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Hogne Andersen (left) and Mats Heigre from Dynaspace, with a model of a satellite that could provide better data to the shrimp farming industry.
Two young founders are taking a new look at the shrimp farming industry – from 800km above the earth’s surface.
Hogne Andersen, 30, and Mats Heigre, 25, met while studying satellite engineering at university.
They are now seeking to use their knowledge of satellite technology to improve the lives of shrimp farmers, by providing them with much better information.
Andersen, co‑founder of Dynaspace, explains that the global shrimp farming sector is a “black box”. It’s difficult to get accurate information about increases and decreases in shrimp production, disease outbreaks, and the environmental impact.
This type of uncertainty can scare off potential investors, and makes it more difficult to safeguard the health of shrimp populations.
The Bergen‑based company is now developing two new products, InsightSPHERE and ShrimpIQ, in order to provide more transparency to NGOs, local government, investors and of course the farmers themselves. Dynaspace also hopes to offer production forecasts to traders.
To achieve this, Andersen and Heigre are using satellites that whiz above our heads at around 26,000km per hour, beaming pictures back to earth.
By combining these images with artificial intelligence, the company can deliver a much more detailed picture of what’s happening on the ground.
Heigre explains: “Our goal is to help the farmers, and have an impact on the global shrimp farming industry.”
“We believe that aquaculture is key to the future of sustainable food production,” adds Andersen. “For us, being able to combine this with our passion for space is even better!”
Dynaspace uses satellite imagery to give a better picture of the global shrimp farming industry.
Fast and furious
The two entrepreneurs are working towards releasing a beta version of their first product, the InsightSPHERE online platform, in the next few months.
They will start by targeting Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, where small shrimp farms provide a living for millions of people. They are hoping as many farmers as possible will start using their platform.
At the same time, the duo are busy writing grant applications, scouting for seed investors and engaging in the global Hatch accelerator programme.
They explain that it’s taken a lot of hard work to get this far. “We haven’t had much time for hobbies or seeing our friends lately,” Andersen admits.
Nevertheless, the two founders have not been put off by the fast‑and‑furious pace of life at a startup company.
“As long as still I wake up and want to go to work, I see no problem,” says Andersen.
Andersen and Heigre are hoping that their InsightSPHERE and ShrimpIQ products will make a difference for shrimp farmers.
From Bergen to Singapore
One of the most eye‑opening experiences for the two founders recently has been taking part in the Hatch programme for aquaculture startups.
The scheme offers a 15‑week programme of mentoring and support, as well as up to €100,000 in funding, to help young seafood companies grow and develop.
The teams of startup founders enjoy a six‑week stay in Hawaii, followed by a trip to Bergen, and finally a five-week visit to Singapore.
Hatch’s latest cohort of startups arrived in Bergen this Monday, and were welcomed by members of the city’s aquaculture sector.
The group will be taking part in a whirlwind of meetings and introductions to local seafood companies while in the city, including industry giants such as Cargill.
As for Andersen and Heigre, they are already looking forward to the next leg of their journey in Singapore, where they hope to make contact with potential customers, partners and investors.
Powered by their space‑age business idea, these young founders truly are aiming high.
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