TechConnect: ZEBOX Opens First U.S. Location in Arlington
Arlington Economic Development is celebrating innovation month by highlighting companies that are pushing innovation forward. This month’s TechConnect Profile is highlighting ZEBOX, an international incubator and accelerator created through the initiative of CMA CGM’s CEO, Rodolphe Saadé, with with a specfic focus on supply chain, logistics and mobility, as well as Industry 4.0. Launched in 2018 in Marseille, France, ZEBOX’s mission is to connect startups and large companies to help them innovate together. In February 2021, ZEBOX announced that it would establish its 3rd innovation hub, ZEBOX AMERICA, in Arlington, Virginia, which officially opened this month on April 26.
AED caught up with Charley Dehoney, Vice President of ZEBOX, to discuss ZEBOX’s decision to locate its 3rd hub in Arlington, its goals for accelerating growth in supply chain tech and industry 4.0, and his outlook on the state of the global supply chain.
Arlington Economic Development is very excited about the opening of ZEBOX’s 3rd innovation hub in National Landing this month. Can you share the main reasons why ZEBOX chose Arlington, VA for its 3rd international location?
Charley: ZEBOX was founded to fuel global innovation, and our North American headquarters in Arlington is at the center of that strategy. Arlington was the natural place to establish our new home in North America. National Landing is the country’s first 5G smart city and one of the most exciting emerging U.S. tech hubs, with access to world-leading talent, major enterprises, and of course institutions including the Pentagon, Congress, the Port of Virginia, and more.
The United States, of course, is both an incredibly important market for both our startups and our corporate partners. It’s also home to many of the best and brightest innovators who are now reimagining the future of global logistics, supply chains, and related industries. Our newest international location here in Arlington will connect U.S. innovators to the global marketplace, while enabling startups and businesses from across the ZEBOX ecosystem to bring their products and services to U.S. markets.
With the opening of ZEBOX AMERICA in Arlington, what are the company’s goals to help accelerate innovation in the supply chain and industry 4.0 sectors? What are the opportunities and challenges?
Charley: ZEBOX’s deep roots in the logistics and global supply chain spaces give us the ability to drive broad-reaching innovation across a wide range of related industries, and to spur the development of vital new technologies including Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, greentech, and more. Our founding principle is the conviction that innovation depends not just on big ideas, but also on relationships — between startups, established industry leaders, investors, and even academic researchers. We’re here to help broker those relationships and drive transformative innovation at unprecedented scale.
That’s especially important in industries like logistics and mobility, where there’s a high cost of entry and organizations need global reach in order to compete effectively. By bringing startups and industry leaders together, we’re overcoming that hurdle and turning a challenge into an opportunity for today’s top enterprises and most promising tech innovators. Together, we’re forging a new path forward to solve some of the biggest challenges of our time, and create more efficient, intelligent, sustainable, and resilient businesses.
Since the pandemic began in early 2020, supply chain has become a topic of conversation for everyday consumers. As the US and world slowly adapts to a new normal, what is your outlook on the state of the global supply chain over the next 12-24 months?
Charley: The pandemic certainly brought the importance of global supply chains into focus for a lot of people who might not have previously given them much thought! What’s clear is that there’s no going back: now more than ever, we need to keep on investing in and innovating our supply chain networks, and using new technologies to make global logistics and mobility systems more efficient, resilient, and adaptable.
The key thing we need to take forward from the pandemic, of course, is that while the pandemic was a big stress-test for global supply chains, it was just one challenge among many. From labor issues, to climate change, to natural disasters, we live in an interconnected world, and we need robust systems in place that can rise to the challenges we face. That’s not something we can achieve simply by addressing local problems as they emerge — we need a truly international approach to innovation, so that we can share insights and implement solutions on a global scale.
For more information on ZEBOX and its services, visit https://www.ze-box.io/en/. If you are a startup tech company looking to launch or grow your business in Northern Virginia, please visit AED's resource page and contact Adam Henry, Business Development Manager, for more information.
About this Profile Series
Arlington's startup ecosystem has been rapidly expanding over the past five years and is quickly becoming recognized as an established innovation hub in the United States. Since 2015, Arlington-based companies have raised over $1.4 billion in venture capital across 144 deals covering several industries, including software, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, big data, digital media, and more. AED launched its monthly TechConnect Profiles to highlight and profile companies in our technology startup ecosystem.