Ashdod Port Company hosted the main event in Israel's maritime technology sector, in the framework of the accelerator that the port inaugurated together with the international venture capital firm 500 Global, which manages assets valued at over 2.7 billion dollars. In the first part of the event, the 12 startups participating in the accelerator for the last two months, presented their initiatives, including startups in the fields of operations and logistics, security, sustainability, and biodiversity.
In the second part of the event a panel was held on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and investments. It was moderated by Ashdod Port's Chief Innovation Officer Roy Avrahami and panel members included Global 500's CFO Paul Yoo, Deloitte partner Tal Chen, Dell Technologies partner Omri Green and Loggino CEO Shahar Tal, who is also participating in the accelerator. The panel members notes that it is precisely due to the inflation, interest rate hike and increase in the cost of investing, that this is an ideal period for investing in start-ups that can test their technology at Ashdod Port and integrate it into the port's operations. The port and sea transportation industry requires technological and logistical upgrades and improvement; and ports like Ashdod Port are a stable environment with many possibilities for implementing initiatives in various stages of development. Therefore, the participants argued, that startups who enter this industry are less likely to deal with uncertainty and extreme fluctuations.
The purpose of the event is to offer startups an opportunity to meet senior members of leading organizations in the industry and at venture capital firms; to present the port's investment fund and to continue to develop the innovation activity that the port has been vigorously promoting for the last two years through the Blue Ocean for Start-ups.
Shiko Zana, CEO of Ashdod Port, noted in his opening remarks that he has been working this topic on since taking the position two years ago: “Ashdod Port Company is a strong active player in the field of maritime innovation, with an international vision of developing innovation in the ports and sea transportation sector. Our goal is to improve our competitive and technological capabilities, to meet the global challenges that all ports are facing today. This event is yet another milestone in the collaboration with 500 Global. It allows the 12 startups participating in the accelerator to receive exposure and to continue to develop maritime innovation, as they receive more attention from the industry. This technology provides a path towards the future. As such, Ashdod Port is investing significant resources to become one of the most technological and innovative ports in the world; and to continue to serve as Israel's national port and economic anchor".
Ee Ling Lim, 500 Global's Executive Director of Global Programs, added: “Not only does this program offer startups a unique opportunity to build a strong foundation for growth; it also offers them the ability to develop a proof of concept and potential for partnerships. At the same time, it offers Ashdod Port access to new promising technologies, which can provide it with the efficiency that is necessary in the global maritime industry. 500 Global's international mentors network serves a critical role in offering the tools that are required for startup founders to grow on the local and global level".
Photo: Daniel Harlev