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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?

Is this the golden age for shipping entrepreneurs?

Digital Disruption Technology and Innovation Special Report


Shaking shipping’s status quo

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

Technology and Innovation People United States

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 

International Digital Disruption Digitalisation

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

Asia Pacific Crewing Digitalisation

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

Singapore BW firms Tankers and Gas



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

Europe Finance Lloyds List magazine

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

Future of Shipping Technology and Innovation Digitalisation

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

Singapore People Ship operations

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

United Kingdom Bunkers Technology and Innovation

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

Lloyds List magazine