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Sailing towards the first bootcamp of the Maritime Accelerator

Maritime Accelerator is an accelerator program gathering the leading companies in maritime industry and the most innovative startups globally to build a fertile ecosystem and new concrete business ventures. The partner kick off of the accelerator is now behind and it’s time to take closer look to the startups Avanto Ventures’ screening team has found during the summer. Out of 500 scouted startups 40 will be interviewed and the best matching growth companies will be invited to the first bootcamp in October where the potential of the corporate-startup partnership is validated.

“The goal of innovation is to ultimately impact the bottom line of the company and help it sustain in the long term. Several companies have created accelerators as a way to work with startups to explore new arenas and industries without investing too many resources.” Tendayi Viki wrote in Forbes just few weeks back. This summarises well what Maritime Accelerator is about. In big picture the accelerator strengthens the Finnish maritime cluster to achieve the leading role in maritime ecosystem in Europe and for our corporate partners like Wärtsilä it is a possibility to co-create new business opportunities that will make a lasting impact to their customers and the environment.

Christiane Hepp-Kervinen, Venture Strategist from Wärtsilä, is looking forward what next months will bring: “Wärtsilä has its proud roots in Finland. The country is a hub for expert knowledge including advanced testbeds and connectivity solutions covering a large part of the value chain in the maritime industry. Now, we want to take this a step further: We’d like to intensify our collaboration with startups and the Maritime Accelerator is a perfect way of addressing challenges in the maritime industry and finding jointly solutions while making a global impact. Together with major players in the maritime industry, such as Royal Caribbean and Meyer Turku we are excited to offer startups the opportunity to tap into our knowledge and capabilities.”

The startups Wärtsilä is interviewing are focused on addressing safety aspects onboard of vessels – advanced sensor technologies combined with data analytics for situational and predictive awareness. For a growth company Wärtsilä has plenty to offer: two acceleration centres and an R&D site as well as presence in 174 locations, access to unique expertise, global reach and customers. “While over 80% of all global trade in volume is transported via sea, we know that it is tough for startups to enter this industry. We can offer support for startups in validating their offering and creating insight through our expert mentors participating in this program. Our plan is to provide real cases for the co-creation including access to data sandboxes for developing the most tangible solutions. Our highest hope would be that we identify a new business opportunity and continue our collaboration beyond.”states Kenneth Widell, Program Director, Technology Co-Creation.

Teemu Valtonen, Senior Manager from Cadmatic, says that they are hoping to find new ways of work instead of one specific solution from the accelerator. “We want to combine new innovations into our existing business. It’s time to find cross industry solutions and speed up our organic growth.”