LØRN Case #C0497
The future demand for food, can aquaculture be the answer?
Norway might have the most mature and complex aquaculture in the world but there are challenges facing startAquaculture ups in it today. In this episode of #LØRN Silvija talks with Co-Founder & COO of Hatch Accelerator, Wayne Murphy, about how a global accelerator works to find companies and help them grow fast and why you should never underestimate people skills. Wayne has managed a number of accelerator programs across different sectors including Selr8r, a sales-focused accelerator run by SOSV, the Bank of Ireland Accelerator, and StartPlanetNI, an accelerator project funded by InvestNI and Northern Ireland’s premier startup program. He also serves as an Advisory Board Member at SXSW.

Wayne Murphy

Co-Founder & COO

HATCH Blue

"Norway’s biggest assets are its ability to collaborate and share knowledge as it builds and maintains the world's most mature complex experienced Aquaculture ecosystem."

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Vi vil gjerne hjelpe deg komme i gang og fortsette å drive med livslang læring.

En LØRN CASE er en kort og praktisk, lett og morsom, innovasjonshistorie. Den er fortalt på 30 minutter, er samtalebasert, og virker like bra som podkast, video eller tekst. Lytt og lær der det passer deg best! Vi dekker 15 tematiske områder om teknologi, innovasjon og ledelse, og 10 perspektiver som gründer, forsker etc. På denne siden kan du lytte, se eller lese gratis, men vi anbefaler deg å registrere deg, slik at vi kan lage personaliserte læringsstier for nettopp deg. Vi vil gjerne hjelpe deg komme i gang og fortsette å drive med livslang læring.

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Who are you and how did you become interested in this technology?

I have been developing and directing Accelerators for 10 years across a number of different verticals. My hobby since I was a kid has been breeding and maintaining tropical fish. When I met Carsten Krome, he was seeking to find a way to invest in Aquaculture startups but in a way that enables the investor to help shape scale and support early stage Aquaculture technologies.

What do you do at work?

I facilitate plans and direct the accelerator program arranging all mentor sessions site visits and tram engagements and development .

Why is it exciting?

The world of Aquaculture is at least 30 years behind agritech with lots of catch up so the potential and upside is enormous. But also sitting in a room full of entrepreneurs all trying to get somewhere and tryout my figure that out is pretty cool and bringing new thinking and technology to the industry is changing the status quo.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?

The biology and environmental challenges are a never ending problem in the industry. Sea lice / disease / waste etc are all challenges across all species. Hatch does not invest in farming rather all the tech around it that can improve efficiency lessen environmental impact and eradicate/ manage disease .

Your own favourite projects?

All the hatch startup projects are cool…. I can’t have favourites!!

How do you usually explain what you do, in simplest terms?

We find develop scale and invest in globally focused Aquaculture technologies and entrepreneurs through a network of global experts corporates and investors to enable our startups to access the right inputs at the right time

What do we do particularly well in Norway of this?

Norway’s biggest assets is its ability to collaborate and share knowledge as it builds and maintains the worlds most mature complex experienced Aquaculture ecosystem

A favourite quote?

You are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with

Who are you and how did you become interested in this technology?

I have been developing and directing Accelerators for 10 years across a number of different verticals. My hobby since I was a kid has been breeding and maintaining tropical fish. When I met Carsten Krome, he was seeking to find a way to invest in Aquaculture startups but in a way that enables the investor to help shape scale and support early stage Aquaculture technologies.

What do you do at work?

I facilitate plans and direct the accelerator program arranging all mentor sessions site visits and tram engagements and development .

Why is it exciting?

The world of Aquaculture is at least 30 years behind agritech with lots of catch up so the potential and upside is enormous. But also sitting in a room full of entrepreneurs all trying to get somewhere and tryout my figure that out is pretty cool and bringing new thinking and technology to the industry is changing the status quo.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?

The biology and environmental challenges are a never ending problem in the industry. Sea lice / disease / waste etc are all challenges across all species. Hatch does not invest in farming rather all the tech around it that can improve efficiency lessen environmental impact and eradicate/ manage disease .

Your own favourite projects?

All the hatch startup projects are cool…. I can’t have favourites!!

How do you usually explain what you do, in simplest terms?

We find develop scale and invest in globally focused Aquaculture technologies and entrepreneurs through a network of global experts corporates and investors to enable our startups to access the right inputs at the right time

What do we do particularly well in Norway of this?

