We got more and more incubators, accelerators and competition sprouting up in China and Asia, and yet the founders of ChainLabs feel as if there’s still plenty of room to operate. Their key differentiator? The firm focuses exclusively on the B2B enterprise software space and supply chain solutions.
Instead of chasing consumer-facing mobile apps and e-commerce websites that most investors do (and many got burnt with), ChainLabs has chosen to focus on the problems impacting today’s MNCs operating global supply chains.
Based in Shanghai, but looking for startups worldwide, ChainLabs is currently selecting early-to-mid stage solutions that have the best chance of solving those supply chain, sourcing, procurement and logistics issues. According to Max Henry, Principal at ChainLabs, all founders are Asia-based senior business executives, B2B software guys and the mentor network they are recruiting are all supply chain-focused superstars.
“While we acknowledge that we end up narrowing the applicant pool with that strategy, we believe we improve the chances of success for our startups with the laser focus on supply chain. As the first supply chain accelerator in the world, ChainLabs will provide seed funding, a virtual workspace, mentoring program and a demo day that nurtures skills and relationships to enable entrepreneurs to build remarkable supply chain, procurement and logistics solutions.” says Max Henry.
Industry-specific accelerators like ChainLabs offer more targeted resources to start-ups due to the deeper industry knowledge and capability. In ChainLabs, this focus revolves around the supply chain profession, giving their start-ups better access to enterprise clients, targeted mentor-ship, industry specific client leads, and they’re all-around more tied into manufacturers, brand owners and retailers that their start-ups are trying to break into.
And because supply chain management is by nature multifunctional and international, many of the start-ups do not compete with each other as they address different solutions offerings and functions in the operations of these companies.
Coming from a supply chain operational background with extensive experience in Asia, the founders understand what drives logistics and procurement technologies today. ChainLabs is to bring together appropriate investment strategies for the start-ups leveraging the ChainLabs strong network of private investors, strategic partners, venture capital, and corporate C-level management teams, some of which are managing their own complex supply chains and are looking for new solutions.
Also, ChainLabs will use the cloud to support delivery of its program across the globe. Working with a geographically dispersed startups, mentors/advisors and a number of delivery partners, ChainLabs’ online platform will enable its team to deliver consistent communications across the program.
Max also mentioned that ChainLabs would be running a startup competition named ChainBeat. The ChainBeat team will select the hottest new supply chain startups from the submission pool and invited them to make their pitch live onstage in front of an expert panel of judges, industry execs, entrepreneurs, investors, and media. The winner be announced live onstage at CHaINA Live in November and will receive a cash prize, writeup in various magazines, introductions to investors in the incubator’s network, and a bunch of other cool prizes.