Robel Berhane, Co-founder and CFO of Halifax-based Clean Catch Baits, has been named Global Student Entrepreneur for Atlantic Canada in the recent Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.
Clean Catch is developing biodegradable, PVC-free soft bait fishing lures for the sport fishing market, aiming to replace plastic lures that can leach harmful micro-plastics into lakes, rivers and oceans. The lures are fully biodegradable, completely dissolving within six months of being lost.
The company, which formed at Saint Mary’s University last year, recently won a total of $23,000 in the first AquaHacking Challenge held in Atlantic Canada.
Berhane said his award is an honour, especially given the GSEA’s rich history of driving innovation. He said the pandemic has revealed the depths of human resilience and that the work of Clean Catch has been largely uninterrupted over recent months.
“We used the spring and summer of 2020 as an opportunity to listen to our direct and indirect customers to be able to establish ourselves as an empathetic solution provider to the recreational fishing lure industry,” he said in an email.
“With recent events creating conflict in Nova Scotia, Clean Catch has devoted greater resources into the commercial lobster fishing industry. Our recreational baits are being perfected and will be ready for purchase in the spring of 2021.”
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is an international competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university and is run by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Berhane won his award at a virtual event held Oct. 28. He will go on to represent the region at the national competition on Jan. 21 next year.