Norway’s biggest assets is its ability to collaborate and share knowledge as it builds and maintains the worlds most mature complex experienced Aquaculture ecosystem

A favourite quote?

You are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with

Vis mer
 
Tema: Innovasjon i ulike sektorer
Organisasjon: HATCH Blue
Perspektiv: Mindre bedrift
Dato: 191021
Sted: VESTLAND
Vert: Silvija Seres

Dette er hva du vil lære:


Farming food in the waterAccelerator programsAlgaeSustainability

Mer læring:

David Rose on YouTube how to tell your storyask the VChttps://www.hatch.blue/portfolio-index https://www.hatch.blue/portfolio-index</br >

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Lytt #C0497

Tekst for Case #C0497

Velkommen til Lørn.tech. En læringsdugnad om teknologi og samfunn med Silvija Seres og venner.

Silvija Seres: Hello and welcome to Lørn in collaboration with Teknologiformidling and Vis Innovation in Bergen. My name is Silvija Seres. Our topic today is Ocean Tech and my guest is Wayne Murphy, the head of an aquaculture accelerator called Hatch. Based or funded by the Innovation ecosystem in Bergen. You'll have to help me understand that, Wayne. But welcome.

 

Wayne Murphy: Thank you. And thanks for the opportunity to talk about it. I mean our first accelerated program (and I can explain what that is in a second). Was based in Bergen. We came here in late 2017 to see and come and look at the home of salmon Bergen, Norway. It's probably the most mature ecosystem in the world and the most complex system in the world for aquaculture. 

 

Silvija: Aquaculture meaning? 

 

Wayne: basically farming, food and the water. Salmon, seaweed anything to do with food that happens under water is aquaculture basically. And it's the fastest growing Seafood sector in the world today. With about 56% of all Seafood consumed today is farmed which is amazing and that figure is growing at a furious rate.

 

Silvija: Ask you a very basic question for some reason we often think of farmed salmon as not as good as the wild Salmon. The farmed food is not as cool as the wild food is that misinformation?

 

Wayne: I think it is and you know, I think there's a lot of care that goes into producing salmon, farm salmon. There's a significant amount of technology around producing sustainable healthy seafood. And we've got to understand that wild caught salmon and fishing generally is a real challenge today and stocks are reducing. And aquaculture is a really positive way of taking pressure off the ocean, and that's one significant benefit of it. But also controlling the salmon access to the market in terms of looking to produce salmon in a cheap way. 

I mean, I want to talk about salmon but there's many different species. Shrimp for example is another big species. And Norway has a long tradition of farming salmon and I think today it's a 15-billion-dollar industry and it is growing. 

 

Silvija: Norway is a 15-billion-dollar industry?

 

Wayne: Yes. It is the largest producer of salmon in the world. So that's why we're here coming back to your original question. It's all the major salmon farming companies are here all the major Pharma companies are here. All the ancillary support services are here. So, from a start-up perspective, if you want to connect with an industry, this is a really good place to start.

 

Silvija: Which means that you spend some time with your startup companies here in Bergen. 

 

Wayne: Yes. The first program we spent the whole time here, with the exception of a visit to Singapore and Indonesia to look at different parts of the aquaculture world. This particular cohort kicked off in Hawaii, and then it came to Bergen last week for two weeks. Primarily for industry connections and building networks of the industry and for the companies to form relationships with the industry here. So today, for example, we met many of Bergen and Norway's largest aquaculture companies who came to share their challenges and the details of the company and their ambitions. Because Innovation also to them is very important and critical to their future development and growth.

 

Silvija: First of all, what we are doing is out of order. I am so fascinated by Hatch that I forgot to ask you about Wayne. So, could you tell us a little bit about who you are and why you like doing what you do? 

 

Wayne: Sure. My background is not necessarily in aquaculture. But I have been running accelerator programs for the last 10 years. And for those who don't know what that is. It's basically taking in talented people with an Idea, putting them through typically a three-month process where you bring in experts and mentors to help guide them and add value to them, increase their knowledge and increase their Network. So that in the end they go faster. We also typically also invest a small amount of money into these companies in return for an equity stake. So, they're quite early stage and typically someone like Hatch is the very first investor. And in a way it validates maybe to a degree the company's early idea concept of being something of value. And then our job is to bring in the right people at the right time to try and add value to them and let them grow and raise money and scale and build a company. And my background for the last 10 years has been doing that with over a hundred 160-170 startups, maybe more. Who has gone through that process?

 

Silvija: Yourself are Irish?

