Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 4-15-2019


Hoppe, T. (2019). Cyanotech: A Strategic Audit. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Trent Hoppe 2019.


Microalgae is a fascinating group of organisms that possess a diverse array of interesting traits and benefits relevant to food, medicine, and biofuel. Extensive research behind the viability of microalgae to disrupt the market has sparked an emergent microalgae industry. Founded in 1983, one of the top microalgae companies in the world today is Cyanotech. With a 90-acre algae farm in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and two flagship microalgae products that are world leaders in their categories, Cyanotech is well- positioned be setting the course for the industry and revolutionizing the use microalgae commercially. Despite these favorable attributes, Cyanotech has been trapped in a state of stagnation for nearly a decade which has brought about a steady decline in company performance. A new CEO, Mawae Morton, was hired in January, 2018 and the company has already seen an increase in sales and profitability. Implementation of a novel, calculated company strategy coupled with this new leadership might the recipe for revitalizing Cyanotech and solidifying their position as a dominant force in the microalgae industry.