash prize of 1 Lakh (100,000 rupees) each and an opportunity to work with Aquaconnect to launch and scale their solution in the market.
Sivarajah Ramanathan, mission director and CEO of StartupTN, said in a press release: “StartupTN’s blue economy forum is first of its kind professional network to promote collaborative efforts between government initiatives, academia, and industry players which will drive a transformative growth, for making Tamil Nadu a hub for seafood-focused startups. I invite all aspiring entrepreneurs, early-stage startups to solve the challenges of Fish Tank and contribute to the blue economy of the state.”
Rajamanohar Somasundaram, founder and CEO, Aquaconnect added: “The collaboration with StartupTN underscores our commitment to accelerating blue economy initiatives in Tamil Nadu. We are excited to witness how this will unfold and impact the sector on a large scale. Being the second largest producer globally, India's aquaculture sector holds enormous potential, and it needs wider participation from forward-thinking individuals. I believe FishTank will be a pivotal step in fostering young entrepreneurship and unlocking the doors for incredible talent in Tamil Nadu.”
*Aquaconnect is part of Hatch's investment portfolio but The Fish Site retains editorial independence.