Countdown visual

245 submissions from around the world

The initial phase of our Paint the Future global startup challenge saw an incredible 245 innovative solutions from 62 different countries.

The Paint the Future ecosystem offers startups a unique opportunity to showcase their innovations on a global stage, giving them access to valuable resources and connections that will open up a world of possibilities. It’s a chance for us to collaborate and develop pioneering, exciting and more sustainable innovations that will transform the paints and coatings industry.


“I could not be more proud to see our collaborative innovation ecosystem thriving,” says Chief Innovation Officer Klaas Kruithof. “At the heart of Paint the Future is our belief in the power of collaborative innovation. Together, we’re taking the paints and coatings industry beyond expectation, imagination and generations.”


Over the coming weeks, our experts will carefully evaluate each one before selecting the participants for a three-day bootcamp from November 16-18 to be held in Amsterdam. The participating startups will receive a tailored program of sessions where, together with experts, they’ll develop ways to accelerate innovative, more sustainable ideas that will revolutionize the paints and coatings industry.


“We were thrilled to receive a total of 245 submissions while growing our incredible collaborative innovation ecosystem. Since signing up, the startups have had access to more than 90 experts who have offered advice and support to help them enrich their solutions. They have also been able to connect with each other and discover the benefits of collaboration,” says Ally van der Boon, Paint the Future Program Manager


“The real power of collaborative innovation was exemplified by two of the submitters who connected via the platform and made a new combined submission,” says Sweccha Joshi, Smart Application challenge lead.



Ground-breaking solutions

The leads for each of the five challenges – Customer experience, Smart application, Circular solutions, Enhanced functionality and Smart manufacturing and supply chain – were impressed by the range of pioneering solutions submitted to the platform.


“We have seen many new applications for existing materials as well as completely new technologies that offer solutions to long-standing problems,” says Hannah Beeke, challenge lead for Enhanced functionality. “While our challenge team spans a wide range of expertise, if different knowledge was required we connected with others within the company to find the skills needed to make the best possible evaluation. This has been invaluable.”


Job Coenen, circular solutions challenge lead, adds: “The live phase has been exciting. Our Circular solutions team has received a variety of submissions with innovative solutions from passionate startups. Via the Paint the Future platform we have had efficient, open communication between the startups and AkzoNobel which bodes well for exploring the potential for all parties.”