THREE Pacific Island sustainable seafood businesses were among 40 finalist from across the globe that pitched to investors at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, CA, USA.
Representing the Pacific Islands were Didds Fishing Company, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu’s Shepherd Islands Organic Seafood and Indigo Seafood Palau.
The room erupted when Toata Molea, Didds Fishing Company was announced as the winner of the Pacific track of the competition. Molea was ecstatic about being named a winner.
“I still can’t believe it, I’m so happy, all the pitches were of such a high standard, I feel very honoured to have won the Pacific Track.
“I want to thank my family and the Didao fishing team and the Pacific team. I’m also thankful to Chad Morris, PTI Australia for initiating and putting together the preparatory workshop to ensure we could make the most of the opportunity and the support and feedback received from, Tony Sullivan, FFA and Jenny Wright, USA State Department and Leigh Moran, Calvert Foundation.
“To pitch in English in front of such an esteemed crowed was daunting, it really helped to have the support of the Pacific team behind me. The entire competition has been an amazing experience, I’ve learnt so much.
“The prize money will enable us to increase our fleet providing more employment opportunities for the Makwanu community.”
Chad Morris, General Manager, Investment and Tourism, Pacific Trade Invest Australia travelled to Palo Alto to support the Pacific finalists and help them prepare their pitches.
“The ocean and fisheries is crucial to the economic livelihood and food security in the Pacific Islands, it’s vital that we continue to develop and promote sustainable fishing enterprises, this is why PTI Australia became a sponsor of Fish 2.0 as it’s a great platform that not only brings Pacific fishing enterprises together but also nurtures and exposes them to an investment market they may otherwise have never encountered.
“There’s some amazing sustainable approaches to fishing that’s being developed in the Pacific, you just need to listen to the pitches from Toata Molea, Didao Fishing Company, Obed Matariki, Shepherd Islands Organic Seafood and James Sanderson, Indigo Seafood to hear how they are making an impact not only in the ocean but also assisting the communities of where they operate.
“Each of the Pacific enterprises did an amazing job pitching, they did the Pacific proud and too see how far they have come both as individuals and clarity in their business from when they started the competition is immense. To have made it to the stage at Stanford University and to pitch to a room full of investors is a huge and they should be proud of this achievement.”