 

Wayne: Yes. 

 

Silvija: Are you based there, or do you get to spend any time there? 

 

Wayne: Well, during the program very little. My family, my beautiful wife and children are based in Cork in Ireland. When a program is on because Hatch is quite a global program. We travel basically for three and a half months across three continents, but off program they also have the benefit of joining me in Hawaii and those different places. So there is some upside to my absence at times. 

 

Silvija: You have a hobby?

 

Wayne: Since I was very young and this is quite by accident rather than design, since I was a kid I loved tropical fish and I have tanks at home. I have two 800 liter tanks full of the most amazing tropical fish. They are my little babies at home, and I've been doing that since I was a kid. But the great thing is for me now, being involved in an aquaculture program. We visit many big tanks and even bigger tanks. So I'm quite at home.

 

Silvija: Do you bring fish home?

 

Wayne: Maybe to eat. But it's fantastic to see, you know, breeding fish and growing fish in a much larger scale, enormous scale. and last week we took the team's out to Blom which is a salmon farm. And for them to see a hundred, hundred and fifty thousand fish in a pen growing and learning about it. For me it is like I'm a little kid in the toy store.

 

Silvija: Hmm. So how do you find these companies or how do they find you? 

 

Wayne: That's a really good question and it's not an easy job. Because we're quite global in this cohort. We have five US companies, an Argentinian company, a Thai company and two companies from Singapore. We have one from Portugal, one from Norway and two from Ireland. So that's quite a spread. We work really hard during the year going to trade shows and networking. We do workshops, which is a very early stage conceptual kind of development with a view to building a pipeline of companies, and we've probably a pipeline of about 500 Global aquaculture startups right now. Some of them are too early for an accelerator, but we work with them to bring to a stage where we can add value to them. And as our brand grows and we become more synonymous with actually really developing world class companies and connection, amazing corporate companies that can, you know, do deals with them and invest in them. Maybe as they grow. We are getting a lot of traffic these days where companies are checking us out. And we're quite active on social media, but we just want to find the best and the coolest and the most disruptive scalable startups out there and entrepreneurs who can deliver. 

 

Silvija: Tell us about a few of these. You said where they're from, but tell us what they do?

 

Wayne: Well this particular cohort, we have 13 different companies. All very different. We have one company Jannetty Rate who basically through their paint technology can predict the growth rate of an egg, in terms of the ability for feed conversion rate. So, these eggs are the most efficient for animals to grow. So, it'll take less feed to produce more meat. So, from a salmon’s farmer's perspective in this instance 60 percent or more of their cost is feed. So out of all the eggs that they have they can predict. Those eggs which will grow the fastest and the best, potentially they could have 5-15 percent of their food bill, which can be a considerable amount of money. On the flip side we have a company from Norway who are a satellite imaging company, and they have technology now to look at shrimp production in Asia. 

 

Silvija: You can see that from a satellite?

 

Wayne: Yes, they can. They can see ponds that are empty, ponds that are full. Look at the potential biomass in those ponds in terms of if the Harvest is going to be a good one or a bad one.

 

Silvija: Predict the price?

 

Wayne: Yes, and I think that's their ultimate objective. So, that can be a very powerful place to be. And also, for feed companies. For them to measure the amount of feed that they need to have for that biomass that's growing. You know, this is all really important data that can become available to the industry. And I think there will be a lot of people interested in their technology. 

 

Silvija: And you talked a lot about animals, fish and shrimp. Some time ago we talked about a kid who is a marine that does really interesting things with Plankton. But what about algae? Can you educate us a little bit about that? Is there a possibility of having a really? Really interesting vegetarian agriculture from the sea? 

 

Wayne: Yes. For example, we have this cohort company again. One is a company called Ambrosia in Asia. They are looking at producing or commercially developing a specific type of seaweed. That when put into cattle feed will reduce the methane production in cattle by about 90% or more. 

 

Silvija: Can that even be healthy?

