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Hello start-up! Are you brave enough to respond to a reverse pitch?

IN a little over a month’s time (March 15th to be exact) what could well be the shipping industry’s first reverse pitch event will take place in New York.

It is going to be hosted by the Maritime Global Technologies Innovation Center located at Suny Maritime. It is an attempt to bring tech entrepreneurs, maritime professionals, venture capitalists and other financiers and potential investors into the same room.

A reverse pitch is simple. Entrepreneurs, solution providers and start-ups come to listen to established actors in an industry talk about solutions that the incumbents need to find solutions to.

With the shipping, maritime and logistics area being quite broad, and according to many, quite conservative and slow to change, this has the potential be quite an intriguing event as industry has to open its doors to new ideas.

Suny Maritime Professor Christopher Clott, who heads up MGTIC says the event needs to be targeted and importantly, realistic but feels the time is right to take this approach.

He says the companies that will come in and set the challenges will be looking for crafted ideas that can be followed up a few months later. As part of the reverse pitch entrepreneurs will be intensely mentored, and then invited to come back to pitch their developed ideas back to the companies and potential financial investors, to see if there is investment potential.

This is the first event for the innovation centre since it was launched last year, and Professor Clott is keen to see tech entrepreneurs meet experts in the maritime sector, financiers and people in the logistics fields to try and break down some of the perceived silos in shipping.

The specific areas the MGTIC will focus on will be:

Shipping:  equipment, technology, design, insurance, finance, regulatory and legal compliance, commercial and passenger.

Ports: terminal and site management, operations, cargo movement, warehousing, offshore activities.

Land-based: documentation, law, brokers, freight forwarders, chartering, beneficial cargo owners, passengers, cybersecurity, blockchain initiatives, forecasting, automation.

Clott says the event is free, but you have to register to hear what industry problems need innovative solutions.

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