Media release

Four startups win AkzoNobel collaborations in Paint the Future China finale

September 29, 2021


Four startups have been invited to collaborate with AkzoNobel on their innovative solutions after being announced as the winners of the Paint the Future China startup challenge.

The exciting announcement wrapped up a two-day accelerator event, which brought 17 finalists together with 30 AkzoNobel experts for face-to-face discussions about collaborative opportunities that could potentially push the boundaries of the paints and coatings industry.

“The next generation in China is passionate about working together to make a real difference through innovation,” says Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer. “That’s what we call ‘taking innovation beyond generations’. Collaborative innovation is a vital part of our People. Planet. Paint. approach to sustainable business. With new technologies and sustainable solutions we develop together, we’re bringing surfaces to life and pioneering a world of possibilities.”

China’s startup challenge attracted 210 proposals in the areas of Smart supply chain, Digital customer experience and Towards zero waste. Four startups stood out with eye-opening proposals and have now been invited to collaborate with AkzoNobel on sustainable business opportunities:

·         Mech-Mind, AI+3D vision robotic solutions provider

·         Corpt, recyclable packaging solutions provider

·         Ginet, inorganic non-metal powder solutions provider

·         Archifiction, new digital 3D spatial platform creator for immersive virtual reality

“It’s been a very inspiring and rewarding journey," says Mark Kwok, AkzoNobel’s President of China/North Asia. “The China startup challenge has helped us forge an even stronger connection with all our key stakeholders in the country, as well as add value for our customers and the whole industry – supporting our overall growth in China.”


“We are committed to the development of AI+3D imaging technology. By working together with AkzoNobel, we hope to advance the smart supply chain and provide more value for the entire coating industry.”


“Collaborating with AkzoNobel, we hope that we not only paint the future, but also pack the future. Leveraging our ‘packaging + service + data’ integrated smart solutions, we are striving for more sustainable development.”


“AkzoNobel is renowned for its long-standing tradition in innovation. Together, we hope to create more new products and technologies, bringing new inspirations and possibilities to the entire industry and the world.”


“Conversations with AkzoNobel’s expert team have shown us that we share the same vision in terms of digital transformation. We really look forward to painting the future together.”

The Paint the Future China startup challenge made powerful connections with pioneering entrepreneurs and thriving innovation groups in China over the past ten months. They have all been welcomed into the growing Paint the Future open innovation ecosystem, joining startups, academia, research institutes and suppliers across industry sectors in a global effort to accelerate, test, launch and scale ideas and solutions.

First launched by AkzoNobel in 2019, Paint the Future’s collaborative innovation programs have already resulted in 18 successful collaborations. As the ecosystem continues to grow and build on the success of each program, it’s become the largest in the industry.

For more detailed information about the program, visit


About AkzoNobel

We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.