July 10, 2017

Startup incubator program invites logistics firms

Logistics Tech Accelerator Program will accept applications until July 23.

By DC Velocity Staff

A startup incubator organized by Spanish third party logistics provider (3PL) Kaleido Logistics and office-sharing company RocketSpace Inc. is inviting logistics startup companies to join its accelerator program, a short course in which established companies help young startups bring their products to market, the companies said.

Fledgling logistics firms have until July 23 to submit applications to join the program, which will provide business education about fundraising, marketing, sales, and product development through a four-week curriculum, according to San Francisco-based RocketSpace.

Firms accepted to the program will work closely with corporate partners such as the commercial vehicle vendor MAN Truck & Bus, freight airline Lufthansa Cargo, electronics supplier Ingram Micro Inc., and logistics provider FIEGE Logistik Stiftung & Co. KG, as well as Kaleido itself. Participants can validate their products through pilot testing with the collaborator firms, while gaining brand and product exposure, RocketSpace said.

To qualify, logistics startups must have a product in the market or ready to launch, have landed seed funding from investors, and have a product or service that relates directly to a specified range of emerging tech themes, the company said. The themes include: smart warehouse (such as facility management, inventory management, drone technology, and robotics), smart transport (such as autonomous vehicles, telematics, smart containers, and route optimization), and smart trade (such as e-freight marketplaces and blockchain technology).

This is the third time that Kaleido and RocketSpace have run the program. Members of past classes include Pittsburgh-based mobile autonomous warehouse robot vendor IAM Robotics and Canadian material handling robot manufacturer Otto Motors.

In December 2016, the accelerator program won a $570,000 grant from the Spanish government's Galician Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3) to support the launch of new businesses in the logistics field as well as the information technology and communications (ITC), health and biotechnology, education, audiovisual, and leisure and tourism sectors.

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