Zebox opens U.S. incubator in Arlington
ElectroTempo Inc. CEO and co-founder Ann Xu wants her company’s software to reach 70% of the United States by 2027.
Founded in 2020, Electro Tempo provides analytics and tools to help vehicle fleets, utilities and governments optimize the size and location of electric vehicle-charging infrastructure.
The company took a step toward accomplishing its goal by moving from Herndon into Arlington-based Zebox America, a technology startup incubator and accelerator that launched in late April.
ElectroTempo is one of three startups that have moved into the Zebox accelerator. With room for as many as 20 companies, the incubator also is intended as a space to bring participants together, says Zebox Vice President Charley Dehoney.
Founded in 2018 by Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of shipping giant CMA CGM Group, which has its U.S. headquarters in Norfolk, Zebox focuses on startups offering solutions for its corporate sponsors, which include the Port of Virginia and major logistics and transportation companies like founding sponsor CMA CGM. Zebox incubators in France and the Caribbean have supported more than 80 companies so far, Dehoney says.
Zebox America is working with 32 startups, a majority of which are remote. Five are Virginia-based.
“We’ve now identified more than 65 problem statements that our corporate partners share,” Dehoney says. “Some of these problems may take two startups to solve. We’ll keep adding them until all of the issues in the supply chain go away.”
Startups don’t have to be focused directly on logistics, transportation or the supply chain, though. Zebox also is concentrating on supporting businesses working on problems that the industries have in common, such as cybersecurity. “Everybody in supply chain and logistics is worried about cybersecurity because there’s so much shared data in the supply chain,” Dehoney says.
While Zebox considered tech hubs such as Boston and San Francisco as sites for the incubator, Zebox chose Arlington because of its proximity to Norfolk. Additional draws included Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus and 5G “smart city” infrastructure plans for Arlington.
Zebox’s goal is to add 150 jobs to Virginia, Dehoney says. The incubator represents a $4 million investment.
Being part of Zebox has already paid off for ElectroTempo, Xu says. Corporate sponsors have asked her for presentations, she says, realizing the value ElectroTempo might bring. “We are attacking a real-world issue,” she says, “a pain point that’s out there.”