Ms Michella Irawan

Chief Executive Officer of Collabit, Indonesia Country Director of NEXUS


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biography

Michella Irawan began her career in 2009 by managing her family’s second-generation business in the fishing industry, which has been operational for over 30 years. Her efforts have been focused on implementing a zero-waste model, including the management of fishing vessels, cold storage facilities, and katsuobushi (dried and fermented tuna) manufacturing. In 2015, Michella’s involvement with NEXUS, a global network focused on social impact, sparked her realization that she could merge her professional work with her passion for the ocean. This marked the beginning of her journey as the “Tuna Girl” in 2017.

In her leadership role at NEXUS Indonesia, Michella aims to connect
individuals who can mobilize local and global capital to foster positive changes within Indonesia. She focuses on bringing together like-minded young leaders who are committed to making a social impact, particularly in areas related to sustainability, ocean health, and the circular economy. Her work is driven by a vision to transform good intentions into actionable projects that unleash human potential and positively impact the environment and local communities.

Michella is determined on integrating innovative solutions from various industries into the fishing and blue economy sectors. She believes that entrepreneurial and cross-sectoral approaches can address challenges and create opportunities within the fishing industry. By piloting new solutions in her community, she aims to demonstrate successful models that enhance business operations while improving the quality of life for employees and fostering a thriving natural ecosystem.

Her ambition extends to disrupting the traditional fishing industry by promoting a kinder and more profitable business model. Michella advocates for the use of biotechnology, engineering, and partnerships to achieve 100% fish utilization, ensuring that every part of the fish is used optimally. Her personal mission includes contributing to ocean conservation and growing the marine ecosystem. She leverages her influence and community ties in North Sulawesi to drive these changes, positioning the region as a platform for broader marine solutions in Indonesia.

In pursuit of these goals, Michella founded CollaBit, an Indonesian marine biotech start-up. CollaBit focuses on applying the principles of the circular blue economy and marine biotechnology to transform undervalued marine by-products into high-value, nutritious ingredients. This innovation aims to reduce marine resource waste, decrease reliance on imports, and make nutrition accessible to the general population. Through CollaBit, Michella wants to empower the fish, ocean, and people, advancing sustainable practices that benefit both the environment and the community.