Business economist Reinier van den Biggelaar teamed up with co-founder and technical expert Job Schipper, former scientific seed breeder, in seaweed farm Hortimare. Here to supply in the rising demand of proteins for fish feed. Slowly there are economical and ecological opportunities appearing at the surface to replace our current resources like soya proteins and using other fish as feed. Now via business accelerator programme Investment Ready at Impact Hub Amsterdam Hortimare is under intense refining, unflinching discussions and critical peer-to-peer review by fellow participating social entrepreneurs and business experts. If all gets to fishy and straightforward a private coach from Boston Consultancy Group is there to be supportive, concerned but yet critical, often still as devils advocate.
Half way in the programme already with great wins. “We come out with a better vision on activities to short term cash generation, a recalculated business model, and clear thoughts on our value creation along the business chain.”
Cultivated fish currently feeds on other fish. Well said, 1 kg fish needs 1,5 kg fish to eat from. Not quite an ideal situation one might say, cut back by the industry by adding soy protein as a replacement. Still far from a tasty, healthy fish and a forested Southern America. Seaweed comes in as the nutrient resource for the future. An emerging market where Hortimare is the front-runner in cultivating and refining seedlings. “We have an tremendous challenge to cultivate and grow the business chain. On a self-owned seaweed farm, used for education and demonstration, we enthuse current and future seaweed farmers by explaining the under laying business model. Besides ecological benefits as a more diverse integrated sea life. Where fjords are enriched by a circular closed loop system consisting of clams, weeds and salmon. Clams act as filter feeders adding natural microorganisms to prevent nearby cultivated salmon from diseases. This way we go from worthless waste materials to worthy nutrients. Sea farms are the solution and will replace wild seaweed harvesting, still far more destructive for nearby sea life, soon as Hortimare keeps on expanding business.
“I see the Investment Ready Programme as a true gift, both from personal as business perspective. During I have time to reflect not while being inside my organization but from an overview perspective. Time to review for instance your go-to-markets and your business model.” Via various training session by business experts on presentation, MBTI, and pitching participants are challenged to look at a larger perspective. “Via peer-to-peer discussion I realised our position in the value chain from a broader focus, with concrete steps to enhance our operations strategically. While in discussion I stumbled upon a possible joint venture.” Besides coming up with new ideas, the programme connects me with experts and partners to collaborate with or people to engage in your activities.
Hortimare is one of the participants who is in the race for 50.000 euro guaranteed investment. In case of Hortimare money used to accelerate implementation of seaweed farms in North West Europe. Recently the news of Hortimare’s seedlings reached Southern Chili and Canada where companies see potential in sowing and cultivating as well. Hortimare operates mission driven with an open-technology policy to get far more seaweed farmers up and running. A front-runners position we can only admire and applaud.
Are you a social entrepreneur? Looking for ways to expand your business? Find out in the next Investment Ready Programme if you are ready to grow. Please see the Investment Ready website or contact Thomas Vaassen for more information.