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Independence Marine – Executive Summary

Independence Marine seeks $250,000 from outside investors in March, 1994 in exchange for 30% ownership of the company. Prior to this date, the founders will be funding the production tooling, field testing, facilities and equipment and the creation of market awareness. The outside capital infusion will be used for marketing and working capital needs as production levels ramp up. The projected annual internal rate of return to outside investors over five years is conservatively estimated at 51%. Independence Marine will develop exit strategies in conjunction with our outside investors at the appropriate time. These options include, but are not limited to, the execution of an IPO, an LBO, an outright redemption buyout or a combination of these.

Independence Marine’s strategic goal is to develop, manufacture, and market products that aid in the environmentally sustainable harvest of ocean resources. Our initial product offering, Whale Awayä, reduces the accidental entrapment (by-catch) of marine mammals, particularly whales, dolphins and porpoises, in commercial fishing equipment. This accessory is attached to fishing nets and emits a signal that alerts marine mammals to the presence of a foreign object in the water. The initial product/technology concept was developed and proven in tests with fishermen in Canada and the United States by Jon Lien, Ph.D., through research at the Whale Research Centre of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

Independence Marine has taken Dr. Lien’s proven technology concept and redesigned it for inexpensive mass manufacture and improved safety-in-use. Initial prototypes have been constructed and will be tested in June and October of 1993 by Dr. Lien and representatives of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the U.S. Government.

The introduction of this product is critical to fishermen as new regulations prohibiting the by-catch of marine mammals will go into effect in October, 1993, threatening to shut down some of their fisheries. In addition to meeting regulations, Whale Away represents an additional value to fishermen as net damage and loss due to marine mammal entanglement is alleviated. This will reduce operating costs while increasing revenues, since undamaged nets can catch more fish.

The initial target market for Whale Awayä is the 2,025 domestic gill net fishermen who will face the regulatory ban on fishing during their peak season, which coincides with whale migrations through the area. Gill net fishermen were chosen because gill nets account for almost 80% of all marine mammal deaths that occur in fishing gear. We project that 150,000 Whale Away ä units per year will be required for all domestic gill net fishermen to meet the requirements of the federal regulations. The units are designed to last for one year, after which a replacement unit is needed for each successive year.

Whale Awayä will be introduced in the spring of 1994, coinciding with the beginning of the fishing season. It will be priced and promoted so as to quickly penetrate the market and consolidate our first-mover advantage. Independence Marine will promote Whale Awayä through trade shows, trade magazines and direct mail. Distribution will be direct via a toll free telephone number and parcel post shipping.

Future growth opportunities include extension of the current product into new markets and the development of product variations for the subsistence fishing markets subsidized by the United Nations. Other potential products include anti-shark and improved “dolphin-free” tuna net devices.

The management team will be a distinctive competence of Independence Marine. The founders bring a strong blend of manufacturing, management marketing and product design experience to the business. This, combined with the fact that all five founders will be graduating from the Masters of Management in Manufacturing program at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, uniquely positions the company to bring Whale Awayä and future products to the market. Two of the founders will be running the day-to-day operations while the other three will serve on an external Board of Directors along with representatives of the initial investors. In addition, an advisory board of technical and industry advisors is being recruited to provide scientific advice and to ensure a flow of new product ideas in line with market needs.

Independence Marine
Table of Contents Appendices
0. Executive Summary
1. Product Description
2. Market Need
3. Marketing
4. Future Opportunities
5. Operations
6. Management
7. Financial Overview
Market Analysis
Advertising & Promotion
Buyer Behavior
Market Size & Profits
©1993 Independence Marine

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