The most promising young talent in the industry today

The Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award is part of the joint Nor-Shipping/YoungShip initiative to encourage improvements in areas which are critical to the maritime sector and to help promote the next generation.

This particular award is to recognise the commitment and also the innovation of young entrepreneurs dedicated to making a difference within this sector. Open to nominees from all segments of the industry, it honours an under 40-year-old professional who has founded a successful company that spearheads challenges or solutions in a new way. YoungShip, the fast-growing international organization for young maritime professionals, is Nor-Shipping’s partner and the administrator for the award.

This year we have seen some companies which shows the changes that are happening in the maritime sector today. Our jury has put forward the most promising young talent in the industry today.

The Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award 2017 Nominees


Cesar Harada
Age 33
Founder and Director @ Protei INC (Hong Kong)

Shape-shifting sailing robot to clean up oil slicks

Cesar Harada believes that ocean currents, the wind and other naturally occurring phenomenon can provide unique inspiration and novel solutions to mankind’s worst disasters, like oil spills and radioactive leaks. A French-Japanese inventor and TED senior fellow, he is the creator of Protei, a revolutionary sailing technology, featuring a front rudder, flexible hull and open-source hardware — that allows for efficient clean-up of both oil and plastics from the sea.


Ryan Petersen
Age 36

CEO and Co-Founder @ Flexport (USA)
SaaS online freight forwarder

Ryan Petersen is the founder of, a cloud logistics company backed byGoogle Ventures, Bloomberg BETA and First Round Capital. A licensed freight forwarder that uses people and software to manage the complexity of international trade. Shipping something from Shenzhen to Cincinnati or Rotterdam to LA requires complex coordination. Currently that’s done by telephones, spread sheets, and fax machines.

Flexport provides a web-based app that offers real-time visibility of your shipments. They also offer services in air freight, ocean freight, trucking, warehouse & fulfilment, customs brokerage, and cargo insurance.


Joel Spark
Age 28
Co-Founder @ Spire (USA)
Low cost satellites for accurate weather data & full maritime awareness

Joel Spark is a Co founder & Lead Engineer Satellite Bus at Spire Global Inc.He has also worked @EADS Astrium Germany, @mechtronix-systems-inc, Studied at @Carleton University, @International Space University. Spire Global Inc is Nano satellite constellation service that will is revolutionize access to global space-based AIS ship tracking. Due to the cost-effective nature, Spire can deploy a large constellation of up to 100 satellites to provide maritime domain awareness solutions. The design of these satellites will allow them to provide next generation data, which is in high demand by industries and governments across the world.


Rainer Sternfeld
Age 34
CEO, Founder @ Planetos (USA)
Cloud-based data solutions for geospatial data infrastructure & Intelligence

Rainer Sternfeld is the founder & CEO @planetos. He is a data-driven Entrepreneur, Product Architect, Libertarian and Humanist. Global Estonian in Silicon Valley.

Planet OS provides a powerful cloud-based data solution for the $376 Billion Geospatial Services market. Their geospatial IoT products include a Powerboard for the energy industry, data publishing for governments, and data access for everyone. The company’s main business, operational intelligence for renewable energy businesses, serves one of the greatest environmental goals of all – it helps the clean energy sources succeed in the global competition and makes it possible to secure a safer and greener planet.


Patrik Berglund
Age 34
CEO and Co-Founder @ Xeneta (Norway)
Xeneta is an ocean freight pricing benchmarking and intelligence platform.

Patrik Berglund is the CEO and Co-Founder of Oslo-based Xeneta, the leading price comparison platform for containerized freight transforming the shipping and logistics industry with data analytics. Berglund, a logistics and tech-enthusiast, possesses a true passion for modernizing business processes related to logistics procurement and the supply chain. He has in-depth logistics and transportation experience from several years at Kuehne + Nagel in various roles and also as Co-Founder of Nordilog, a logistics consultancy firm.

Founded in 2012, Berglund has grown Xeneta to be the top worldwide source comparing shipping rates against the market average, market highs and lows, ultimately transforming companies’ logistics procurement with actionable data intelligence. Berglund was the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Lloyd’s List Next Generation in Shipping award. He holds an MSc with a specialization in Logistics Management from the Norwegian Business School BI.

Xeneta has access to the world’s largest database of short and long-term contracted ocean freight rates, 17MN and counting. It’s all available in real time and on demand. Ocean freight market price movements on demand with an intelligent, simple and user-friendly UI.


Christine Spiten
Age 26
Co-Founder and VP Market @ Blueye Robotics (Norway)
Drones for underwater exploration sold to the global consumer market

Christine Spiten is a Co-Founder and VP Market at Blueye Robotics – developing the world’s finest underwater drone for ocean exploration.

Christine holds a M.Sc in Industrial Economics and Tech. Management from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Robotics from UFRJ in Rio, Brazil. She has been recognized as one of Norway’s 50 most important female tech founders 2017.

Christine has a heart for the ocean and a genuine interest in new technology, sustainable business and innovation. With an international research-team she sailed across the Atlantic to investigate and map marine litter using the first prototype developed by Blueye.

Founded in 2015 Blueye has grown rapidly out of the highly renowned Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS) at NTNU and is about to enter the market with the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone that allows private consumers to drive and film underwater using their smart-phones or tablets. Using their digital platform for sharing video and data real-time, opens up for multiple uses in both the private and industrial market.

Driven by passion for the ocean, Christine and her team in Blueye strives to democratize the acces to the ocean. ”We look forward to completely altering the way humans interact with the world below the surface with our products, technology and innovations.”


Tuomas Riski
Age 38
CEO @ Norsepower (Finland) 
Commercially viable renewable energy-powered vessel technology

Norsepower – your provider of push button auxiliary wind propulsion
The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. When the wind conditions are favourable, Norsepower Rotor Sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. Rotor sails can be used with new vessels or they can be retrofitted to existing ships.

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