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Rainmaking launches Ocean Ventures Alliance to boost SE Asia innovation

Shaun Hon, director at Rainmaking Shaun Hon, director at Rainmaking

Rainmaking’s transport-focused arm has launched a maritime innovation advisory network for Southeast Asia with more than 30 industry leaders called Ocean Ventures Alliance. 

Ocean Ventures Alliance will create a network of industry veterans and decision makers to accelerate technology adoption in areas such as shipping, supply chain and decarbonisation. This could include start-ups building synthetic data to train maritime-specific AI models, automating supply chains from order to invoice, using IoT software to automatically track, reduce and monetise carbon emissions.  

It is the first phase for a collaborative venture vehicle that will offer strategic support to selected start-ups through an alliance of industry leaders including Saudi Aramco’s Bahri, Maersk Drilling, Klaveness Asia, Toll Global Forwarding, Bernhard Schulte Innoport, and more.

Advisors for Ocean Ventures Alliance have committed to collaborating to help technology start-ups gain much-needed access to the maritime transport world. Rainmaking’s in-house venture studio will drive operational value.  

Each quarter, Rainmaking will also host a summit to gather C-level advisors and corporates from the Ocean Ventures Alliance to discuss innovation opportunities in the maritime sector. It will also serve as a platform for vetted start-ups to get regular facetime with corporates who can provide valuable industry insights or be a strategic sounding board for entrepreneurs to bounce off new ideas. 

 "A common issue we see is that start-ups spend several months of effort developing their ideas and their first iteration of a product, only to find out they are disconnected from the needs of the industry when pitching to a maritime corporate partner. This situation results in lost effort, wasted time, and in some cases, it bankrupts the startup. The Ocean Ventures Alliance is the perfect vehicle to remove this issue because they bring advisory and corporate partners early on the conversations, resulting in startups dedicating their time innovating and re-engineering real industry challenges, which has proven to exponentially increase their chances for success,” said Chakib Abi Saab, chief technology officer at Bahri, Ocean Ventures Alliance advisor 

“Ocean Ventures Alliance comes at a timely juncture in Southeast Asia’s maritime history. COVID-19 has shown that innovation is critical across global supply chains and establishing a global alliance with the right legacy and entrepreneurial minds will not only spark fresh ideas but catalyse change through strategic implementation,” said Shaun Hon, director at Rainmaking. 

There will also be opportunities to leverage on Rainmaking’s Trade and Transport Impact Program partners including Cargill, Hafnia, Mitsubishi subsidiary MC Shipping, Shell, Vale, DNV GL, and Wilhelmsen. The program has already scouted out 3,500 potential start-ups who could be eligible for support from the alliance. 

The announcement follows Rainmaking’s partnership with SEEDS Capital’s S$50M co-investment scheme for maritime start-ups. As part of that initiative, Rainmaking committed to work with its corporate partners over the next three years to drive the growth of more than 100 start-ups with solutions focusing on supply chain resilience, AI, decarbonisation and deep tech.  

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