Opportunities & Challenges at Fish 2.0

By Shai Ufaz, CEO ViAqua Therapeutics

As a finalist in the recent Fish 2.0 International Business Competition, held at Stanford University in California, I had a great opportunity to present in front of highly experienced, well-regarded aquaculture experts at the various stages of the competition. I also received excellent feedback about ViAqua’s strengths and what makes us better.

The entire conference impressed me from the highly organized application and selection process to the enjoyable Innovation Forum (at the end of the conference). The Forum gathered together investment-ready businesses in the seafood sector. It was interesting to meet with other young businesses like ViAqua to hear about their challenges and solutions along the tough start-up road and the remarks from from experts regarding barriers and opportunities for growth in sustainable seafood were extremely interesting.

ViAqua CEO Shai Ufaz presents at Fish 2.0 at Stanford University.

ViAqua CEO Shai Ufaz presents at Fish 2.0 at Stanford University. Photo courtesy Fish 2.0

During my presentation I shared the major need for a solution to one of the major issues facing sustainable aquaculture these days — and (of course) presented ViAqua’s drug delivery solution for the shrimp sector in particular. Although major players in the aquaculture sector agree that drug delivery in aquaculture is a major challenge, I was surprised that only a few companies addressed the critical need for disease management.

I have two key takeaways from the forum:

  1. Transparency and traceability is a major issue that needs to be better addressed so as to increase the demand for seafood (at least in developed countries).
  2. Disease management and fishmeal replacement are the major issues the aquaculture sector needs to address to be able to feed the world in the decades ahead.

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