Thursday, April 2, 2020

Eastern Pacific Shipping and Techstars Announce First Global Maritime Startup Accelerator Class in Singapore

Widely recognised as Singapore’s largest shipping company, Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), has partnered with global early stage investor and accelerator, Techstars to launch the first dedicated global maritime accelerator called the Eastern Pacific Accelerator powered by Techstars. Today, the Eastern Pacific Accelerator powered by Techstars has announced its first class of nine startups, which were selected from hundreds of worldwide applicants. The class of startups was selected with careful consideration and input from EPS’ Operations, Marine Technical, Commercial, IT, Fleet Personnel, and Management teams, who would work closely with each startup to test their technologies and accelerate their businesses.

The Eastern Pacific Accelerator powered by Techstars aims to bring digital, technology-led solutions to problems faced by one of the oldest trades around – the shipping and maritime industry. From November 2019, the nine startups will go through an intensive three-month programme of research and development, mentorship, and collaboration at EPS’ headquarters in Singapore.

The nine startups, are from Singapore, Denmark, UK and USA. One of the startups, C-Log has recently moved their global headquarters to Singapore, while US-based Volteo has spun-off Volteo Maritime as a Singapore company. Nautilus Labs is also establishing a permanent office in Singapore while keeping its headquarters in New York City. All three moves demonstrate the importance of having a presence in the Lion City, which is a strategic global maritime hub.

Gil Ofer, the Head of Open Innovation at Eastern Pacific Shipping said, “We see a need for technology to propel the maritime industry forward, especially with a rapidly digitalising society and an increase in global trade. That means the shipping industry needs to innovate to solve problems such as fuel consumption, operational efficiency, fleet performance, and improving life-at-sea for seafarers – and we are doing just that with the Eastern Pacific Accelerator powered by Techstars. For these pioneering startups, EPS can provide access to a deep network of industry players, real-world data, and operational insights from our experienced maritime experts that will accelerate the development of their products.”

The world’s shipping and maritime sector continues to grow, accounting for around 90 per cent of all goods moved globally, spanning over 50,000 vessels and over a million seafarers, according to the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The United Nations Conference of Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD), meanwhile, estimates that volumes of global seaborne trade will grow by 3.8 per cent between 2018 and 2023. However, the industry faces a number of critical issues – with innovation proving crucial to sustain its competitiveness and growth.

Claus Nehmzow, Chief Innovation Officer at Eastern Pacific Shipping commented, “The shipping industry is continually evolving, but change comes slowly and in incremental stages. However, issues such as sustainability, reducing emissions, and seafarer’s mental and physical wellbeing can no longer take a wait-and-see approach. The goal is to address these issues today through the accelerator and to inspire the industry to take a technology-first approach to solving problems.

“EPS believes that by partnering with Techstars, we can combine the best of maritime knowledge and technology know-how, to innovate the maritime space to address some of the biggest issues facing the industry. We hope to be able to spark a renaissance in how maritime trade is conducted and to usher in a wave of next-generation tech for the shipping industry,” added Mr. Nehmzow.

During the intensive three-month programme, the startups will receive hands-on mentorship from industry experts, access to EPS’ operational data, and the opportunity to deploy their technology on EPS’ diverse fleet of over 150 vessels. The programme will also provide the founders with access to Techstars’ network of mentors, investors and partners. In February 2020, the accelerator will culminate in a Demo Day where the founders will pitch to an audience of top investors, multinationals, government partners and other ecosystem players.

Dhritiman Hui, Managing Director of the Eastern Pacific Accelerator powered by Techstars, shared, “We are thrilled to be in partnership with EPS and to focus on an industry that’s ripe for disruption. Techstars has seen many startups successfully tap on the power of partnerships and mentors to energise different industries. These partnerships play an important role to develop innovative solutions that address real market needs. Corporate partners, like Eastern Pacific Shipping, are critical in commercialising these solutions, and when that happens everyone benefits.”

