We sat down with TradeLanes CEO/Founder, Vijay Harrell to talk about his company.
TradeLanes digitizes and automates the supply chain for shippers, merchants, and traders.
So what does that mean, and how does this work?
Ninety percent of everything around us travels by ocean container. TradeLanes is a “document room” which ensures that an ocean container of goods gets from point A to point B. For example, when a jeans manufacturer in Vietnam purchases a container of cotton from an Ag merchant in Memphis, a set of 10 documents are generated and must follow that container through 15 document handoffs. Our digital document rooms ensure these handoffs are seamlessly executed with zero errors — thus lowering costs by 30-80% and removing 3 days from the supply chain!
What were you hoping to get out of Sprint Accelerator program?
The privilege of executing our product roadmap with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) in such an intimate way is super exciting and impactful.
Describe how things are going with DFA thus far.
DFA gave us a chance to be onsite and shadow their employees! Thanks to DFA’s transparency, we’re going to be able to move much faster on helping them achieve their strategic initiatives.
This experience has also made us realize the level of responsibility we have. By empowering the export team to leverage their expertise to grow their export sales, DFA will ultimately put more money back in the hands of their farmers’. This is the mission we’re on.
It sounds like you’re surprised and impressed with DFA. Why?
None of this would have been possible if DFA hadn’t believed in what we were doing. The team at DFA are the ones rolling up their sleeves and making things happen. DFA’s level of commitment to innovation is just unheard of. If this model were copied more often, we’d see a lot more startups solving bigger problems. I really can’t say this enough…The Sprint Accelerator is truly a unique model!
What’re your other takeaways from the program?
A program like the Sprint Accelerator is leveling the playing field. If you look at the backgrounds of all the other people involved with the programs, they’re coming here from around the world — Italy, India, Uzbekistan, and myself from Brussels, Belgium. Our 2017 class at the Sprint Accelerator is extremely diverse in age, experience, and the places we hail from…
Being a founder of a startup can be difficult. How has the program helped you become a better leader or helped you better handle those challenges every founder faces?
The program has blown us away. People don’t talk about this much, but the most important challenge as a CEO is managing your own psychology. This is true for any entrepreneur. Our mentors in this program have been honest and open about this. Our fellow founders have shared their stories. There’s a level of accountability, openness, and honest dialogue in this program, and it’s really benefitting us. I don’t know how to classify it, but this ingredient that Doug has added to the program has fostered an environment where we collectively help each other through the toughest of challenges.
We’re happy to see TradeLanes’ progress so far and looking to see where they’ll go by the end of the program. Swing by the Sprint Accelerator for our community event on May 10th to meet the teams!
Register here if you haven’t already!