AkzoNobel’s first Paint the Future global startup challenge was live from January to March 2019. From the 160 startups that submitted their solutions, 21 participants were selected for our three-day accelerator event in Amsterdam. In the end, six were chosen to formally continue their journey with AkzoNobel and partner KPMG.

About the challenges

For our 2019 edition, we were looking for solutions in the following areas:


We invited startups to submit solutions related to specific challenge areas via our collaborative platform from January to March 2019. Our experts collaborated with the startups on the platform to improve their solutions and explore the potential to collaborate. The 21 teams with the most promising submissions were invited to a three-day collaborative event with experts and business leaders. We’re now working together with the winners on sustainable business opportunities.

For all other participants, the journey also continues. Startups on the platform are still in touch with dedicated experts of AkzoNobel to accelerate their solutions and explore mutual opportunities.


Since that first big step we took in 2019, launching a successful industry-first global startup challenge, we’re now growing to welcome suppliers, academia and customers into the Paint the Future innovation ecosystem. Find out more below.


What does the journey look like?
Submission phase
Solutions submitted and enriched online
January to March
  • Start submitting, discussing and enriching ideas with experts on our online platform



Enrichment phase
Solutions enriched online
January to March
  • Closed to new submissions, but community enrichment of solutions continues




Feedback & Finalist Selection
Solutions enriched online
April to May
  • Solutions are evaluated and receive online feedback
  • Selected participants are invited to join the finals event
Finals Event
Three-day collaborative event
  • Selected participants work with domain experts to bring solutions to the next level
  • The most promising solutions are offered joint development agreements
Acceleration Phase
Accelerating your solution with experts
From June onward
  • AkzoNobel and partners provide guidance in this process
  • Scaling of the solution and possible implementation
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