Paint the Future’s accelerator program has taken off

Startups and AkzoNobel have three months to get ready for Demo Day

The countdown has begun. The pressure is on. Kickoff meetings signal the start of an exciting value proposition development phase for selected Paint the Future startups on our accelerator program.

The three winners of the 2022 global startup challenge, Aerones from Latvia, SprayVision from the Czech Republic and SolCold from Israel have got three months to hone their innovations before Demo Day in November. But they don’t have to do it alone.

The winners of the Paint the Future global startup challenge – SolCold, Aerones and SprayVision – received their awards following an intense three-day bootcamp at AkzoNobel’s headquarters in Amsterdam.

Collaboration is what drives the accelerator program. As industry pioneers, we work with startups to develop innovative business solutions for the paints and coatings industry. Sharing our expertise brings tangible and mutual business benefits. It’s our focus on working collaboratively that makes us stand out from the crowd.

“What makes our accelerator program different is that we go into our collaborations with the intention of realizing a win-win for both parties,” explains Menno van der Zalm, our Innovation Director.

The three kickoffs have already taken place in Latvia,Germany and Israel.

Startup, Aerones, launched its kickoff event with a live demonstration of its wind turbine maintenance robot. The multi-purpose robot is designed to not only remove an old layer of paint and clean a turbine blade, but also apply our full range of coatings, from filler to topcoat – making life safer for technicians, who no longer have to carry out hazardous work at dizzying heights.

“We’re really honored to work with AkzoNobel. With our technical teams working together, we see a huge benefit for the entire industry,” enthuses CEO, Dainis Kruze.

Fellow startup SprayVision’s kickoff included a demonstration of its machine’s ability to produce an optimal spray application of paint by making clever use of data. Its sophisticated technology can reduce waste, tailor applications to the needs of an individual surface and save time by assessing the quality of application before the paint has even dried. A joint pilot at AkzoNobel sites is already planned to demonstrate its potential to our customers.

“We were interested in ways to scale up our product. And one way to do that is to cooperate with a strong player with market presence,” explains CEO, Petr Jahn.

In July, SolCold heldits kickoff event in Israel. SolCold has developed a sustainable, self-cooling film that can reduce surface temperatures by up to 60% using just the sun’s rays. Investigations are under way on how to improve the laminate and test its application in one of the industries AkzoNobel serves.

“It’s important to meet your future partner in person to see if there’s a good match. You start by talking about the technology, but that’s not enough. You want to see if you share the same business DNA,” says Vice President of Business Development, Dr. Gilad Lando.

The all-important Demo Day in November marks the final milestone in the accelerator program. Each project team presents its joint value case. Stakeholders get a chance to see a prototype in action. This helps them to make informed decisions about the future of each collaboration. It’s important that a viable solution has been developed. Together, we need to present a win-win model where we share the same business objectives and pool our complementary resources to bring these innovations to life.

“The project team is made up of both our experts and the startup’s own personnel which means that there’s a joint desire to succeed and deliver on Demo Day,” explains Menno.

Decisions are made quickly and on Demo Day, it will become clear whether we share a desire to continue our partnership. That way, we can all start making plans for the future.

Inspired to collaborate with us?

Does your company have a solution you think we’ll be interested in and did you miss the deadline for the Paint the Future challenge? Connect with us through our “Innovate with Us” program which runs throughout the year.

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