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Monica Jain

of Fish 2.0

www.fish20.org/

Monica Jain is the founder and Executive Director of Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting Inc. She has worked for over 20 years in the private sector and philanthropy, and specializes in the creation of innovative financing strategies and structures for impact investors, foundations, and private sector–non-profit partnerships. She has a background in marine biology and a deep passion for both fisheries and social change. Monica has launched several entrepreneurial ventures and has extensive experience in finance and philanthropy. She created Fish 2.0 in 2013 to connect seafood businesses and investors and to grow the sustainable seafood industry globally. Learn more at www.fish20.org or www.mantaconsultinginc.com

Food, Fuel, Medicine, Wrinkle Reducer: Algae Does It All

You know what there’s really plenty of in the sea? Algae. And I am in love with them. Most people envision algae as slimy, possibly toxic, green scum. But this diverse group of fast-growing aquatic plants is about to undergo an image makeover, and may soon seem flat-out glamorous. Algae got a lot of excited…

Entrepreneurs Shine a Light on Seafood Origins

Consumers who would never buy something generically labeled meat or cheese are often stuck at almost that level of information when it comes to seafood. The opaque origins and processing of many seafood products can hide a host of problems, including species fraud, illegal fishing, human rights abuses in the labor force, and pollution—as well…

Oysters Built the East Coast. Now Entrepreneurs are Rebuilding the Oysters.

The East Coast was literally built on oysters. At the peak of their production as a food source, these shellfish were so plentiful from the Gulf Coast to New England that discarded shells were crushed and used to pave roads. Oysters kept bays and waterways clean—Chesapeake Bay residents didn’t need to treat or filter their…

Could a Partnership Born of Fish 2.0 Become the Red Bull of Seafood?

There’s a global divide at the heart of the seafood industry: the businesses that most need new technologies are often continents away from the businesses creating them. Small-scale seafood operations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa catch and farm most of the seafood we eat. Startups in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are developing most…

Creative Energy Flows to Seafood Sector in South Pacific

“If you had the opportunity to generate income for a whole island, what would you do?” That’s how Lili Kawaguchi opened her pitch during the closing session of Fish 2.0’s Pacific Islands business development workshop. The question grabbed the audience’s attention, as did the rest of the Tongan entrepreneur’s pitch for her seaweed products startup.…

A Startup in the South Pacific Could Be a Worldwide Model

Alfred Kalontas, the founder of ALFA Fishing in Vanuatu, bootstrapped his business from nothing to become the preferred seafood supplier to over 70 percent of the hotels and restaurants in the island nation’s capital, Port Vila.  He is now starting to export his high-quality, sustainably caught products to New Zealand and is seeing demand from…

The Race to Find Fish Feeds That Don’t Bankrupt the Ocean

Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And to feed the world sustainably, the industry has to figure out how to feed farmed fish without using wild fish stocks. Fish feed stood out in our Fish 2.0 Market Report research as a huge opportunity for innovation. Most farmed fish need some form of prepared feed…

Fish 2.0 Network Scales Sustainable Seafood Businesses

“Fish 2.0 accelerated our business to a fundamentally different level.” “It’s boosted the confidence and pride of board and staff in our business model, in addition to validating our model with current and potential funders.” “Winning Fish 2.0 was a huge event for our young company.” Barely six months past the 2015 Fish 2.0 Finals,…

Sustainable Seafood Businesses Tackle Food Deserts with an Ancient Farming Technique

One of the most interesting trends to emerge from the Fish 2.0 business competition is the increasing use of aquaponics, which combines fish farming (aquaculture) with growing plants in water (hydroponics). This is nothing new—people have been practicing aquaponics for centuries, in the Aztecs’ floating crop islands, the rice paddies of Asia and elsewhere. What’s…

Island Businesses Succeed with Strong Strategies and Partnerships

Are the rules for successful island entrepreneurs different from the rules for entrepreneurs globally? I don’t think so. People often tell me that you have to evaluate island entrepreneurs by different criteria, but based on our experience with the Fish 2.0 competition for sustainable seafood businesses, that is not true. We have many small-scale companies…

Surge in Fish 2.0 Applications is Good News for Oceans, Communities and Investors

When I started Fish 2.0, many investors, foundations, and even seafood experts said it would be difficult to get more than 50 entries in a competition for sustainable seafood businesses. They were not seeing many innovative seafood businesses, and they believed most of those they did see were not looking for investment. The inaugural competition…

Why Business Innovation is the Key to Thriving Tuna Fisheries

I’ve been thinking a lot about tuna lately. It’s an important fish in a number of ways: Canned tuna accounted for about 16 percent of all of seafood consumed by Americans in 2013, and today it’s the third most popular seafood in the U.S. Tuna is critical to island economies, where it’s an important source…

Entrepreneurs around Micronesia Restore Both Fisheries and Local Economies

The Fish 2.0 business competition held a workshop for entrepreneurs from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Saipan. The workshop was held in Pohnpei with the support of the Micronesia Conservation Trust, IdEA and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Before we went, some colleagues wondered whether there would be…

The 2015 Fish 2.0 Competition: A Chance for Seafood Businesses to Build on Investor Interest

Three years ago, when I first started asking investors why they didn’t put more money into seafood ventures, many told me that there just weren’t enough strong businesses out there to warrant the time and energy of adding seafood to their portfolios. At the same time, seafood businesses complained that there were not enough interested…

Seafood Entrepreneurs Advance and Grow Ventures in 2014

As we gear up for the January launch of the Fish 2.0 business competition – an initiative that connects seafood entrepreneurs and investors – our team spoke with finalists from our 2013 competition to hear their news. One of the goals of Fish 2.0 is to create the conditions and connections that will help sustainable seafood…