Maritime tech accelerator launched in Singapore, said to be world's first

SINGAPORE - Ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) and entrepreneur network Techstars announced on Friday (Feb 1) the joint launch of a maritime tech startup accelerator to be based in EPS' headquarters in Singapore.

The mentorship-driven startup accelerator partnership is the first of its kind to target the maritime industry, according to EPS and Techstars.

From April 2019, the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars will accept applications from startups around the world and ultimately select ten companies - including the most promising Singapore and regional early-stage ventures - to participate in the first run.

Entrepreneurs focused on disrupting the maritime industry with technologies related to regulations, fuel efficiency, vessel operations, digitalisation, navigation and other subthemes are encouraged to apply, said a joint statement.

In November 2019, the class will gather in EPS' headquarters in Singapore for an intensive three-month programme of research and development, mentorship, and collaboration.

The accelerator will culminate in February 2020 with a demo day where every startup will pitch its newly polished business to an audience of venture capitalists, corporate innovation leaders and industry experts with the goal of facilitating investment in the companies.

EPS business development manager Gil Ofer said: "The merchant maritime industry is one of the oldest in the world, yet advancements in the business come slowly, lagging behind the latest technological trends that other mature industries readily adopt."

He added that they intend to address this long-standing issue with the maritime tech accelerator to cultivate and mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs in an industry that is "ripe for disruption".

Startups interested in applying can express interest on the Techstars General Interest Form or learn more on the EPS MaritimeTech Accelerator Powered by Techstars page.

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