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Helping maritime startups make a bigger splash: the Ocean Founders Alliance

Helping maritime startups make a bigger splash: the Ocean Founders Alliance

Greywing spearheads initiative to form an alliance of maritimetech founders.

author Meghna Ray

Meghna Ray

Published on 17th Nov 2022

4 minutes read

*We're thankful for the overwhelming support from the industry for Ocean Founders launch. It's exciting to see a growing number of applicants coming through but do bear with us as we'll need some time to follow up with everyone in the coming weeks.

Why do this?

When solving for an issue as complex as a supply chain, it’s misguided at best, and an inefficient waste of time, at worst, for maritimetech founders to go it alone. The maritime supply chain consists of verticals and collaborators, which is why startups working in that space need to find ways to collaborate amongst themselves. Innovation ecosystems are strengthening. From startup incubators to a buzzing conference scene, we’re witnessing a growing basis of support. Yet, in maritime tech, there is a clear gap in founder support.

Developing communities that provide solidarity and support on the operational challenges of running a maritimetech startup is important. Unsurprisingly, the lack of community also means that there’s a lack of a unified voice advocating for industry support and regulatory change. These identifiable hurdles obstruct the hockey-stick growth potential of startups in shipping and supply chain.

Rather than lament the state of the startup community in maritime, we decided to spring into action. Greywing is delighted to announce that its Co-Founders, Nick, and Hrishi, will be spearheading Ocean Founders alongside our industry peers from Portcast & Shipskart.

Connections with fellow founders

It can be lonely building from zero to one, especially when taking on the ambitious goal of disrupting decades of status quo. Ocean Founders connect founders working at the forefront of maritime tech innovation, in both private and public forums. We will create space to discuss founders’ challenges - and share strategies on how to overcome them. This will inform an annual report on the state of maritime tech, which will give the industry insights into the progress that startups are making, the hurdles in their way, most importantly, the gaps that could be opportunities.

In creating these spaces of connection, we are creating the conditions for spontaneous serendipity. We have all seen the positive impacts and sparks generated at industry events in the last year. Ocean Founders is looking to supercharge those moments, and create a lasting culture of innovation.

Collaboration with industry leaders

While creating space for conversation is important, we appreciate the ability to use corporate expertise when it comes to enacting these insights. That’s why Motion Venture’s Alliance will be extending a hand to support the Ocean Founders initiative. Their 60-strong community of executives and leaders, many of whom are veterans of the industry hailing from Wilhelmsen, HHLA, IMC, Signal, MOL, and more, will provide valuable guidance and horsepower to the initiatives undertaken by the Ocean Founders. Just as much as we want to hear from their experiences, these leaders want to understand the concerns and the opportunities that maritime founders are facing.

In dialogue, we will connect frontline realities with the strategic priorities of public and private players in maritime. Through this open approach to communication, we will be able to better understand each other’s needs and wants More than that, we’ll be able to build new ways of collaborating on an industry-wide scale. And instead of being disruptive, we have a chance to co-revolutionize the sector.

Making waves for future founders

Innovation goes beyond the present moment. In addition to strengthening support for today’s founders, we want to ensure a sustainable pipeline of future innovators. Ocean Founders is not restricted to a certain scale of startup: it is open to emerging or potential founders. This includes maritime corporate employees or entrepreneurial students with an interest in the sector. By connecting with future founders at an early stage in their careers, we will develop a rich talent pipeline and fill the industry with new ideas.

By creating mentorship opportunities for these emerging leaders, we are also enriching current maritime tech founders. This will serve as two-way capacity building; aspiring entrepreneurs get exclusive insights into the hands-on work of innovation, while founders keep connected with the way the industry is continuing to build.


The shipping industry is the beating heart of the global supply chain; within maritime tech, it’s the people who keep it pumping. Ocean Founders is creating space for industry new-joiners to connect and learn from each other, to discuss and analyse the hurdles they face, to discover potential opportunities, and to connect emerging talent to the challenges they’ll face tomorrow. This is the small step in which Greywing wants to lay down the foundation for a sustainable maritime industry that continues to innovate. We can’t do this alone, and have an open call for startup founders of today or tomorrow to apply to set sail with us at

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