3 November 2015

Off the ground within 100 days with unique World Port Accelerator, the PortXL start-up tool

Damen is proud to be one of the partners in PortXL, the first start-up accelerator programme specifically designed for the Port of Rotterdam. A prestigious selection of renowned maritime companies have come together to help secure the sustainable growth of Rotterdam’s port-related industry. The goal is to remain the world’s smartest and most innovative port.

The ambitious World Port Accelerator start-up support programme, which is due to be launched March 2016, aims to strengthen Rotterdam’s port innovation environment. Interested start-ups can apply at www.portxl.org. In addition, the participating maritime companies have the option to recommend start-ups too.


The Rotterdam Port Authority and the participating companies having teamed-up in this close co-operation, unleash a wealth of sources to the start-ups. More than 150 mentors and over 200 investors, corporate partners and sponsors are at their disposal. PortXL offers start-ups the fertile environment to give their passion and energy a kick-start within three months. This backing will allow them to chart both new markets and the game changer arenas; two vibrant areas that are essential for the sustainable growth of the Rotterdam port economy.

“We will wholeheartedly support this programme, hoping that start-ups that are relevant to our business will emerge from it,” Damen CEO René Berkvens comments. “We will coach and supervise the Maritime Industries cluster, one of a total of four sectors, in addition to Transport & Logistics, Energy and the Petrochemical industry. We will furthermore assess a number of start-ups ourselves. This will give us a better view of what drives future entrepreneurs and will provide close input about developments of potential interest to Damen Shipyards Group. The most important element, however, is that through our participation we’re able to contribute to the continued development of the Dutch maritime industries.”

On the top photo from left to right: Mare Straetmans (Managing Director PortXL), Jan Peter Balkenende (EY Partner Corporate Responsibility), Paul Smits (CFO Havenbedrijf Rotterdam).


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