Hatch* not only invests in aquaculture innovation and technology startups but also delivers targeted support programmes. The Hawaii Innovation Studio is aimed at researchers, innovators, startups, entrepreneurs or established SMEs in aquaculture or adjacent sectors. It promises to validate their propositions, ensure their product finds the right market, grow their global network and find potential customers and investors.
The studio will be held in-person and on-site at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park, which is administered by NELHA, from 18 April to 13 May 2022. The event is focused on developing aquaculture and alternative seafood projects and is open to a range of applicants – from teams at the conceptualisation stage, to later stage startups seeking to explore new potential markets.
According to Wayne Murphy, co-founder and partner at Hatch Blue, "40 companies across the globe participated in our suite of Innovation Studios in 2021, including 10 from the Hawaii Studio. The overwhelming feedback from participants was that the Studio offering provided real value and insight into the challenges and opportunities for aquaculture companies, be they early or late stage, in addition to connecting them to an extended, knowledgeable global network. Our Hatch team is keen to take those learnings further and apply them to this next Hawaii Innovation Studio, as we continue to engage, support and grow the pipeline of aquaculture talent in Hawaii.”
The programme will feature a mix of internal and external mentors, focused on the farmed and alternative seafood value chains. Successful applicants will have the chance to validate their ideas with aquaculture experts, develop route-to-market strategies and gain investor guidance. They will also have full access to the Hatch team, who will help them develop their business model, team, technology readiness and industry fit. Mentoring will be conducted over two to three days each week, allowing participants ample time to continue work on other projects and accommodate their needs. Overall, attendees will gain a truly global perspective of the aquaculture industry and access to a wider community.
The month-long workshop will feature advanced mentoring sessions on:
- The global aquaculture landscape
- Business models
- Value propositions
- Product-market fit
- Technological readiness
- Go-to-market strategy
- Investor readiness
- Pitch training
Participants will also be able to take part in a Hawaii Aquaculture Community Day, and meet a panel of investors, in the build up to the grand finale – the pitch day.
“It represented the opportunity to have a much more focused, and at the same time globalised vision of the opportunities and challenges facing the seafood sector,” participants of the 2021 Innovation Studio commented. “The different academic backgrounds and the experience of the mentors are critical to resolve doubts and receive advice.”
The 2022 Hawaii Innovation Studio is part of a renewed relationship between Hatch and NELHA and is funded by a $2 million grant from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA). The programme builds on a successful accelerator pilot that has grown into a four-year initiative that will include innovation studios, an incubator launch, a global accelerator and ideation workshops. According to Murphy, the updated range of programmes and activities in Hawaii will work towards a strategy of making a self-sustaining and financially viable model to facilitate, attract and develop aquaculture talent and innovation. Hatch is also investing significantly in growing its Hawaii-based team to support and deliver the range of initiatives to grow the island’s potential as a global aquaculture hub.
Greg Barbour, executive director at NELHA said, “ We are very excited to continue to build upon the work we have been doing with Hatch over the last three years. We are now taking it to the next level in terms of supporting innovators and new tech ideas at all stages of development and in particular in Hawaii.
There is no fee associated with the programme, nor will any equity will be taken. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the Hatch website to learn more. Applications must be received by 18 March 2022.
Click here to view more information and submit your application.
*The Fish Site is part of Hatch’s investment portfolio, but retains editorial independence.