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Inmarsat enters the maritime start-up race

Satellite communications giant Inmarsat has entered the fray in seeking out winning maritime start-ups. The London-headquartered company is teaming with Rainmaking’s Trade and Transport Impact (T&TI) and Bluetech Accelerator, to create initiatives that directly support start-ups focused on IoT and big data innovation in the maritime, ports and logistics supply chain.

The Trade & Transport Impact (T&TI) programme initiated by Hamburg-based Rainmaking will help connect established leading players, such as Inmarsat, Cargotec and Wärtsilä, with start-ups and work collaboratively to address commercial and operational challenges facing the global supply chain today.

The Bluetech Accelerator, sponsored by the Portuguese government and based in Lisbon, was launched at the end of January and will take on six business partners including Inmarsat to help select and finance the first batch of winning start-ups, which will be chosen in the last quarter of 2019.

Ali Grey, senior director of digital incubation at Inmarsat said: “Companies operating across the global supply chain clearly acknowledge the potential of digitalisation, and recognise that we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Unlocking the full benefits will require fresh perspectives on both long-standing and looming challenges. Start-ups are good at spotting opportunities that more established players miss, so it is important for the industry’s future that we offer a helping hand to nurture innovation.

At the start of this month Idan Ofer’s Eastern Pacific Shipping and startup specialists Techstars launched a shipping startup accelerator in Singapore joining a host of other maritime startup accelerators created in the past six months.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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