What technological innovation will be the next to rock the logistics world? That's a question even the big-picture thinkers struggle to answer.
One source that might provide some insight is Lab Ventures, a Miami-based venture capital firm that held a pitch competition for 10 promising startups at its "Future of Logistics Tech Summit" in November.
When the dust had settled, the winner was Kinetic, a New York-based company that develops wearable devices to reduce industrial workplace injuries. A judging panel of professionals from Ryder System Inc., Plug and Play Supply Chain and Logistics, and Neman Real Estate Ventures awarded the company $27,000 in prizes. Kinetic will be fast-tracked into the eMerge Americas startup showcase, where it will be able to pitch again in Miami in April.
The People's Choice Award, determined by popular vote of summit attendees, went to SimpliRoute, a Chilean firm that has developed a route optimization engine with machine learning modules to help transportation and last-mile delivery companies slash their costs.
In addition to their pitch on stage, all of the startup finalists participated in a full-day visit to the corporate headquarters of the event's sponsors, DHL Express and Ryder. Both companies have started discussions with various participants to launch potential pilot programs.