Let's paint the future together - the AkzoNobel startup challenge begins

Posted on: 06/02/2019

The AkzoNobel startup challenge is open for submissions until 1st March 2019.


Calling all startups, scale-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators! The first edition of Paint the Future – the AkzoNobel startup challenge is now open and ready to discover new and revolutionary solutions that will accelerate innovation in the world of paints and coatings.

The challenge connects bright minds and promising solutions from across the globe with AkzoNobel’s expertise, global scale and resources. Innovators, challenge teams, institutions and industry experts will work together to enhance the submitted ideas, forming a truly collaborative ecosystem.

Spearheaded by the company’s Chief Technology Officer Klaas Kruithof, Paint the Future offers winners the opportunity to accelerate commercialisation of their solution.

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Paint The Future – The AkzoNobel Startup challenge – video provided by AkzoNobel


AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker, says:

“We can’t wait to see what exciting developments this collaborative experience brings to the paints and coatings industry. We’re driven to create value for our customers, passionate about what we do and always looking ahead. Now, we’re looking to go even further, painting the future together with the world’s coolest innovators.”

Chief Technology Officer Klaas Kruithof, adds:

“Paints and coatings is a dynamic, technology-driven industry. We know the future lies in working with others and being open to cross-industry solutions. Exploring the new technology frontier, we will be able to introduce new features, improved products and more ways to delight our customers – and accelerate some truly exciting innovations.”


Launched in partnership with KPMG, the challenge focuses on five key areas:

  • Smart application -¬†How could your solution change or improve the way customers apply AkzoNobel’s¬† products?
  • Enhanced functionality -¬†What exciting new functionality can your technology offer to make coatings cleaner, more responsive or adaptive?
  • Circular¬†solutions -¬†How would your solution enable circular use of materials at any point in AkzoNobel’s¬† value chain?
  • Life science infusion -¬†How can your solution, containing bio-active technology, help bring better performance or innovative features to AkzoNobel’s coatings?
  • Predictable performance -¬†How can we collect and augment data more innovatively to make predictions for real world surface performance more accurate?

Register at letspaintthefuture.com to join the platform, submit solutions and contribute industry expertise as part of the community. More information about the challenge, this year’s five themes and submission process are also available in greater detail on the website.

The deadline for new submissions is March 1, 2019, and participants on the platform will continue to explore, discuss and enrich ideas until March 12, after which AkzoNobel experts will select finalists to participate in the finals event in Amsterdam May 14 to 16. Shortly thereafter, the company will begin working with winners on sustainable business opportunities.

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