 

Wayne: Well, I mean. Whatever interaction it has within the microbiome of the cow. It reduces the methane, which is a good thing because methane from cattle contributes to 10% of global CO2 emissions. So, if that can be reduced that way, that would be amazing. And that's a young female entrepreneur who got a team back in Hawaii growing the seaweed, finding a way to grow it commercially for that industry. We've also got another Hawaiian company. Hawaii's probably quite good for micro algae. They've produced a substance called astaxanthin which is a feed supplement that gives the color of pink in farm salmon. Ordinarily in the wild farm salmon, eat Krill and other animals that give the pigment. Okay, but farm salmon don't have that. So, this astaxanthin is put into the feed that gives that lovely pink color that someone has. Without that it might not look as appealing. But they produce that naturally, not synthetically. And they've also got a range of products that are cosmetic products for specific algae based cosmetic products that they have. Apparently it is age-defying. It reverses your age and how you look. So hopefully they've just launched that line of cosmetics in the last week or two. They are moving quite fast. But microalgae is a superfood. It's gold and it's a very powerful food. And the more you use it, it has a great ability to reduce CO2 and it's good for the planet. 

 

Silvija: And there's a lot of arable land for it. 

 

Wayne: Yes there is. But Coola Algae systems, which is a Hawaiian company. They produce their algae in the dark. They don't need big tracks of pond. They produce it in fermenters in the dark and can produce commercially scalable amounts of that in the dark, which is quite unusual. 

 

Silvija: Very cool. Could be an interesting application for all the piping under the ground that needs to be used for interesting things.

 

Wayne: Yeah, there's so many applications.

 

Silvija: Okay. So how is technology influencing all of this stuff? The world of aquaculture is behind Agri Tech but what kind of technologies are important? What do you think about this whole disruption?

 

Wayne: I think the challenge in agriculture today is automation. A lot of it is quite manual. There's basic farming, activities going on obviously. Hatch doesn't invest in farms. If you came to us and said “Hey, I love to set up a salmon farm in Northern Norway” We are not interested in that. But what we're interested in is everything around. All the technology that can improve the efficiency of Agriculture and production. In terms of disease, in terms of sensor technology, in terms of feed. And other types of technologies that improve the efficiency of the process. Reduce the impact on the environment and obviously sustainable. I think Agri Tech typically is about 30 years ahead of aquaculture. But in the past going two or three years since we kicked off. We've noticed that people are waking up too. 70% of the world is covered by water. And the population is growing. And by 2050 it is estimated is going to be 10 billion people here. And we need to produce three times more food than we have right now. Land-based food production is at its limits, and it can't do much more.

 

Silvija: And I think also we are waking up to the fact that the sea is in general a more fragile environment than soil. We've talked a lot about the sea problems. And all kinds of climate and animal rights issues are very quickly involved, and I think we need to do this right if we're going to do it on a big scale. 

 

Wayne: 100%. And no investment that Hatch makes is anything but sustainable with a positive effect on the environment. The world needs aquaculture. I don't think many people realize the importance of it in the future to feed those future people who will arrive by 2050. And over the next few years will otherwise people potentially could be competing for food and we need to find sustainable, healthy and clean ways of producing seafood into the future. That for me, and the way that Hatch and the rest of the team are involved in this is because we believe that that's where it's going to happen and that's where we can bring something really positive. And it's through startups and innovation that are going to deliver and all the efficiencies that are needed to meet those future demands. 

 

Silvija: Can I ask you a basic question again. I was thinking about the carbon capture opportunity here as well. I mean, if algae are growing and most of them use chlorophyll and they bind some carbon dioxide as well. No?

 

Wayne: Yeah. There's a significant amount of particularly impact Venture funds right now who are pounding a lot of money into CO2 Solutions. Particularly in Silicon Valley, and I think we need to drive more innovation in that space for sure. And we need to reduce the CO2 that's been produced today and reduce methane. I mean seaweed, and carbon-based technologies, algae we need to find better ways of producing it and more efficient ways to have the impact that it hopefully will have in the future. 

 

Silvija: We started with saying that you are kind of Bergen and Norway based. You said it's because we have the experience and the scale and the ecosystem. But are there other takeaways from doing this cohorts at least for parts of the time in Norway?

 

Wayne: Yeah, we're collected mix of different types of people in terms of the founders. And we came here as a say in 2017 looking to do this crazy thing called an aquaculture accelerator as the world's first. And we found a really welcome here in terms of the seafood cluster. And also, Vis who were investors in our Cohort. They saw the potential of it. But there are very few places in the world where you walk down the corridor as you do here at Vis, where you're going to have a multitude of different startup companies involved in agriculture and any presentation you see typically, is about salmon or something aquaculture related. Other places we've been too there's different technologies. But from our perspective, I think we add real value in bringing these 13 companies to Bergen to see how evolved the industry is here. And even networks that we have in other parts of the world. I've connected them here, we brought them here so that we can connect them and grow the value and the expertise that exists here in Bergen. But also, network that out globally and make it easier for these startups to be funded in terms of their agriculture technology, so that they can have a greater impact on the industry. 

