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SmartHop joins TechStars NYC

A driver searches for a load.

Freight-matching startup SmartHop has joined TechStars NYC, a summer accelerator program that started yesterday, July 15.

The company is excited about participating in the 13-week immersion program, said CEO and co-founder Guillermo Garcia.

“We have an ambitious project technology-wise and operational wise,” he said. “What we hope to get out of TechStars is help connecting us to experts and to leverage the network to accelerate our path.”

A global seed accelerator, TechStars runs programs located around the country. As of 2019, it had accepted over 1,600 companies.

The 10 participating startups come from a broad range of verticals, wrote TechStars NYC director Jenny Fielding wrote in a blog post.  “While the program is not thematic, we placed a special emphasis on ‘world positive’ companies led by founders looking to make a positive impact on society.”

SmartHop’s platform helps truckers plan, search and book their loads in a fraction of the time it takes to sift through traditional load boards. The company uses AI and market analysis to help truckers find the best opportunities. 

“That involves a lot of complexity,” said Garcia, adding that the goal is a Netflix-like system that makes smart recommendations to truckers.

Founded by Hispanic immigrants, SmartHop initially targeted Spanish-speaking drivers. Its mission is “well-aligned” with TechStars NYC focus on diversity within the founding team, Garcia said.

“During our recruiting season, we made a big push to reach out to diverse founders and partnered with several organizations who helped our efforts,” Fielding wrote. “We’re committed to making the program inclusive and representative of the city we call home.”

In addition to technical assistance and business mentorship, Garcia hopes the accelerator experience will help the team figure out how much money they need to achieve their goals and, ultimately, make connections to investors.

SmartHop has relocated its headquarters from Miami to Manhattan for the duration of the accelerator program, Garcia said.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected]