Eastern Pacific Shipping has committed to using a green and technology-driven approach to change the maritime industry. Doing this means sourcing, funding, and nurturing the next generation of maritime entrepreneurs whose vision and abilities can carry the industry forward. In 2019, EPS partnered with Techstars to create the Eastern Pacific Accelerator, a mentorship-based programme that has invested in 18 maritime startups to date.
EPS announces it has invested in an additional seven startups through its partnership with Techstars and another two startups outside of the programme.
Like the previous two years, the Eastern Pacific Accelerator attracted hundreds of applicants from across the world. All applicants went through a rigorous and proven evaluation process that resulted in seven founders accepting an invitation to join the accelerator along with receiving a financial investment. EPS also invested in two other startups outside its traditional accelerator this year. All nine companies will benefit from the decades of experience within the EPS organisation, including access to mentors, industry experts, potential customers, and additional funding opportunities.
Each company that received an investment provides potentially game-changing innovations in their respective areas, but the passion, grit, and vision of the founders ultimately sealed the deal.
EPS Special Advisor for Innovation, Gil Ofer said: “Our platform is designed to help entrepreneurs connect with internal and external mentors, customers and investors. The technology only plays one part in our investment decisions. The people behind the tech are more important. We want to see a strong team with visionary, resilient, and passionate founders. We like to invest in the people because even if the tech doesn’t work out as a business, we know we have bright individuals who will use that as a stepping stone for the next venture – and we want to be part of that journey.”
Dhritiman Hui, who manages the EPS Techstars partnership, feels optimistic about an array of opportunities that exist in the maritime tech space: “Decarbonisation is the shipping industry’s electric vehicle moment. Just like a Tesla came out of left field and outmaneuvered most of the auto industry, we feel similar opportunities will emerge in the shipping industry. We are also pleased to have invested in the shipping industry’s first neo-bank. Neo-banks have created tens of billions of dollars of value in the traditional banking industry, and – given the gaps that exist – it’s inevitable that something similar will happen in this industry. Parallel to this, we have invested in companies whose IP is just exceptional.”