The program is focused on real engagement, designed to help you get traction in collaboration with industry leaders. Join us, for an opportunity to make an impact on maritime, transportation, logistics & supply chain industry.

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About the program

The Trade & Transport Impact program is a startup – corporate engagement program focused on executing pilots and partnerships between highly promising startups and top transport companies. It’s not an accelerator.

It’s a chance to be among the 10 startups selected to join the program and:
– Explore pilot opportunities directly with decision-makers
– Engage in a 6 weeks fully-remote program, without the need to relocate or travel
– Navigate a fast and well-facilitated pilot execution with support from Rainmaking, without equity being involved


Program cycle duration
May - June 2020

Program Cycle 3

Program timeline:

Application start

February 24 2020

Application end

March 22 2020

Kick-Off Days

May 4-6 2020

Launch Days

June 16-17 2020



Focus areas include:

Physical Process Enhancement

Equipment and process upgrades that are necessary to allow a port to scale in terms of annual TEU processing.

Container Logistics Optimisation

Port overcapacity is a big issue especially in Europe and properly loading and unloading containers at scale and speed will help alleviate this.

We’re looking for startups who can help the implementation of processes and procedures for effectively handling container cargo.

Automated Port Infrastructure

Software goes hand-in-hand with hardware and without the appropriate hardware it will be hard for ports to increase efficiency and TEU processing capacity.

We’re looking for solutions that are necessary to facilitate digital transformation of the port.

Port Configuration & Planning

There are many inefficiencies within port operations leading to delays and increased costs. These processes can be streamlined and better planned.

That’s why we are looking for startups who can help streamline & optimise terminal operations through digital platforms.

Disaster Proofing & Management

Accidents such as the 2015 Tianjin explosion can cost upwards of $3 billion and more importantly, human lives. This could be easily avoidable with the right industrial safety procedures in place.

Help us enhance the policies, procedures and equipment to prevent and avoid damage from disasters.

Smart Ports

A port that uses automation and innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain to improve operational efficiency.

Port Bottleneck Optimisation

Port capacity is constrained by berths, yards and gates. Typically, ports focus on optimising yard and berth capacity and there are few which focus on gate capacity.

If you’re working on a solutions which forecasts the movement and flow of goods across key bottleneck points in the port, we want to hear from you.

Digital Twin of Port

Digital twins allow ports to forecast and test a new structure or modifications (to a port) functionality much more cheaply enabling easier decision making.

We’re looking for startups who can help with digital simulation of a port to monitor physical processes digitally.

Port Cybersecurity

The world is digitising yet the general maritime industry remains stuck in a very analogue mindset – this exposes the hubs (ports) to risk of cyber attacks.

We’re searching for startups who can enable the digital and cultural changes required to protect a port from cyber attacks.

Data Audit & Standardisation

Data is the foundation for smart ports and any initiatives such as cybersecurity and digital twin solutions will require a good data management, ingestion and analysis process.

We’re looking to understand the current data capabilities from a production and storage capacity.

Automation of manual tasks

Increased labour costs due to excessive and inefficient manual processes on terminals and vessels are a big problem.

We’re looking for startups that can automatize operations and tasks, increase cargo handling consistency, reduce human errors and delays.

Supply Chain Optimisation

Enhancements in both land and sea infrastructure that enable smoother transit of container cargo.

In-land Infrastructure Development

Land access for ports are crucial to ensure growth and importance. The Alameda Corridor reduced transit time from Los Angeles port to the LA City Centre from 2 hours to 45 mins.

That’s why we are looking to improve transport systems around the port to ensure timely delivery of goods.

Paperwork Simplification

For international shipments, companies and customs officials are forced to fill out over 20 different types of documents (most of them paper-based).

That’s why we need to be simplifying life for the BCO by reducing paperwork needed to authorize a shipment.

Supply Chain Transparency

Companies are now increasingly under pressure from governments, consumers, NGOs, and other stakeholders to divulge more information about their supply chains.

We need to enable BCOs to understand the status of their cargo at any point in time.

Intelligent Freight Price Discovery

Currently, price discovery for freight is highly manual. However, digital platforms such as the BCOs to find the real-time quotations for shipments of their specific piece of cargo.

We’re searching for platforms that enable the BCO to find the best price for their selected option of shipping.

Time Sensitive Transport

Companies are already exploring uses of exponential technologies such as Hyperloop to enable the transport of time sensitive goods – medicines, frozen food etc.

We’re looking for solutions in transporting time sensitive goods in bulk and on demand with fast shipping times.

