Challenges 2019 timeline

The 2019 edition of the Paint the Future startup challenge officially launched on January 8. We're now closed to new submissions, but you can learn about the challenge themes here. The journey continues as selected startups continue accelerating their ideas in Amsterdam May 14-16!

How does it work?

During the live phase from January 8 to March 8, we invited startups and scale-ups to submit solutions related to the specific challenge areas via our collaborative platform. On the platform, our experts collaborated with the participants to explore potential collaboration opportunities. The 20 most promising submissions will be invited as finalists to join our three-day accelerator program where they will collaborate with AkzoNobel experts and business leaders. AkzoNobel will then work together with the selected winners on sustainable business opportunities.

What are the benefits for you?

We’re now closed for submissions.

We would still like to invite you to join our platform as a member, connect with our experts there and check out all the great submissions we received. Join our ecosystem now! Let’s connect on the platform and accelerate innovation in paints and coatings together.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Solutions offering significant impact on performance
  • Technology readiness level
  • Market size and potential returns
  • Value proposition and unique selling points
  • Business readiness level
  • Fit with AkzoNobel in strategy and ways of working
  • Contribution to sustainability
  • The “wow factor” – having brand impact and disruption potential

Meet our jury

Meet the members of our 2019 Paint the Future jury.
Klaas Kruithof
Chair of the Jury, CTO, AkzoNobel
David Menko
Global Head of Marketing Paints, AkzoNobel
Daniela Vlad
Business Unit Leader, Powder Coatings, AkzoNobel


This is a perfect opportunity to use the vast knowledge and experience of AkzoNobel’s experts and our global footprint to grow and accelerate your startup solution! In our colorful ecosystem, we will explore joint development opportunities that benefit us both. The prize for the final winners is working with AkzoNobel on sustainable business opportunities.

Join us

Challenge 2019 timeline

Here’s a quick look at the adventure.

Submission phase
Solutions submitted and enriched online
January 8 to March 8
  • Join our online platform to start submitting, discussing and enriching ideas
  • Experts work with you to enrich your ideas
Enrichment phase
Solutions enriched online
March 8 to March 13
  • We close to new submissions, but community enrichment of solutions continues
Feedback & Finalist Selection
Solutions enriched online
  • Solutions are evaluated and receive online feedback
  • Selected participants will be invited to join the Accelerator Program
Accelerator Program
Collaborative event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
May 14 to 16
  • 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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As a former startup founder, now fresh AkzoNobel employee, I'm driven to help startups and scale-ups bring the future to market, together with AkzoNobel's global ecosystem of people and ideas.
Ally van der Boon
Paint the Future Program Lead, AkzoNobel