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Five finalists in aquaculture competition move on to coaching phase

Photo: Working on a new low-cost wind-powered aeration system. Credit: STIP

The top five finalists of the Aquaculture Innovation challenge (AIC) are advancing on to the competition's final round.

They now enter AIC boot camp phase of the competition, which provides hands-on assistance with developing their business models and perfecting their pitches, said competition hosts Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal (STIP) and Solidaridad and Fresh Studio. Coaches from the fields of business, finance, science and civil society will be on site to provide professional guidance.

The judges scored the proposals based on their explanation of the targeted problem, solution, and impact of their innovation. Other relevant criteria included market competitor analysis, business model, financial model, activity plan and needs identification.

The five finalists, to be improved and perfected during the pitching event, are:

Entobel -- focused on creating a more sustainable source of fish feed using insect protein in a safe and efficient way, and at a competitive price. Insects fed with the byproducts of the local food industry give farmers access to fish feed at a stable market price, while reducing waste products, contributing to the circular economy.

Green Solutions -- has produced a Natural Antioxidant Preservative (NAP), extracted from avocado seeds, that can replace current commercial additives used to preserve shrimp. NAPs are environmentally friendly, safe and have the ability to keep shrimp fresher for longer than the current commercial additive.

Wind-powered aeration -- aims to develop a low cost, easily maintainable pond aeration system with a low environmental impact. This technology is specifically (but not exclusively) targeted to smallholder fish farmers. It can provide a 60% increase in dissolved oxygen, can be assembled and maintained with minimal training, and can be made with locally sourced materials.

ShrimpVet -- makes the whole technical value chain of shrimp farming accessible to shrimp farmers in Vietnam. This includes diagnostics service, training course and technology transfer of breeding, seed production, and shrimp farming technology. High-tech production demonstration of algae culture, seed production, and shrimp farming are also accessible to farmers in the area.

Verifik8 -- connects producers and buyers using mobile technology to "de-risk" operations in seafood supply chains. VerifiK8 aims to support seafood buyers to make safer and more responsible purchases, using mobile devices to collect and digitize data directly from farms and cooperatives. It crosschecks information with other data streams to provide analytics and benchmarking of each farm or cooperative against the relevant sustainability standard.

Beginning in September, two members from each of the qualifying teams will join the pitch gurus and business plan coaches on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh.

At the pitching event, finalists will present their innovation to a panel of judges who will award the model with the most impact potential at the end of the boot camp.

Industry investors, financial institutes and donors in the development and aquaculture industry will also be present at the pitching event. In addition, a matchmaking component will be introduced to get the best innovations connected to the right organizations for maximizing the potential of the proposals.

The original article can be found here.

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