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Singapore’s PIER71 launches 2023 maritime start-up challenge

Article-Singapore’s PIER71 launches 2023 maritime start-up challenge

Photo: Marcus Hand MPA Chairman Niam Chiang Meng launching the Smart Port Challenge 2023
MPA Chairman Niam Chiang Meng launching the Smart Port Challenge 2023
Singapore maritime accelerator PIER71 has launched its latest round of the Smart Port Challenge (SPC) to identify promising start-ups, while also awarding grants to past winners, and announcing new venture capitalists.

The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise launched the Smart Port Challenge 2023 (SPC 2023) at Asia Tech x Singapore, organised by Informa Tech, on Thursday afternoon.

The annual competition is open to start-ups in both Singapore and overseas with 12 challenge statements spanning key areas such as maritime decarbonisation, smart port operations, and supply chain resilience. The challenge statement encompass areas where the maritime industry sees a need for digital solutions.

Speaking at the launch event Niam Chiang Meng, MPA Chairman, said, “The use of digital solutions is aimed to helping our maritime sector, enhancing operations, provide new services, and to attract talents.”

Shortlisted candidates will be mentored by 21 companies in PIER71 under its accelerator programme and potentially eligible for grants for further development. The top three winners will be awarded cash prizes at the grand finals in November this year.

Start-ups are invited to submit their proposals for SPC 2023 by 31 July.

Professor Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said, “We look forward to onboarding a new cohort of start-ups into the Smart Port Challenge PIER71 Accelerate programme with the anticipation that they will bring forth exciting technologies and innovative solutions to address the maritime industry’s challenges.

“With support from the wider maritime ecosystem to nurture and promote their growth, we are certain that these start-ups and the wider PIER71™ alumni will unlock new possibilities in efficiency, safety and environmental sustainability that will make an impactful contribution to the maritime industry.”  

In addition to launching SPC 2023 MPA Chairman Niam announced the award of MINT-STARTUP grants to five start-ups from the 2021 and 2022 challenges. The start-ups awarded grants are Grey-Wing, Nanomatics, Green COP, Brains Behind Consulting, and IoT Pte Ltd.

PIER71’s venture capitalist’s network has also been expanded with four new partners Narwhale Ventures,, Kibo Invest, and Paragon Ventures bringing some SGD6m in funds.

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