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Next Logistics Accelerator Is Good to Go

Hamburg’s new start-up accelerator for the logistics industry, the Next Logistics Accelerator (NLA), is ready for operation. At the same time, the accelerator will arrange important industry contacts for these teams. Fr. Meyer's Sohn is one investor.

The NLA will provide founding teams from around the world with active support in the development of their business models and preparation for the next stage of growth.
Hamburg's Senator of Commerce Frank Horch is enthusiastic: "The practical benefits for all parties are plain to see. Business ideas with high market potential are provided with support and given the chance to change the industry. In addition to financial support, the accelerator is also offering newly established companies access to an extensive network. There will be close collaboration with founders to implement digital innovations as quickly as possible. This means high added value for Hamburg as a city."

Renowned Hamburg companies have come together as investors in the NLA. The initiators and founding shareholders Haspa, Logistik-Initiative Hamburg, and New Times Ventures are joined by the investors, such as Fr. Meyer's Sohn, Fiege, Helm, HHLA, Jungheinrich, Körber, and Rhenus. "The interest within Hamburg's industry was enormous. The NLA fund was substantially oversubscribed," Haspa's chief representative Andreas Mansfeld enthuses. "Now we have an excellent core group which represents a wide range of the logistics industry."

NLA Management

At the management level, two top-class professionals have been appointed. Philipp Schröder has made a name for himself internationally as a venture capital expert and has invested in more than 35 start-ups himself. Miriam Kröger has extensive management experience in the fields of logistics, e-commerce, and digitalization, primarily with Kuehne + Nagel, the NOL Group, and the Otto Group. Both of them are joining the NLA as managing partners and are thus committed to the mission as shareholders as well. "Our aim is to make the NLA the most interesting accelerator in the logistics industry in Europe and climb to the Top 3 worldwide," states Miriam Kröger.

The program will accept start-ups within the so-called WIOTTA market segments. This encompasses a wide spectrum of technology and business: warehousing, Internet of Things, transportation, mobility, supply chain management, predictive analytics, big data, blockchain, 3-D printing, robotics, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, last mile delivery, smart cities, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). "With our program, we have created a valuable product for logistics start-ups," says Philipp Schröder. "The word is getting around. More than 100 applications have already been submitted for the first session." The first 'batch' should get started soon.

At the accelerator, work involves analyzing business models, constructing marketable offers, and developing financing strategies. The investors and other hand-picked partner companies prepare realistic test environments as needed, and more than 100 mentors are available as experts. "Between them, Logistik-Initiative and Haspa have direct links to more than 12,000 logistics companies in Hamburg," according to LIHH chairman Professor Dr. Peer Witten. "We will use these contacts to give the start-ups optimal support. The NLA will be a decisive step towards bringing Hamburg forward as an innovative logistics region."

For the investors and partner companies, the NLA can also take on the role of an outsourced development department. The applications and active market observation offer an overview of global start-up activities which can be used specifically for internal development work. At the end of the program, individual teams or entire business models can then be connected with the existing business.


About the NLA

The NLA was founded in 2017 by Hamburger Sparkasse, Logistik-Initiative Hamburg, and New Times Ventures as an industry-specific multi-corporate accelerator. It supports start-ups and founding teams from across Europe in developing innovative digital business models. In addition to venture capital of up to 50,000 euros and access to potential customers and business partners, the NLA offers participating start-ups a customized training and coaching program as well as working spaces. In return, the participants offer company shares of between three and ten percent to the NLA shareholders. They will transfer their center of activity to Hamburg for at least six months to advance their company growth under ideal conditions. An optional additional month with a partner accelerator in Shanghai is possible.

The NLA ecosystem includes ten Hamburg companies which have each invested 200,000 euros into the NLA fund. These are joined by additional selected partner companies, the city of Hamburg, educational institutions, and research institutions as well as an extensive mentor network with experts from a variety of fields.

Two sessions with five start-ups each are planned per year. Applications can be found at www.nla.vc.

Nadine Kinscher-Masur

Corporate Head of Marketing de Fr. Meyer's Sohn


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