In a time when technological innovation is uprooting the way business is done, the fishing industry has stayed relatively unchanged.
“We’re bringing disruptive innovation to an industry that hasn’t fundamentally changed in decades, if not centuries,” says Lee. “Many operations are pen and paper based, it’s pretty archaic.”
Not only that, but business isn’t easy for some fisheries.
“There can be anywhere from six to 12 intermediaries from fishery to final sale,” said Lee. “And any time the ownership gets transferred, profits for fisheries go down, the quality can degrade, and it becomes almost impossible to trace the fish back to its origins. It’s a big problem, especially for smaller independent fisheries.”
Coastline offers two e-commerce platforms to solve that problem. Coastline Inventory and Coastline Market. Coastline Inventory consolidates a fishery’s entire workflow in one place at a fraction of the cost of many traditional enterprise resource-planning (ERP) systems. It also feeds into an online marketplace for direct sales – think Airbnb or eBay, but for fresh fish – to cut out the intermediaries.
Coastline Market is a simpler iteration for small independent fisheries. The focus there is direct sales to restaurants with fresher fish and minimized food miles traveled, at comparable prices to wholesalers and distributors.
But, breaking into an industry isn’t easy. New players don’t have credibility. Lee and his team really wanted to be accepted into business accelerator Next 36 to help them break through those barriers.