 

Silvija: Do you find the Norwegian culture lack of hierarchy, and that we are attached to direct for many cultures. Is that an advantage or disadvantage in terms of startups? 

 

Wayne: I have programs pretty much all around the place. And one thing as part of my role at Hatch is relationship building and building at those networks. And for people to understand how best they can extract the value from the process. I don't think Norwegians are very direct. I think they're a little bit different. I think for some of the startups, sometimes they focus too much on Norway as a market. And you know, there's a big world out there, outside of salmon. And different types of technologies. But at the same time the knowledge and the expertise that's here is it's just phenomenal. Today we just had master classes and presentations from the industry with Incredible insights into a range of different technologies that have been applied here, but I do think It's a good place for teams to come and experience the culture. And they've been welcomed with open arms, which is fantastic. 

 

Silvija: I think Norwegians are wonderful brave technologists. They know how to fix really difficult problems in innovative ways. They're not afraid to challenge each other or upwards, but they're not necessarily the best salespeople in the world. 

 

Wayne: No, but I'll tell you what they are. There are by far the best collaborators in the world. In terms of building partnerships.

Silvija: What do you mean by that? 

 

Wayne: For example the cluster here, you know all the top companies for salmon companies in Norway is a part of a mix. And pharma companies and other technology companies all meet on a regular basis to discuss and collaborate and share. It's a fantastic place to share knowledge. 

 

Silvija: Has it to do with openness? 

 

Wayne: Yes. It's all about collaboration and openness. Anybody I've invited here has been welcomed with open arms in terms of sharing everything, because they want to be able to add value. And there are many other parts of the world where you go and they're kind of hiding what they're doing. But here it is a quite different experience and it's great to see. 

 

Silvija: Grow the cake and it's better for everybody. 

 

Wayne: Yes. When the tide comes in, they want all the boats to rise not just one or two, which is probably quite typical of Norwegian culture which is for us as a company trying to develop industry and relationships a really good thing to do. 

 

Silvija: Is there something you would recommend people to read?

 

Wayne: There are so many books out there on startup. The last couple of days we've been doing some exercises around, investor speak and raising money and closing deals. Post-money, pre-money, Equity, Founders, agreements. All these things that many startups don't really understand, and they must. I think a good book to read will be “Ask the vc” where you'll get a significant amount of information and advice around that. There's some really good stuff in there. But also, and this is particularly for startups in an early stage. The one thing that we find or that is my experience anyway, in terms of what they need to do. Is that they need to be able to tell the story about their company. And a lot of them do a really bad job of that. There's a Gentleman on YouTube David Rose who's just a master at presenting stories and particularly to investors, about what the makeup of your story should look like and what your slide deck should look like. He does a master class on YouTube. You should definitely check it out. But all startup companies, if they want to attract investors that they want to attract customers and do all those things, they need to have a pretty cool story and most of them do, but they don't do a really good job of sharing it very good. 

 

Silvija: We're closing in on time. And I was hoping you would leave a quote as a parting gift for our listeners. 

 

Wayne: Yeah. It's a very important one, certainly from a start-up perspective and billionaire business. You need to reach out to a lot of people and build those relationships. But I often tell our people “You are the average of the five people you spend most time with”.

So, if you're spending time with wasters, you probably are a waster. But if you're spending time with positive, upbeat, intelligent, go getting people the chances are that that will lift you and will be one of those kind. And that's what you need if you want to build a startup from zero to a billion dollars company. Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people who can guide you along the way.

 

Silvija: That's a really nice quote. Thank you for that. We talked about a lot of things. If you have to choose one thing that you really want people to remember from our conversation. What would you like it to be?

 

Wayne: It's a good question. And I think you know, startup is a really difficult thing to do. And I think they need to be really smart about how they approach people. Be really smart about building relationships. It is all about people and those relationships. And helping these companies to grow is a critical part of their success. Don't ever underestimate your people skills. They are required to build those long lasting relationships. And if you do that, I think you're on a good road and the right road to success and building something cool. 

 

Silvija: Wayne Murphy, the co-founder of the Hatch aquaculture accelerator. Thank you for coming here and teaching us both about aquaculture and constructive startup mentality. And thank you for listening. 

 

Wayne: You're very welcome and thank you for your invitation.

 

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C0497 OCEANTECH The future demand for food, can aquaculture be the answer? - med Wayne Murphy

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