HATCH is aiming at accelerating 14 sustainable aquaculture technology startups per cohort, applications are now open under www.hatch.blue/apply and will close applications on the 28th of June.
Information source: HATCH Blue press release
2018 has been a very busy year for HATCH. Not only have they set up the world’s first accelerator program focused on the aquaculture industry, they have also made it work. 16 investments made, two full three-month cohorts with 6 startups each successfully completed (their portfolio companies have since raised an accumulate +€6m on their own less than one year after completing the program) and growing from three founders to a total team of 7 full-time team members have kept everyone busy.
Dr. Carsten Krome, CEO of HATCH said: “It’s been an incredible year for us and we are extremely grateful to and very proud of our team and portfolio companies to show such commitment. We are a startup ourselves and 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 complete we have done to date and benefits not only the new applicants but our existing portfolio companies as well.” The 15 week long program run in the second half of 2019 (26th August – Early December) adds various components that had not been previously explored, one of them being the doubled funding support, (€100k per team, 50k cash, 50k in kind) as well as the three core locations. This year’s HATCH cohort will take its participants to Hawaii, Bergen and Singapore.
Wayne Murphy, Co-Founder and COO: “We handpicked these locations from the beginning and worked hard to get a foot on the ground now with the support of our strong local partners we are right where we want to be and can offer tremendous and absolutely unique value to our companies. 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 National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA), an innovation hub of aquaculture perfectly positioned in the extremely diverse Hawaiian ecosystem. HATCH CEO, Carsten Krome, explained that: “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 here on, the accelerator 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 has partnered with the local innovation hub VIS who they share and offices with as well as direct neighbours international giant Cargill. “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 a high tech aquaculture innovation hub.”
From the Fjords of Norway, the program will then move to the tropics and take a deep dive in tropical aquaculture at the gleaming Asian technology innovation metropolis of Singapore, partnering with Enterprise Singapore (ESG). While in Singapore, the program focus lies on showing the cohort companies what Asian aquaculture looks like (visiting feed mills, hatcheries, and farms) while connecting them with the region’s largest players and relevant VCs. 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, let both by public and private organizations. And we want to make sure we play our role to create a go-to place for aquaculture innovation in Singapore.”
Further information about the program and applications:
Photo credit: courtesy of HATCH Blue accelerator program