19-Apr-2021 - Akzo Nobel

AkzoNobel is stirring things up again with second global startup challenge

Paint the Future’s second global startup challenge launches

Startups are about to explore a world of possibilities in the paints and coatings industry – Paint the Future’s second global startup challenge launches May 18. Led by AkzoNobel and powered by thousands of connections around the world, Paint the Future has become the industry’s largest collaborative innovation ecosystem.

All participating startups can look forward to accelerating their solutions in this dynamic industry by leveraging AkzoNobel’s passion for paint, expertise, knowledge, resources and connections. Some will find even more doors opened for them in the form of exciting partnership opportunities and investments.

“Our new company strategy is all about building on our strong foundation and pioneering ways to grow and innovate,” says AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker. “That’s why it’s the perfect time for round two of our global startup challenge. We’re excited to see what potential collaborations the startups have in store for us that will help us bring surfaces to life for our customers.”

The 2021 program builds on the success of the 2019’s Paint the Future launch event, two regional startup challenges in Brazil and China, two supplier programs and other AkzoNobel collaborations. These programs have already resulted in 18 successful solutions.

“Paint the Future is our dedicated ecosystem designed to accelerate innovation in paints and coatings,” says Klaas Kruithof, Chief Technology Officer. “Our first global startup challenge was a first for our industry and our ecosystem has grown amazingly since then to include 2,137 active members. It’s a launch pad for great ideas that’s attracted a diverse group of startups, suppliers, academia and customers.”

2021 program details

Startups will be invited to submit solutions addressing five challenge themes:

  • Enhanced functionality
  • Customer experience
  • Smart application
  • Circular solutions
  • Smart manufacturing and supply chain

Following the May 18 launch, exploration and enrichment of the submissions will continue through July 20. Then, select finalists will be invited to a collaboration event in late 2021, where the challenge winners will be announced.

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