Minnowtech CEO Suzan Shahrestani says award will accelerate
commercialization of technology for shrimp farmers
July 26, 2021, Kekaha, HI – Minnowtech, an aquaculture technology company that enables shrimp farmers to calculate shrimp abundance for optimizing feed and harvest, today announced it has been awarded a $999,780 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
With this Phase II SBIR award, titled “Sonar Arrays for Maximizing Aquaculture Yields,” Minnowtech will focus directly on development of its sonar-based product to meet specifications for the company’s upcoming commercialization stage.
Minnowtech's product is designed to enable shrimp farmers to determine shrimp biomass; optimize stocking density, manage shrimp growth conditions and better time their harvests.
"Nearly $45 billion of shrimp are grown each year, and because they are grown in turbid water, farmers are forced to guess how many shrimp are in their ponds based on their initial stocking numbers," said Suzan Shahrestani, PhD, CEO with Minnowtech. "In working side by side with shrimp farmers, we know the lack of being able to measure biomass is their biggest hurdle to increasing the health of their crops and their profitability as farmers. Our Minnowtech solution targets this unmet need head-on."
In 2019, Minnowtech was awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the NSF. In addition, Minnowtech has raised over $1 million from investments by OTAQ Group (OTAQ - LON) and other investors around the world.
"Ultimately, our product provides farmers with real-time estimates of shrimp biomass and behavior with standardized data acquisition, fostering an integrated system for aquaculture monitoring," said Shahrestani. "With this system in place, we can accelerate shrimp aquaculture as a sustainable food source across the globe."
Founded in 2018, Minnowtech was part of that year’s HATCH Blue accelerator program, which helps support the launch of disruptive aquaculture startups. In 2019, Minnowtech also was selected to be among the Fish 2.0 Global Innovation Forum’s “Fish 2.0 Top 40,” representing the cohort of competition finalist startups that pitched to the Fish 2.0 audience of global investors.
About Minnowtech: Minnowtech is an aquaculture technology company, founded in Baltimore, MD and with operations in Hawaii, that enables shrimp farmers to estimate shrimp biomass with precision. Using Minnowtech’s sonar-based system, shrimp farmers optimize the health and growth of their animals, enhancing harvest of market-size shrimp while minimizing risks to juvenile shrimp. Minnowtech is a portfolio company of Early Charm. Learn more: www.minnowtech.com