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HOST Park, Hawaii, offers a 'perfect playground for innovative minds'. Photo: NELHA.
HOST Park, Hawaii, offers a 'perfect playground for innovative minds'. Photo: NELHA.

Aquaculture accelerator programme Hatch Blue has begun recruiting for its third cohort of start-up companies.

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After previous accelerator programmes in Bergen, Norway and Cork, Ireland, the third cohort will begin their programme at the Hawaiian Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST), an aquaculture innovation hub administered by the National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA).

The programme will also take them to Bergen and Singapore.

The 15-week programme runs from August 26 to December 5 this year and offers all successful applicants €50,000 cash per team plus €50,000 of in-kind support.

Start-ups will also have access to a global aquaculture network, testing facilities, personal, technical and business mentoring sessions and global exposure to key players in aquaculture.

Carsten Krome appropriately attired in a Hawaiian shirt ahead of the announcement of the deal with HOST Park. Photo: Private.
Carsten Krome appropriately attired in a Hawaiian shirt ahead of the announcement of the deal with HOST Park. Photo: Private.

World-class facilities

Hatch chief executive Carsten Krome said: “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.”

From Hawaii, the accelerator programme will move on to its current headquarters in Bergen, which Hatch describes as the “Silicon Valley of the Seas”, and then to Singapore.

“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,” said the programme’s co-founder and development director, Georg Baunach.

“It also offers good testing and R&D facilities and hosts some excellent universities.”

10 to 14 start-ups

Hatch is aiming at accelerating 10 to 14 aquaculture technology start-ups per cohort. Applications are now open and will close mid-July.

Hatch, founded by aquaculture-specific venture capital fund Alimentos Ventures in 2017, has so far made 16 investments and run two accelerator cohorts involving 14 aquaculture start-ups from a variety of countries.

Those companies have raised more than €6 million in follow-on funding.

The Hatch portfolio includes US companies Finless Foods, which is producing lab-grown fish meat, and Prospective Research, which is using specific bacteria incorporated into salmon feed to combat sea lice and recently secured $1.7 million from investors.

An interview with Prospective Research’s founders, Dakota Hamill and Jake Cotter, can be read in the next edition of Fish Farming Expert magazine, published in early May.

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