Global startup accelerator, ZEBOX, has opened the doors of its UK hub in Manchester as it continues its ambition to support and develop the sustainable innovations of tomorrow.

The UK hub, based on Portland Street, Manchester and launched by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, becomes the sixth innovation hub for the accelerator founded in 2018 by Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions.

The hub will accelerate decarbonisation and operational optimisation through technological breakthroughs in the supply chain industry, especially artificial intelligence.

It joins ZEBOX’s headquarters in Marseille, France, and hubs in the Caribbean (Guadeloupe), Ivory Coast, USA and Asia Pacific region (Singapore).

Globally, the initiative has already worked with over 250 startups and 20 corporate leaders, and has facilitated more than 340 collaborations.

The hub will support the UK and Northern Europe’s most promising startups and connect them with corporate partners across ZEBOX’s global community enabling them to test innovative solutions and address business and sustainability challenges across supply chain and logistics.

Meanwhile, corporate partners will benefit from working with startups that can address specific business issues and engage in de-risked proof of concepts.

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ZEBOX UK will also offer entrepreneurs mentoring and funding, with the aim of co-developing startups producing game-changing solutions across four key areas: operational efficiency, assets optimisation and decarbonisation, workflow automation, and future of work.

The first ZEBOX UK cohort consists of 10 startups working in the fields of AI, machine learning, quantum computing and decarbonisation.

Joe Manning, Managing Director at MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency said: “This investment from ZEBOX UK is an invaluable addition to our lively business scene.  With brilliant businesses such as these adding to our city-region’s strengths in sustainability, logistics and tech, we’re demonstrating our collaborative cross-sector strengths that have a real impact on the UK economy and beyond.”

Leader of Manchester City Council Cllr Bev Craig said: “ZEBOX’s choice of Manchester as the location for its UK hub reflects the city’s track record for innovation and sustainability.

“We hope that the future-facing work the startups based here will develop will have wider benefits through decarbonisation – supporting the battle against climate change – as well as creating jobs and investment.”

Martin Bremner, MD at ZEBOX UK, said: “Our mission at ZEBOX is to connect the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of startups with the expertise and global impact of corporate leaders. This not only enables them to accelerate growth but to answer global challenges together by developing the sustainable solutions of tomorrow.”

Greater Manchester has fast become one of the UK’s dominant tech hubs, with the city-region outperforming many other European larger cities for investment and business growth. Its vibrant, innovative and fast-growing start-up scene has also seen record levels of investment funding in recent years.

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