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After a successful first year in which six of its twelve startups landed customer contracts, Rotterdam harbour’s own startup accelerator program PortXL is looking for ten new startups to coach throughout 2017.
“A Haven for Port-Lovers”
PortXL proudly describes itself as the only startup program with a focus on ports. Europe’s biggest harbour also intends to be the smartest port in the whole world, and it wants to be “a haven for port-lovers with innovative ideas and concepts”. For these reasons the World Port Accelerator Program that became PortXL was created. The first edition launched on October 29th 2015 with twelve start-ups who received intensive guiding and coaching throughout a hundred-day program. Over 180 mentors and prestigious partners like EY and Rabobank participated in the program. Obviously the Port of Rotterdam, South Holland’s InnovationQuarter and Rotterdam’s Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship are all partners as well.
Get Ready for the Shakedown
PortXL intends to create a bridge between start-ups and large enterprises. It tries to establish this connection by providing their startups with the opportunity to pitch themselves to port professionals and CEO’s throughout the program. There will be more pitching towards the end of the program, as the finale will be an event titled the Shakedown which will take place on June 22nd 2017.
Applications for the 2017 edition opened November 1st. Startups can submit their application through this link. The deadline is January 31st. Needless to say, all applicants for the 2017 program need to be port-related. More specifically the program also has a focus on Transport & Logistics, Energy, Chemical & Refining and Maritime sectors. PortXL is looking for teams with disruptive, scalable business propositions that can be launched within a year.
Drones, Fibers and Routers
All twelve alumni of the first PortXL are intending to stay in Rotterdam. Among these startups are companies like AquaSmartXL that produces aquatic drones, Fibersail who produce a shape sending system bases on fiber optic sensors and SailRouter who provide an application that helps ships reduce fuel consumption. A full overview of the whole dozen PortXL-pro’s can be found here. Perhaps aspiring startups can get some further inspiration here and do a quick pivot before sending in their application.