- A.P. Moller-Maersk, Ericsson and Plug and Play announced they would launch a new accelerator, the Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics, Finextra reported last week.
- The partnership intends to seek input from various startups capable of empowering a digital ecosystem to create solutions for the shipping and logistics industry. Innovation is seen as a necessary ingredient for the future of the supply chain.
- Startups with the appropriate expertise will gain the chance to receive funding from Plug and Play, mentoring sessions with industry leaders, potential pilot project participation, and direct access to Maersk and Ericsson.
Maersk is expanding its reach with a new accelerator, gaining access to cutting edge pilot projects and potential new partners as the Danish group seeks to be a leader in digitization.
The company recently made its intentions clear with a change of chairman, a former head of SAP, and expansion to supply chain solutions provider. Maersk has also not shied away from experimenting with innovation, most recently announcing it would try out blockchain technology in a partnership with IBM.
Now, the line joins other conglomerates in creating technology accelerators, in hopes of contributing to the next wave of innovation.
In March of 2016, FedEx began taking applications for its second year sponsoring the EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator. The EPIcenter, which focuses on the development of innovative logistics products and technologies, sponsors as many as six startups with expertise in technology impacting logistics supply chains.
Target also sponsors an accelerator, though its goal is of course more oriented toward retail. In 2016, retail supply chain inspection company Inspectorio participated in the chain's Techstar accelerator, eventually receiving seeding funds from both Target and investment firm Matchstick Ventures.
Accelerators are seen as a win for all involved, as star innovators receive mentorship, opportunities to pilot projects and potential partners and investors, as shown by the Inspectorio case.