Nidhi joined the Pier71 launch event as part of the alumni panel along with Kristina, CEO of C-log.
During her sharing, Nidhi covered her past experience with the accelerate program, the network of connections built as well as the support from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
The Smart Port Challenge was launched by PIER71 to match innovative solutions to existing challenges faced in the maritime industry. In these unprecedented times of COVID-19, supply chain digitalization is key in keeping the industry competitive.
Please find below the interview transcript featuring Nidhi's sharing. [Edited for clarity and length]
Q: Please introduce yourselves and what your company is doing
Thanks, really happy to be here doing this virtually. So Portcast predicts how cargo moves across the world. We predict the volume and the arrival time of cargo from one port to the other and we use machine learning and various external data which quantifies the risk that's in shipping. It could be risk due to adverse weather port congestion, shipping companies making changes, economic patterns etc. So we basically get all of this data and then predict and make supply chains more dynamic and resilient.
That's become especially important, given what's happening with COVID-19 and this is why we've actually got a lot of inbound interest recently to help companies improve their supply chains and take more proactive actions. So I believe in the long run this is going to be really positive for supply chain digitization.
Q: Please share more on your experience with the Pier 71 program
I think the Pier 71 program overall gave a really good platform to showcase our technology and connect with stakeholders as well as potential customers across Singapore. Also even global customers so there was a lot of discussions we had with companies not even in Singapore.
I think one of the things that were really valuable was how the demo day was organized and giving that opportunity to a startup to present to at least 200 people. I think it was then recorded and put online as well. So I think that allows young startups to really reach more companies and try to showcase their technology so that I think was really the highlight of the program for me
Q: How was the mentorship provided by the mentors assigned to you?
I really liked the one-on-one sharing and the idea exploration that we had. Because it was very specific to our business needs. The start-ups that come to the program are all at very different stages of their development and they may have different challenges. So that one-on-one sharing was very specific to what we needed at that point of time and how we could progress in meeting those challenges.
We also had follow-ups after the program ended so that was really useful. The masterclasses were run by multiple people and facilitated by Ronnie so I think that was also very good because again that was a standard way of how start-ups evolve.
So in summary, being part of the masterclasses, having a chance to have one-on-one mentorship and even having the chance to pitch your idea to a large crowd.
Q: As a recipient of a $50,000 MPA grant, how did you use it?
We used it to extend our product and what we were focusing on is not just predicting how the cargo is moving and what's going to be the risk in terms of delay of the cargo. We are starting to do more analytics related to carriers. So which carriers are likely to be more reliable for a particular trade lane in terms of whether they're going to be on time and whether they're going to meet their transit time.
We use various historical data sets and do machine learning to predict which carriers are more reliable for any particular trade lane across the world. So I think overall that grant was really helpful in getting the resources and the bandwidth to really extend the product. We got to develop something which is going to be valuable for the industry.
Just to talk about the previous question as well. I want to also highlight the role that MPA had played beyond just the grant. Because they really supported us by bringing in more connections and also in terms of promoting roles on the SMF, they've been very supportive in the whole journey beyond just the grant.
Here is the video recording of the full Pier 71 event:
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