Ireland Hatches new business initiatives
IRELAND hosted the latest Hatch Accelerator programme, which invests in aquaculture start-up companies. The three-month long scheme, run by Bergen based Hatch, kicked off in Cork on September 18 and featured initiatives from the UK, US, Chile, Canada and India.
Funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and supported by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish seafood development agency, Hatch was on a mission to find the latest aquaculture innovations.
The inaugural programme was launched in Bergen in June, and the Irish event hopes to achieve the same success. It provides participants with € 25,000 in investment, as well as mentoring, office space for a year and a chance to pitch to a follow-on fund, which could invest between € 100,000 and € 1 million.
The companies involved are: IctioBiotic, which is developing environmentally friendly and novel oral biotherapeutics; MinnowTech, a US based imaging company that has developed a product which uses algorithms, AI and machine learning to measure real-time biomass and activity of aquatic species; Savitri Aquamonk of India, which has developed sensor based IoT devices to help farm management; Prospective Research, which employs specific beneficial bacteria to promote an immune response against harmful bacteria found in fish and shellfish; Wittaya Aqua, creators of a farm production management platform; and Alune, which claims to be able to regenerate damaged ecosystems.
Cork resident Wayne Murphy, chief operating officer and co-founder of Hatch, said: ‘We had a fantastic time in Norway. We had eight companies, and a number are now closing investment rounds, which is fantastic to hear.’
Hatch chief executive and co-founder Carsten Krome was one of several investors at the recent Aquaculture Innovation summit in London, which linked enterprises to potential funding streams. (See page 34).
Above: Wayne Murphy