Bernhard Schulte has launched a dedicated venture capital unit, which identifies investment opportunities in the global maritime start-up ecosystem, equipping ambitious founders with smart capital, called INNOPORT.
Based in Hamburg, Limassol and Singapore, the INNOPORT team, which is headed by BSM’s Director of Strategy and Product Development, Yiannis Sykas, supports high-potential early-stage maritime and logistics start-ups predominantly in Europe and Asia, but not limited to a collaboration with start-ups from other geographic areas.
Haymon Sinapius, INNOPORT’s Investment Manager for Asia, explained, “INNOPORT was founded to support early-stage ventures, typically pre-revenue companies at the idea or prototype stage. We invest in breakthrough technology and disruptive business models that address a real pain and have the potential to define new standards in their respective industries. We want to see founders, who actively challenge the status quo of how the maritime industry works, to make it better, safer and more efficient.”
INNOPORT differentiates itself from conventional venture capitalists in terms of its investment mandate and its in-house expertise. “Typically, venture capital funds operate on a broader investment remit and they often lack intimate knowledge of the industries. At INNOPORT, we see ourselves as a provider of capital with industry domain knowledge coupled with access to the right people within our Organisation and our network to support the portfolio of companies we invest in,” said Niklas Koerner, INNOPORT’s Investment Manager for Europe.
Both Haymon and Niklas point out that INNOPORT does not serve as a research and development arm of the Schulte Group. Rather, INNOPORT was conceived to add value and capital to start-ups, by that embracing the digital revolution in the maritime space and supporting the vibrant start-up ecosystem with key maritime knowledge. Potential pilot projects within BSM, sales-partnerships or technical cooperations are only a few of the options of how the INNOPORT team is able to act as a sparring partner.
“At INNOPORT we want to build bridges and open doors wherever possible. In sum, INNOPORT provides start-ups with the right network and the right capital, to scale up their business and to bring their ideas into fruition,” Yiannis concluded.