Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Klaipeda looks to position itself as the Blue Economy capital of the Baltics

Klaipeda is in Lithuania, the only substantial port in that country. Geographically it is well-positioned for the maritime industry of the Baltic Sea. A map is instructive.

Lithuania is close to Russia on the east, and Sweden on the west, and also on routes to Finland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Norway. There are many opportunities for trade over the sea here.

The conference planned by Klaipeda is connected with Norway, one of the most important locations for maritime innovation.

I’m planning to attend online. I will be listening especially for green innovations and plans to meet European sustainability and ESG goals for the maritime industry.

The Baltic States area has become more important due to the war in the Crimea. Lithuania blocks access to the Russian port of Kaliningrad, which is in an island of Russian territory separated from the main body of Russia. Recently permission was granted to allow transport across Lithuania to Russia, despite the sanctions on Russian shipping. Lithuania is an EU country.

Press Release.

Klaipeda looks to position itself as the Blue Economy capital of the Baltics – bruce@ahartman.net – ahartman.net Mail

Eclipse Ventures Launches Framework to Quantify Climate Impact Potential for Technologies Disrupting Physical Industries

Eclipse Ventures is a VC firm based in Palo Alto, CA. Their goal here is to provide venture investors with information on the carbon reduction potential of different technologies for physical industries. It actually goes further to identify a few companies working on each sort of technology. For investors, it gives a tool to estimate the market for a technology and an indication of how a startup might perform.

It does so using an open platform called CRANE, which they claim will soon be open-source. CRANE was developed by Prime Coalition, a climate non-profit, and Rho Impact, a climate advisory service.

The idea of such a tool is to encourage investors to back firms that will genuinely reduce carbon impact. Time will tell if people will use the tool, and also how accurate its prognostication is.

I am usually quite skeptical of ‘black-box’ predictors and analytical tools. It’s important to understand how they are actually doing the computations.

However, physical industries are major contributors to carbon pollution, and offer a tremendous opportunity for carbon reduction. Any way we measure it, reducing carbon output in those industries is a priority. Clearly identifying startups that could make an impact in those physical areas would be good.

We can couple that with the fact that physical industry startups have different requirements from software and artificial intelligence startups. They need substantial early funding, because their physical solutions require a test bed. And they need to be located near the physical processes they are trying to improve, rather than in some incubator or accelerator near the money sources.

Physical products from the start need to deal with serviceability. The ability to service the product must be designed in from the start. Products that fail to be serviceable will never be selected by operations people.

Software, on the other hand, follows a development path using a minimum viable product, which meets some customer needs, but not others. Software developers today rely on feedback from users to make the product more serviceable. Early adopters provide that input and drive the serviceability trajectory. And the engineers, or a few added customer engineers, can provide the support. As more and more users appear, they need more and more help and place larger demands on the software firm. Eventually, if a software firm is successful, the service of existing customers becomes much more important and more costly than new development. This trajectory has played out so often in the software industry as to be a cliche.

But the big jump in software service expense most often occurs long after the firm has exited the VC or early funding stages, either through an IPO or private placement or through sale to a large company. Early investors no longer have responsibility for the financing. So the venture investors don’t care.

This phenomenon explains why software ventures get funded more easily than physical product ventures.

I’m glad to see someone trying to make the case for physical industry investment, especially for sustainability and carbon intensity.

Full report: https://eclipse.vc/eco-report/

NEWS PROVIDED BY Eclipse Ventures 

Aug 10, 2022, 09:00 ET

Eclipse Ventures Launches Framework to Quantify Climate Impact Potential for Technologies Disrupting Physical Industries

PSG joins Maersk and Cargill to bolster cleantech startup ZeroNorth with $50m fresh funding

This is the more usual course of innovation in the maritime field. Zero North is a software company.

It was incubated within Maersk and in 2020 was spun off into a separate company. Maersk Tankers debuts digital spinoff.

Its product then: “Optimise, formerly known as SimBunker, claims to enable owners and operators to reduce bunker consumption by determining the optimal speed of each vessel using multiple data points such as market rates, bunker prices, weather and individual vessel performance.”

The goal was to reduce emissions and costs of maritime transport. At the time it had 6 customers and 300 vessels using the product.

Now new funding has been received, and more backers have joined in investing.

This type of firm is just reaching the point when software support is starting to impose a burden on the firm. Most software startups can defer for a while the problem of support, but when the customer base grows enough, the whole cycle of customer support and updates and patches mushrooms exponentially. This places great financial demands on the firm. And it’s not profit-generating. The company benefit is only reputation, which takes a long time to repay the investment. But if reputation is tarnished by poor or unresponsive service, the company may be dealt a blow it cannot recover from, losing customers and revenues. It’s a critical time in a software startup’s lifetime.

The support conundrum is the principal reason for the failure of software startups and generally occurs later in the business arc than support for hardware-oriented products.

Adis Ajdin June 2, 2022

PSG joins Maersk and Cargill to bolster cleantech startup ZeroNorth with $50m fresh funding – Splash247