Eco-friendly Enforcement & Enablement

Regulations regarding emission standards and technologies enabling carriers to comply with these standards.

Automated Port Surveillance

Current regulations will require most of the world’s ships to burn more expensive fuels (due to pollutants damaging human health). Checking each of these ships manually is very costly.

We’re looking for the latest technologies to ensure that ships are compliant with emission standards.

Green Tech Vessel Retrofit

Specialist suppliers are now creating resilient and weather resistant solar panels that can be fit onto large container ships as in case of Eco Marine Power and MV Panama.

Is your startup able to get ships to comply with stricter emission standards through retrofitting of green tech? We’d love to hear from you.


Who are you

You are working on a digital solution & probably already have something to show to the market – and they love it!

You’ve crafted a digital solution

You might be working on the next big thing. But you’re definitely working on a digital solution that solves real problems, perhaps through AI, big data, IoT, automation, drone applications, AR/VR or machine vision.

You’re a global citizen

We invite companies from all over the world to join, and you can apply from anywhere. In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we are keeping the program fully virtual so you can continue to build you business. We may have an in-person event at a later date.

You’re ready for show and tell

You’ve already tested your solution and you know your clients love it! Or perhaps, you are in the late prototype stage but have identified a real need in the market.

What we offer

The program is designed to help you grow and get real traction with our corporate partners Cargotec & HHLA.

Equity free

Our corporate partners seek mutually beneficial collaborations and don’t take any equity from you to engage.

Get real traction

Industry access

You have access to corporate leaders & mentors from around the world to help you get the best from the industry.

Across borders

You can grow in the industry and worldwide. Our partners are international players and can help you enter desired markets.


Mentors & advisors

The average Trade & Transport Impact program includes industry experts using what they’ve learned from years, and often decades of experience to tackle multi-million and billion-dollar maritime problems.

Coming from diverse backgrounds, they are joining the program as founding partners, advisors, and mentors.



Who can submit to the program?

We believe that you can best benefit from this program if you have a product in the market and are ready to take it to a next level. As the program was designed to help you grow, get real traction & expand, ideally your product is in a stage where it has customers. Alternatively,  it can be a very late prototype that can be implemented and tested.

When can we submit?

You can submit on Monday February 24th 2020

How do we submit?

By filling out a short form to answer a few questions here. If you need any help, just ping us at

What happens after we apply?

Our experienced scouting team will screen all submissions continuously and invite high-potential startups for a 30-min online video call to mutually explore a collaboration potential.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 6 week program will be fully virtual, rather than semi-remote. We want to give startups and scale-ups the opportunity to continue expanding their businesses.

If you have any questions about the impact of COVID-19 on the program or anything else, feel free to write to us at

Are there any restrictions in terms of geography?

No, we value diversity and are open to solutions worldwide. Our corporate partners are international companies and operate worldwide.

How was the program designed?

We select a max of 10 startups to join us in the for Kick-Off Days and meet with our corporate partners. During these three days, we will make further selection and match you with your corporate partner. In the 6 weeks that follow, you’ll be working remotely with your corporate partner with Rainmaking assisting as needed. We may then meet for Launch Days to discuss outcomes and the partnerships going forward.

How can we increase our chances of selection?

Be honest and transparent. We believe in mutual valuable collaborations, and this is only possible to identify by having an honest conversation around goals, challenges, etc.

We recommend to especially reflect on:
Why this opportunity? What do you hope to achieve? How does your solution solve corporate partner challenges? What are your superpowers and the main challenges where you need support?

About us

Introducing Rainmaking

Rainmaking is a global cooperative of entrepreneurs running startups and innovation programs in more than 40 countries. We bring extensive success from Startupbootcamp, Rainmaking Innovation and our own startup experience to move the transport, maritime and logistics industries forward.

The Rainmaking family

The Rainmaking Transport vertical was founded by experienced maritime professionals. We are specialized in maritime, logistics and transport, and continuously work with leading corporates and talented startups in these industries. We have a deep understanding of the leading corporations in maritime, how they invest & how they think about new technologies and innovation.

By joining one of our programs, you become part of an ecosystem of startups, maritime institutions, mentors and investors that will keep accelerating you in the future. We have a global network of partners, mentors, experts & investors.

We know startups

We have collaborated with successful startups around the world. We screen +10,000 per year and have invested in +800 so far alongside corporate partners. We have experience running pilots with corporates successfully; making us the right person to help you make the best out of it.

And we are still founders at heart. To date, we have found 30+ companies based on our own ideas and seed-funded them ourselves. Followed up with 20m+ EUR from external investors.