On Thursday June 20th, Berta Danielsdottir, CEO of the Iceland Ocean Cluster, delivered a Keynote speech to a full room of entrepreneurs, academics, and industry leaders hungry to learn about the role that full utilization can play in growing Maine’s economy. Focusing on the Ocean Cluster model’s commitment to innovation through collaboration and community, Berta encouraged the audience to look to one another to often in the pursuit of new opportunities. Maine has a dramatically underutilized shellfish industry, as it processes millions of kilograms of lobsters, oysters, mussels, scallops, and clams, with a majority of the waste going to landfill. Our full utilization of the cod here in Iceland made for the perfect story to tell. 
Plans for the Iceland Ocean Cluster’s Participation in the 2019 Startup Maine conference began back in February when our sister cluster, the New England Ocean Cluster (NEOC) spoke with the event team Portland, Maine. Because of our growing relationship with the NEOC, and Maine’s deepening connection to Iceland and the High North, the event organizers thought it would be exciting to have a speaker from our region travel to Maine to engage with the business community. We are honored and thankful that Startup Maine chose to bring Berta into their programming and hope her being there encourages more interest in the Ocean Cluster platform. Our visit is also very nicely timed because the NEOC is planning to open their Hús on the Portland waterfront modeled after the one here in Reykjavik.
Startup Maine is a volunteer run organization that hosts an annual conference designed to bring regional entrepreneurs and startups together to learn, explore specific topics, and network with one another. This year’s even spanned 3 days and welcomed more than 300 guests to downtown Portland. More information on the event can be found here: https://www.startupmaine.org/
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