Insight | Embrace start-up disruption and industry collaboration


Embrace start-up disruption and industry collaboration


Guest blogger Erik Christian Lund says accelerator programmes are addressing the biggest challenges in maritime, transport and logistics.

Industry collaboration is key to addressing the big challenges faced by the logistics and maritime sectors. But for far too many it is just a buzzword, and will remain so unless we take real action.

It is therefore a great pleasure for us that Inmarsat has decided to join the Rainmaking Transport Start-up Engagement Programme Trade & Transport Impact to partner with companies like Wärtsilä and Cargotec group to explore ways for improving efficiency, sustainability and safety across the industry.

We designed the Trade & Transport Impact programme to address the largest challenges in maritime, transport and logistics by helping our corporate partners to find and engage with great disruptive start-ups. Unlike traditional accelerators, the sole purpose is to find cases where we can create real business impact; it is not a matter of creating hype, but to move the needle and create tangible, measurable results for all parties through the exploration of options for pilots, creating new joint business models, or applying our knowledge, data or assets in a new context.

Programme structure

The programme is structured in five distinct phases over a five-month period:

  • Identification of key challenges and innovation areas for the corporate partners
  • Scouting and recruitment of start-ups with the right profile for these challenges
  • A selection sprint, where the parties develop an in-depth understanding of the challenges and capabilities and define the specific hypothesis or problem they will work together to address
  • Project phase, where the parties work towards the common goal of defining and building a pilot or a new business model to test or prove the hypothesis
  • Demo days, where everyone comes together to pitch and share project outcomes and onward steps

For Inmarsat, we definitely see the drive for third-party and industry collaboration being able to expose and develop new and innovative use cases.

In practice, the screening is now at full speed and is coming closer to the selection of start-ups that will be taken on board the programme. We have identified well above 600 relevant transportation-themed start-ups that we are now interviewing. During the screening process, Inmarsat and the other partners will shortlist those that are most relevant to invite to join the programme.

The selection sprint will take place end of March in Hamburg, where Inmarsat and the other partners will jointly elaborate the common grounds with shortlisted start-ups and roll up their sleeves to start the real work together. In May, we reconvene for the demo days to share the project outcomes and the future steps for each of the projects coming out of the programme.

The Rainmaking team is excited to help facilitate this journey with Inmarsat, Cargotec and Wärtsilä and share our common success criteria for impactful outcomes that can help to move the industry and the individual businesses forwards through collaboration.

About the author

Erik Christian Lund is heading up the corporate startup engagement programme “Trade and Transport Impact” at Rainmaking Innovation, to facilitate change and innovation in the maritime, transport and supply chain industry. Erik comes with an extensive background from shipping and logistics, combined with many years in technology, working both in the enterprise software space, with strategy consultancy and in the telecommunications sector, particularly related to IoT and digital security and has had stints with entrepreneurship, both in technology and real estate. With an outset from Denmark, Erik has worked across the globe with long-term assignments around Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, New York, Paris and quite a few years in Poland before returning to Copenhagen to join the Rainmaking team. Erik holds a BA in Logistics supplemented with an executive MBA from HEC Paris, majoring in entrepreneurship and innovation.