Special report: Entrepreneurs
A post-Covid surge in start-ups is expected, fuelled by abundant tech funding and targeting an ample supply of industry problems with their innovative solutions. But is the shipping industry ready to open the door to new ideas and provide the collaboration needed to scale these entrepreneurial talents beyond the quickly burned seed capital stages?
Meet the entrepreneurs bringing a wave of disruption to a conservative industry, while demonstrating the mutual gains of outside influence
Ben Braverman, Flexport
Companies of all sizes — including brands like GeorgiaPacific, Made.com, Bombas and Tacha — use Flexport technology to move more than $10bn of merchandise across 112 countries every year
Clément Galic, Unseenlabs
Unseenlabs launched the company’s second and third maritime geolocation nano-satellites in November last year. The first went into orbit in 2019.
Cosmo King, ioCurrents
The company, based in Seattle, was formed in 2015 and first targeted fishing vessels, then tug boats. It has since expanded its offering to tankers, bulkers and ro-ro vessels
Dita Bruijn, PortXchange
Innovation is gaining pace, though the challenges of changing a conservative industry are still great. There is room in the market for those with the right idea and the patience to see it through
Ioannis Martinos, Signal Group
Signal began as a shipmanagement company ‘with a twist’ but rapidly established its own platform to harness data and promote better commercial decision-making in the charter markets. It is also supporting innovation through backing other start-ups and entrepreneurs
Mi Chuanjin, Sailor’s e-home
The "seafarer scalper-like" model in China's traditional crewing business has led Mr Mi to create his start-up, aiming to digitalise the service and reduce job-hunting and training costs for seafarers. And he is seeing the latent opportunities, with growing users and data on his digital platform
Shanker Pillai, Hafnia
For all the talk of pace and accelerated digital change, technology development and integration is taking place alongside behavioural change towards digitalisation
How to get ahead in alt lending
Setting up as a shipping alt lender is easy. Round up some Cass buddies, rent desk space, raise a couple of hundred million bucks and farm it out to owners who cannot borrow elsewhere, right? Wrong
What every entrepreneur should know — but is afraid to ask
Being agile and talented are not enough for an entrepreneur in maritime. A degree of commercial shrewdness is vital, plus an ability to see the long-term vision. A two-year time horizon will not cut it
Nicolas Ang, F-drones
There is every reason to be optimistic about entrepreneurship in shipping as industry leaders are beginning to embrace innovation and more investors start to see the impact they can create with their monies in the maritime sector, Mr Ang says
Ove Munthe-Kaas, Engine Online
The digital platform has fulfilled a latent need among industry players to exchange information with each other while maintaining anonymity
Roberto Coustas, DeepSea Technologies
The shipping industry is notoriously difficult to penetrate as an entrepreneur and traditional venture capital models do not fit, but attitudes and the pace of change are shifting and the decarbonisation revolution requires innovation
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