When you're trying to persuade investors to pour money into your new seafood startup, maybe don't use the term maggots.

That's the advice that Hoyt Peckham, president of SmartFish Inc., offered to one of his fellow competitors last week at the Fish 2.0 competition at Stanford University in California. Think of it as a version of television's Shark Tank — but for the seafood industry. Competitors pitch a roomful of highly connected investors and venture capitalists. These are folks looking to put their money into projects that will modernize the decidedly stodgy and murky fish business, while also pushing sustainability.

Peckham, based in La Paz, Mexico, was one of 18 finalists (winnowed from 170 applicants) from around the world who spent a year preparing for the competition. He offered the maggot advice to a rival, Frederic Viala, president of ENTOFOOD in Malaysia.

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