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Israeli start-up hub steering innovation in maritime sector

Peter Stewart, PortandTerminal.com, January 10, 2019

Haifa, Israel – January 12, 2018 – Despite coming into existence just 80 years ago, Israel is today widely known as one of the world’s “start-up nations”.

Cybersecurity, agritech, digital health and autonomous vehicles have all put Israel on the map as a global innovation center in recent years. Now, two former Israel Navy commanders are riding the wave of innovation to transform the Jewish state into the port of call for global maritime technology.

Combining decades of maritime passion and hi-tech experience, Hannan Carmeli and Nir Gartzman founded innovation hub theDOCK in early 2017, with the aim of leveraging Israel’s technology assets to benefit the lucrative port, maritime and logistics sectors.

Photo of TheDOCK Founder and CEO Hannan Carmeli [R], Head of Community and Marketing Noa Schuman [C], Founder and COO Nir Gartzman [L].
TheDOCK Founder and CEO Hannan Carmeli [R], Head of Community and Marketing Noa Schuman [C], Founder and COO Nir Gartzman [L]. (photo credit: THEDOCK)

Their decision to found the innovation hub was based on two key observations. Firstly, what they perceived to be sound indicators that the maritime sector was likely to undergo a revolution driven by technology in the coming years, including traditional shipping companies and port organizations nominating executives charged with incorporating innovation into their work.

Secondly, Israel has capabilities in many tech fields to drive maritime distribution, even if they are yet to be applied to the sector.

TheDOCK, after successfully convincing key stakeholders – entrepreneurs, corporate partners and investors – of the merits of their vision, has so far invested in seven start-ups through their four-month “Wave1” accelerator program, incorporating a range of fields including smart containers, autonomous vessels, marina management and customs clearance.

In addition to carrying out in-depth screening and due diligence during the accelerator application process, theDOCK works with industry partners to ensure that there is real interest in the solutions being offered by start-ups prior to their acceptance.

Two of the start-ups at theDock include Pick a Pier which is bringing the Airbnb concept to boat marinas. Another Israeli startup, Loginno, has built a smart container-tracking solution to monitor location and cargo conditions.

“Our goal is to demonstrate the opportunities to the start-ups. The maritime sector is a relatively late bloomer in terms of innovation, but this is the right time and the right place to be,”

TheDOCK Founder and CEO Hannan Carmeli

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