State launches aquaculture accelerator program

  • Courtesy photo The Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kona.

KAILUA-KONA — A three-year aquaculture accelerator pilot program officials hope will make the state a bigger player in the global aquaculture industry is poised to kick off this summer.

Gov. David Ige on Wednesday announced HATCH, a Norway-based investment firm, will operate the state’s new aquaculture accelerator program and investment fund.

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Beginning Aug. 26, HATCH will bring to North Kona-based Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s Hawaiian Ocean Science and Technology Park a cohort of 10-14 aquaculture technology startups that will take part in HATCH’s mentor-driven 15-week accelerator program.

The program’s goal is to launch and scale startups of aquaculture companies operating in Hawaii.

Helping to fuel HATCH is the aquaculture accelerator fund organized by a partnership between NELHA, the Hawaii Strategic Development Corp. and University of Hawaii’s UH Ventures. HATCH will operate the accelerator program while working with the partners to raise capital from private investors.

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NELHA will host an open house, during which the public can meet HATCH representatives, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hale Iako on Makako Bay Drive.

Interested startups can apply online at www.hatch.blue/apply.

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