For more information, please visit: http://accelerator.epshipping.com.sg/

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About Eastern Pacific Shipping
Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte. Ltd. (EPS), is a global ship management company that is committed to the green and technology-driven growth of the maritime industry. Headquartered in Singapore, its mission is to be the safe and efficient transportation provider of choice to the shipping industry. Empowering that mission are 5000 skilled and dedicated sea and shore staff that oversee a diverse fleet of 14-million deadweight-tonnes comprising of container, chemical, dry bulk, gas, car carriers, and oil tanker vessels. EPS’ shore team is fully integrated with innovation, operations, crewing, IT, and commercial departments.
Find out more at www.epshipping.com.sg

About Techstars
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $24 billion.
Find out more at www.techstars.com

Editorial Quotes from EPS Accelerator’s Class:

Nicolas Ang, Co-founder and CEO of F-drones:
“We believe that Eastern Pacific Shipping is one of the most progressive in terms of technology innovation in the shipping industry. What struck us was the willingness of Gil Ofer, the Head of Innovation, to want to bring us startups together to work closely with his teams. So far, it’s been quite amazing given that we could have access to the different teams – from operations to safety, and have the visibility of the schedules of the ships coming in to have a safe drone landing.”

Matt Heider, CEO of Nautilus Labs
“The Eastern Pacific Accelerator is a unique and groundbreaking program from EPS and powered by Techstars. We’re proud to participate with other multi-stage Bluetech startups in Singapore—in what will be the most important mission of our lifetimes. To make ocean commerce more sustainable, we’ll need everyone engaged—from entrenched stakeholders, to local and national governments, to startups working with forward-thinking shipping companies like EPS—so that life may thrive in and out of the water.”

Saurish Nandi, Co-founder and Chief Loyalty Officer of SeaMiles:
“Eastern Pacific Shipping has a particular emphasis on the safety of the crew, the environment, the cargo and the ship. They have a strong brand presence in Singapore as well as in other maritime hubs across the world. As a company it has a rich history and has always been on the forefront of innovation and technology. Also, Eastern Pacific has presence in the crewing hubs across the world which includes Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Philippines, India. This provides us at SeaMiles a great opportunity to pilot our product with the strong seafarer base of EPS and then scale it to the entire maritime global workforce.”

Surendra Lingareddy, Founder and CEO of Volteo Maritime:
“Getting into the maritime sector, there is no better way than building a product closely with someone such as EPS, who experiences similar challenges to others from the same industry. For us, EPS is able to give us access to the maritime environment and allows us to work together with them to collectively and jointly build something for the broader industry.”

Eastern Pacific Accelerator’s first class include the following startups:
1. C-Log has developed a digital Maritime ID platform, which will make the seafarer certification validation process easier and faster for both employers and employees by leveraging blockchain technology.
2. CyberOwl provides real-time visibility and raises early warning on suspicious activity on OT systems and assets, particularly at reconnaissance, installation or lateral movements stages of an attack.
3. Enermo Technology offers a proprietary platform for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance that increases reliability of industrial equipment and optimising maintenance.
4. F-drones is transforming marine and offshore logistics with proprietary aerial drones, by improving operational readiness and cost reduction of shore-to-ship logistics.
5. Nautilus Labs is building artificial intelligence to advance the efficiency of ocean commerce. They deliver technology to help shipping companies minimize fuel consumption, maximize operational efficiency, and optimize fleet performance.
6. QuantShip forecasts freight rate two to three weeks in advance by identifying leading indicators on both demand and supply by using proprietary machine learning algorithms, fixing the freight and chartering the vessel at the right time to maximize revenue by leveraging volatility and market inefficiencies.
7. Saara automates inventory and consumer related processes for Supply chain and Retail businesses using computer vision.
8. SeaMiles is the world’s first loyalty rewards programme designed to incentivise seafarers and shore personnel in maritime.
9. Volteo Maritime is reimagining maritime by digitalising vessel operations management and fostering collaboration between ship and shore.

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