John Constantino (left) and Tony Chen, co-founders of aquaculture health company Manolin.

“There is no other place in the world like Bergen,” says start-up founder

The co-founder of one of Bergen’s newest aquaculture companies has stated that the city’s seafood ecosystem is unique around the world.

John Constantino admits that, when he was told about the Hatch seafood incubator in the city, his first reaction was, “Where the heck is Bergen?”.

Nevertheless, as John explains in the above video, he and his co-founders at the aquaculture health start-up Manolin soon discovered that the city offered an unparalleled access to the world’s largest seafood producers.

After taking part in the 15-week incubator programme, John and fellow founders Tony Chen and Natalie Brennan decided that locating their business in Bergen was a “no-brainer”.

Georg Baunach, co‑founder and Development Director at Hatch, explains more in the above video about Bergen’s unique network of seafood firms.

Georg Baunach is one of the co-founders of Hatch, a seafood incubator that held its first three-month programme in Bergen.

“There’s no other place like Bergen in terms of the proximity of the aquaculture industry, and the density of the aquaculture industry. […] Then, in addition to that network, you have student organizations and university programmes.

“So, there’s a mentality and an awareness about seafood and aquaculture we don’t find anywhere else.”

Georg notes that this ecosystem of aquaculture companies played a key role when Hatch was searching for a place to hold its very first incubator programme.

The seafood industry in Greater Bergen and Hordaland is represented by its own cluster organization, the NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster.

NCE Seafood covers the whole supply chain within aquaculture – from start‑ups and suppliers to global brands such as Lerøy Seafood and Marine Harvest.

A range of other organizations, including public bodies and research institutions such as the University of Bergen, and the Institute of Marine Research, are also included in the cluster.