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Fertile conversations and first concrete steps towards partnerships

First Bootcamp of the Maritime Accelerator is now behind. 10 genius startups and maritime corporations started their journey towards the grand finale of the accelerator in Slush 2018. The goal of the first Bootcamp was to define challenges, find out opportunities and build up collaboration proposals together.

The first day of the Bootcamp was about partner introductions, workshopping and visiting Meyer shipyard. All the stakeholders were really committed to make most out of the two days and find out beneficial ways to continue the collaboration. “It’s been amazing. We were able to go from discovery phase to possible implementations almost immediately. We visited the factory and discussed with the engineers who were excited about our solutions and I believe we can pilot before the second Bootcamp next month. I’m overwhelmed how concrete and specific it has been!”, Wolf Kolb from Tulip comments with a smile on his face.

Perfect collaboration starts from dating and ends to a happy marriage

Second day started with a keynote speech from Venture Strategist Christiane Hepp-Kervinen from Wärtsilä’s Digital Ventures team. Hepp-Kervinen opened their philosophy behind corporate venturing and compared it to couples’ path from dating to marriage: ”Shared values, trust and communication are the keys in any successful relationship and the same goes with collaboration”. Wärtsilä wants to work with startups because they have the best and most innovative solutions for customers and the collaboration model fills the space between their own R&D and M&A. “There are few challenges to tackle like how to find the right startups and bureaucracy with slow processes, but nothing unbeatable. We believe in ecosystem thinking and partnering. We want to create safe spaces for innovation and agile ways of working. That’s why we have Wärtsilä Digital Acceleration Centres.”, Hepp-Kervinen says.

Adapting to a new industry

Kristin May, Vice President of Commercialization from Vital Vio says that they are the pioneer of continuous disinfection technology, and seeking to educate fellow Maritime Accelerator participants about the availability, effectiveness, and versatility of their patented germ-killing LED technology. May is also looking forward to learn how Vital Vio can integrate their range of disinfecting lighting options into the vessels. “We are kind of the odd ball here!” May says laughing. “The other startups are on technical or energy efficiency field but our focus is on safety. We have a unique value proposition and we are growing fast with our large corporate clients.” May adds.

When talking about next steps with their corporate partner, May says that they are waiting to hear in which vessel piloting will be done and which team on partner’s side is going to take collaboration even further. Overall May sees this collaboration as an ideal platform to quickly assess how and where in the Maritime industry their disinfecting LED technology can best be put to use to protect people against the inevitable presence of harmful germs.

“The quality of this accelerator is on next level!”

Both Kolb and May have only positive feedback to Turku Business Region and Avanto Ventures. “Avanto has done amazing job matching the companies. The corporate partners are in the right mindset and focusing on new innovations. This is a good ground to identify the use cases”, Kolb comments.

May agrees: “Everyone is really goal minded and keeping things on track. We have participated to several accelerators but the structure of this one is fantastic. I really appreciate what team Avanto has done!”.

The next Bootcamp of the Maritime Accelerator is on November where the teams continue defining milestones for piloting the new solutions and moving into commercial agreement and partnership.