The collaboration aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the state to strengthen the fisheries value chain.
Chennai, January 12, 2024: Aquaconnect, an aquaculture technology platform has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with StartupTN to promote blue economy initiatives in the state. Through this, Aquaconnect aims to foster innovation and support the growth of new age startups in the aquaculture sector in the state.
In line with this, Aquaconnect in collaboration with StartupTN, backed by the Tamil Nadu government and Sathyabama University – Technology Business Incubator (Incubation Partner), launched ‘The Fish Tank’-India’s Grand Aquaculture Innovation Challenge, at the Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet on January 07,2024.
The Fish Tank aims to promote innovation in the Indian aquaculture sector by providing a unique platform for early-stage startups and college students (UG/PG/Ph.D.) to showcase their next-generation ideas to the world and scale for impact. The program will cover broader aspects of the aquaculture value chain in both pre & post-harvest value chain wherein applicants can propose ideas related to affordable IoT/Software based solutions to monitor water quality, daily feeding, animal health, biotechnological advancements to improve production efficiency, seafood processing, preservation, and value addition amongst others.
The collaboration, which aligns squarely with The Government of Tamil Nadu’s ambitious goal of developing a $1 trillion dollar economy, further aims to nurture emerging talent and offer support to startups in Tamil Nadu to strengthen the fisheries value chain.
Sivarajah Ramanathan, Mission Director & CEO of StartupTN, “StartupTN’s Blue economy forum is first of its kind professional network to promote collaborative efforts between government initiatives, academia, and industry players which will drive a transformative growth, for making Tamil Nadu a hub for seafood-focused startups. I invite all aspiring entrepreneurs, early-stage startups to solve the challenges of “Fish Tank” and contribute to the blue economy of the state.”
Speaking on the development, Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Founder & CEO, Aquaconnect said, “The collaboration with StartupTN underscores our commitment to accelerating blue economy initiatives in Tamil Nadu. We are excited to witness how this will unfold and impact the sector on a large scale. Being the second largest producer globally, India’s aquaculture sector holds enormous potential, and it needs wider participation from forward-thinking individuals. I believe FishTank will be a pivotal step in fostering young entrepreneurship and unlocking the doors for incredible talent in Tamil Nadu.”
The top ten candidates will have an opportunity to participate in the incubation program at Sathyabama TBI with access to resources and mentorship support while also gaining access to StartupTN’s blue economy network, which encompasses fisheries research and development institutes, academic institutions, and their facilities across the state. In addition to this, two winners will be selected and awarded with a cash prize of 1 Lakh each and an opportunity to work with Aquaconnect to launch and scale their solution in the market.
Aquaconnect is a full-stack aquaculture platform that enables access to farm advisory, farm inputs, and post-harvest market linkage through its retail partners (Aqua Partners) and a network of seafood buyers. The platform leverages AI & Geo Spatial technologies to provide intelligence on farm input demand and harvest supply prediction, enhancing efficiency and transparency in the value chain. Aquaconnect facilitates formal credit to its retail partners and seafood buyers, supporting their working capital needs and upscaling their businesses.
The start-up has been recognized by ‘Forbes Asia 100 to Watch’ and ‘World-Changing Ideas 2020’ by Fast Company. The startup showcased its solutions at the Paris Peace Forum – 2022 and is a part of the Innovator cohort at the Seafood Innovation Project and Hatch Accelerator and the Norwegian Seafood Innovation Cluster. Aquaconnect is one of the winners of the ‘Agriculture Insure Tech Award’ by the World Bank Group. The startup was selected for the fifth edition of Google for Startups Accelerator (GFS) India. It is also the first Indian aquaculture startup to earn an ISO 27001 certification for information security management. Aquaconnect was honoured with the prestigious Fisheries Startup Grand Challenge Award by the Department of Fisheries, Government of India.
Aquaconnect is supported by investments from Omnivore Partners, Hatch Accelerator, Flourish Ventures, Rebright Partners, Agfunder, Lok Capital, LDC, Suneight Investments, and 6G Capital.