Entrepreneurship in the Blue Economy

Maine’s coastal waters support more than lobstermen these days. The growing realms of aquaculture require strategies to sustainably manage ocean resources, thus creating new jobs and economic opportunities through innovation.

The Challenge

Oyster and seaweed farms are two of Maine’s fastest-growing industries. But the entrepreneurs starting new businesses in this realm face some common challenges: how do they find capital, what are the best growing techniques, and how can they nurture demand for their product in markets in Maine and beyond?

The Solution

The Maine Center partnered with Startup Maine and the New England Ocean Cluster to create a forum for current and future farmers, as well as interested members of the business community, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing these new aquaculture ventures.

The Results

The “Entrepreneurship in the Blue Economy” series of monthly networking events and panel discussions launched in April 2019, drawing hundreds of attendees interested in further developing Maine’s aquaculture and food economies. University of Southern Maine MBA students pitched projects on aquaculture tourism, mussel-growing equipment, boating technology, seaweed markets, North Atlantic shipping opportunities, and recycling retired fishing gear. 

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