Sep 13, 2017
Phil Cruver is the Founder and CEO of Catalina Sea Ranch (CSR), which owns the first
offshore aquaculture facility in U.S. federal waters. This was a
fascinating conversation as Phil tells the story of how he had to
essentially build a new industry in the U.S. We cover a lot of
ground in this interview. And when it comes to raising funding for
a startup with grand ambitions like CSR, he has some wisdom from
the 6 companies he’s started on how to allocate equity in the early
stages of a company.
Get the full show notes here.
If you like the show, you can subscribe to it on any podcast
app. Support us by leaving a review on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher Radio. Reviews really
help the show grow and allow other people to find the show, it only
takes a minute. We really appreciate it.
In this interview, we cover:
- [4:05] Introduction to the state of the U.S. seafood trade and
offshore aquaculture. Spoiler: The U.S. currently imports about 91%
of all its seafood, producing a $14 billion seafood trade
- [8:40] Why you don’t see any offshore aquaculture in the U.S.,
or much aquaculture at all really.
- [12:50] Risks and process for testing for bacteria and
biotoxins in aquaculture and shellfish.
- [27:19] The birth of CSR and how Phil hit the jackpot
discovering that you didn’t need to lease federal waters, only to
get held up on fundraising and State and local regulatory
- [31:45] Fundraising Part 1: Raising capital in aquaculture
- [34:26] Fundraising Part 2: Strategic round and one of the
smartest decisions Phil made in getting the big distribution
players involved and on the Board.
- [38:19] Advice: Spread around the wealth in the early
- [41:07] Technology Part 1: Technology used to farm in the
- [44:15] Technology Part 2: Tracking everything, monitoring in
real time, technology used, scientists involved.
- [48:47] Technology Part 3: $1 million NOMAD buoy, Ocean Internet of ThingsTM.
Technology off-the-shelf vs rolling their own tech.
- [51:57] R&D: Competitive research contracts with USDA and
- [58:45] Platform building, potential of genomics.
- [1:02:26] The untapped potential of breeding in shellfish.
- [1:04:04] Technology Part 4: Underwater drones: Blue
- [1:07:24] Where CSR is selling today, first harvest,
- [1:12:11] Advice for entrepreneurs.
- [1:13:33] What’s surprised Phil the most building in