Startups are about to explore a world of possibilities in the paints and coatings industry after a paints company, AkzoNobel, launched a challenge dubbed “Paint the Future” in mid-May in a bid to accelerate innovation.
All participants can learn the tactics that have made viable companies like AkzoNobel whose portfolio of brands include Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon. Some will find even more doors opened for them in the form of partnership opportunities and investments.
“Our new company strategy is all about building on our strong foundation and pioneering ways to grow and innovate,” says Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel’s CEO. “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.”
This year’s 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, as per the experts.
“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.”
With registration open until July 20, players are expected to provide solutions to address not only enhanced functionality and customer experience but also smart application, circular solutions, smart manufacturing and supply chain. Then, select finalists will be invited to a collaboration event in late 2021, where the challenge winners will be announced.