Media release

Startups and AkzoNobel sign letters of intent for joint collaboration

March 25, 2022


Less than 24 hours after winning Paint the Future awards, three startups have already signed their letters of intent to continue working together on sustainable business opportunities with AkzoNobel.

It’s the next step of a continuing collaborative innovation journey. The startups had the unique opportunity to explore their solutions with their mentors and industry experts through each phase of the global startup challenge, including an intense three-day bootcamp. Now having signed the letters of intent, they will develop their solutions even further with AkzoNobel.

“The winning startups are joining our go-to-market acceleration program, connecting them to a global network of people and resources,” says Menno van der Zalm, Director of the AkzoNobel Incubator. “Over the next six months, we’ll work together to validate their solutions for our customers and develop a joint value case.”

Within 24 hours of winning Paint the Future awards, representatives from SolCold, SprayVision and Aerones signed letters of intent to collaborate with AkzoNobel on sustainable business opportunities.

The following three solutions won over the international jury of experts and business leaders:

Winner: SolCold

The solution from Israeli startup SolCold is a sustainable self-cooling coating based on anti-Stokes. It uses the sun’s energy to keep the inside temperature much cooler without having to use any electricity.

“As a group of engineers and scientists, we know how to do R&D very well,” says Yaron Shenhav, CEO of SolCold. “But what we lack is the ability to mass-produce and scale our very innovative product. So collaborating with AkzoNobel is the perfect fit.”

Winner: Aerones

Latvian startup Aerones brings a robotic solution to wind turbine maintenance. Their crawling robot allows technicians to safely and efficiently perform inspections, cleaning and repairs at height.

“We had a great experience, and as we made new friends this week it started to feel like a real family,” says Janis Putrams, CTO and co-founder of Aerones. “We’re excited to work together with AkzoNobel to improve the generation of renewable energy – we would like to surprise our clients with a solution that combines our technology and AkzoNobel’s unique expertise in protectivecoatings.”

Winner: SprayVision

From the Czech Republic, SprayVision brings a data-driven approach to optimizing spray application of paint, offering customers full control over the process. The solution helps to reduce environmental impact by saving material and improving quality.

“What a great week, it exceeded our expectations,” says Petr Jahn, CEO of SprayVision. “We learned a lot from connecting with the other startups and getting such challenging questions from the AkzoNobel team. They’ll introduce us to completely new fields we’re not currently active in, which represent big opportunities for collaboration.”

More about Paint the Future

This Paint the Future global startup challenge launched in 2021 and attracted 245 submissions from 62 countries. The first global startup challenge was held in 2019, followed by regional challenges in Brazil (2020), China (2021), and most recently in India (2022).

For more information about the Paint the Future startup challenge, visit and follow @letspaintfuture on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Photos, startup profiles and infographics can be downloaded from the AkzoNobel Paint the Future media kit:


About Paint the Future

Launched in 2019, Paint the Future is AkzoNobel’s global collaborative innovation ecosystem. It’s a bold initiative to accelerate, test, launch and scale ideas and solutions for the paints and coatings industry. Paint the Future runs a variety of programs to accelerate innovation. Initially open to startups, it was quickly expanded to embrace academia, research institutes and two large groups of suppliers. As the ecosystem continues to grow and build on the success of each program, it’s become the largest in the industry.

About AkzoNobel

We supply the sustainable and innovative paints and coatings that our customers, communities – and the environment – are increasingly relying on. That’s why everything we do starts with People. Planet. Paint. 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 a pioneering paints company that’s committed to science-based targets and is taking genuine action to address globally relevant challenges and protect future generations.

Fetching the data, please wait...