In 2018, Smarthop was one of hundreds of startups hoping to carve out a niche in the North American logistics space. The company provides intelligent dispatching services and now offers full-fledged dispatch solutions for over-the-road owner-operators.
The experience the company gained at Founders Camp, powered by Dynamo, proved a crucial rung in Smarthop’s growth trajectory.
“There is no better way to describe Founders Camp other than life changing,” Guillermo Garcia, CEO and co-founder of Smarthop, said. “It would have taken me years to access and build relationships with the people Dynamo introduced me to. I got a mentor, investor and customers from participating. If you want to build a great company in the supply chain — step one is to attend Founders Camp.”
In February, Smarthop secured a $12 million Series A funding round.
Dynamo is a venture capital firm that specializes in seed-stage supply chain and mobility companies. It is bringing back its Founders Camp in 2021, hosting the three-day event in conjunction with FreightWaves’ F3: Future of Freight Festival event, scheduled to take place throughout Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nov. 8-10. Founders Camp will run concurrently.
“Founders Camp is extra special this year because it will happen alongside FreightWaves’ F3: Future of Freight Festival, which will bring hundreds of corporate executives, founders and investors together to discuss supply chain technology,” Dynamo said Tuesday in a release announcing the return of the camp. “Founders Camp will span three days where founders will be able to attend the F3 Festival and participate in business development meetings with executives from 20 different legacy corporations.”
Startups interested in participating in Founders Camp must apply for acceptance. Applications to participate close at 11:59 p.m. PDT Aug. 15. Invitations to companies accepted will be sent on Sept. 30.
Click to apply for an invite.
The 2021 Founders Camp is sponsored by Lineage Logistics, Schneider National, Chick-fil-A, EPB, Market Street Partners and FreightWaves.
Founders accepted into Founders Camp will receive access to, and the opportunity to work with, top founders and corporate executives who will provide support and guidance. Participants can expect to participate in business development meetings with executives from 20 different legacy corporations.
“We recognize that building a startup is challenging and Founders Camp was created to be a forum for strategic perspective and actionable advice. This year, in lieu of our traditional workshops and discussions, every startup attendee gets free access to F3 sessions led by proven leaders across supply chain technology as they discuss the key factors impacting freight markets and review the latest trends pushing our industry forward,” Dynamo said.
In addition, participants will receive introductions to potential customers and partners from high-growth small and mid-sized enterprises all the way up to Fortune 500 organizations.
“The best founders recognize there’s no better dollar than a customer’s dollar — and we agree. Founders will have face-to-face meetings with both mid-sized and large businesses to gain feedback on their product and discuss business development opportunities. In prior years, startups end up leaving our program with a multimillion-dollar pipeline of potential customers and partners,” Dynamo noted.
The Dynamo team of experts will offer advice on fundraising strategy for founders looking to raise seed or Series A rounds and will be able to make post-program introductions to co-investors where appropriate.
Dynamo accepts no equity and charges no fee to participate in Founders Camp. International startups looking to expand into the U.S. are also encouraged to apply.
F3: Future of Freight Festival
Several thousand freight executives, supply chain leaders and industry stakeholders are expected to descend on Chattanooga – named one of America’s most livable cities – for the in-person F3: Future of Freight Festival event, which will take place not at one location like many events but throughout the city of Chattanooga at 30-plus venues in a true celebration of the city and the future of freight.
“This isn’t going to be just another freight conference,” Craig Fuller, founder and CEO of FreightWaves, said. “It will be an outdoor and indoor festival, with music and entertainment throughout the experience.”
Tickets for F3: Future of Freight Festival are on sale now. Regular ticket price is $2,495. J.B. Hunt 360 is the headline sponsor of the event.
The F3: Future of Freight Festival will feature discussions on all modes of the supply chain – trucking, air, ocean and rail – but since this is a festival, it will go deeper. Industry experts and entrepreneurs will dive deep into all aspects of freight movement. The experience will also include a special look at the near future of freight with a focus on drones, autonomous and electric vehicles and more.