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Plug and Play’s Savannah Batch Two Expo Day was successfully hosted on Wednesday, June 14th, creating an exciting follow-up to the initial Selection Day showcase event. The event took place in downtown Savannah at SoHo South, providing a vibrant backdrop for 13 innovative startups to present their advancements within the supply chain and logistics industry. These startups showcased solutions related to warehousing, renewable energy, trucking, and workforce/staffing development, highlighting the ongoing innovations in these areas.
The expo commenced with opening remarks from Dr. Chris Curtis, Vice Provost for Research at Georgia Southern University, emphasizing the significance of the Savannah Logistics Innovation Corridor and the university’s collaboration with Plug and Play. Dr.Curtis expressed their shared goal of establishing Savannah as a renowned center for logistics innovation. Plug and Play boasts an impressive investment portfolio, with over 1,600 companies across 1,500 locations globally. Savannah, GA, and Phoenix, AZ, are among their latest locations, both focusing on supply chain and logistics.
Jen Bonnett, Executive Director for The Creative Coast, led a fireside chat with Alex Rhodeen, Supply Chain Catalyst for ATDC, and Vasant Kamath, Partner at Tech Square Ventures. Together, they explored the essential elements of a thriving startup innovation ecosystem highlighting government involvement, academia, stakeholder and corporate engagement, mentorship, and more.
According to Rhodeen, Savannah possesses the critical ingredients for a thriving startup ecosystem, which is characterized by an energetic and innovative atmosphere that captivates newcomers. He emphasized that the startup ecosystem-building process is a challenging one, but is well worth it: “You’ve started here, keep the gas going…I promise you, it’s worth it.”
Kamath illustrated the time and collaboration necessary for ecosystem development citing Atlanta’s startup ecosystem, which took 20 years to build. Bonnett further highlighted the individual economic advantages of a thriving ecosystem. “The average wage of a tech startup coder is probably twice the average wage of an average Chatham County employee,” said Bonnett.
The main event of Expo Day featured ten of the thirteen startups, which were selected to be a part of Plug and Plays Batch Two Cohort, in April of this year. The startups pitched sharing updates on their progress since being selected for Plug and Play’s accelerator program. Locally the ultimate goal is to have these startups pilot projects right here in Savannah at the ports, in warehouses, and in manufacturing centers.
Cloverly, Tag n Trac, and Gig n Take could not be present. You can read more about these three startups by clicking here.
Meet the startups:
Chunker – An on-demand, short-term warehouse marketplace connecting companies needing temporary space with those with excess space.
Freight Mango – FreightMango is an online marketplace for international freight shipping that lets importers and exporters search, book, pay, track, manage, and finance your freight in seconds.
NuGen – NuGen Systems develops and provides Innovative, Clean, and Efficient Energy Solutions to replace Legacy Systems currently used by Industrial/Commercial customers while saving them money and improving productivity.