Note: Originally published at innovationfootprints.com on February 16, 2019.
WHAT IS A SUPPLY CHAIN?
A network of connected and interdependent organisations mutually and cooperatively working together to control, manage and improve the flow of materials and information from suppliers to end users.
— Martin Christopher, Logistics & Supply Chain Management: Creating Value-Adding Networks, 4th ed, Pearson Education Limited 2011, p4
For the month of June, The New York Supply Chain Meetup aka The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation is thinking of hosting a “Supply Chain Tech – From The World To NYC” themed event.
It would be a “showcase + demo” event, and each company/startup would get our customary 15 minutes, perhaps 20, to talk about what the company does and give a product demo. We are targeting 6 – 8 startups, but we could make room for more depending on the level of interest.
We already have a company from Germany earmarked – this is pending confirmation. We have confirmed participation from a startup from India. We have a request out to startups from Greece and Australia as well – and we can easily get many more if we really tap into our network. We are starting with startups we have been engaged with for more than 6 months. Obviously, that is only a small pool of all the supply chain technology startups that exist around the world.
The dates we have earmarked for June are a weekday during the week of June 17 (Ideally June 19 or 20), or during the week of June 27 (Ideally, June 26 or 27).
Here’s a form that you can fill if you are a startup or a small to medium size company that builds supply chain technology and want to be considered for the final list of participants. We would like participation in this event to be free, except for the cost of making the trip to NYC. So we will try to find sponsors to help us with space for the event, and food for the people who attend.
A small group of us in New York City started building The New York Supply Chain Meetup in Summer 2017. In that time we have become the largest, most active, and fastest growing community on Meetup that focuses on supply chain, technology and innovation. Here are some of the things we have accomplished;
Our public launch was on November 16, 2017. We have had 10 events, at which we have attracted an average of 100+ attendees. We had roughly 150 at our very first event.
Our events have attracted speakers from emerging supply chain technology startups, as well as companies like SAP, IBM, Maersk, UPS, Tapestry, A.T. Kearny, L’Oreal, ALDO Group, EY, and GS1-US over the course of our first year.
We now have more than 1,600 members in The New York Supply Chain Meetup, and more than 1,700 across the network.
We are in the process of scaling to other cities (based on demand) and created the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation to facilitate that process.
We are launching The Charleston Supply Chain Meetup on March 27, 2019 and we launched The Bangalore Supply Chain Meetup on November 24, 2018. Other cities in which communities are in the process of forming are Athens, Singapore, Vancouver, Chicago, Jakarta, and Lusaka.
According to Mercedes Delgado and Karen Mills, in their book The Supply Chain Economy: A New Framework for Understanding Innovation and Services; “The U.S. supply chain contains 37% of all jobs, employing 44 million people. These jobs have significantly higher than average wages, and account for much of the innovative activity in the economy.” I believe similar conclusions can be inferred about the role supply chain plays in any growing economy around the world.
This makes the community we have set out to build one that offers enormous promise for collaboration between cities, states, and companies as well about how supply chain can function as a foundation for economic growth. The work we are doing to build this community is driven by our motivation to bring together two key groups of people;
The people inventing new technologies and developing the new innovations that will refashion the world’s supply chain networks, and
The people who make buying decisions related to deploying new technologies and innovations within the supply chains on which businesses are reliant for their commercial operations.
I believe firmly that supply chain is the basis on which companies win or lose competitive advantage. It is arguably the basis on which communities, countries, and societies prosper or fail.
Selfishly, we also want every growing supply chain technology startup, from any part of the world, to eventually set up a United States headquarters in New York City, with The New York Supply Chain Meetup as the community of first call, based on prior engagement with a local chapter of The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation. Moving to a new place is hard – I know, I came to the United States in 1997 from Ghana, after growing up in Nigeria. Knowing that you have friends when you arrive makes a big difference.
About The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation
The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation is the collaborative, and mutually supportive coalition of open and multidisciplinary grassroots communities focused on technology and innovation in the global supply chain industry. Founded in August, 2017, The New York Supply Chain Meetup is its founding chapter. Local chapters are run by volunteer organizers who each build a team to manage chapter activities and events. You can learn more here: The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation – Our Manifesto.
About REFASHIOND Ventures
REFASHIOND Ventures is an emerging early stage venture capital firm that is being built to invest in early-stage startups creating innovations to reinvent global supply chain networks. REFASHIOND Ventures is based in New York City. The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation and The New York Supply Chain Meetup are initiatives of REFASHIOND Ventures.