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Maritime Accelerator Program Brings an Entrepreneurial Spirit to the Industry

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February 4, 2020

The Port of Seattle recently helped kick off the Washington Maritime Blue Maritime Innovation Accelerator at our Pier 69 Headquarters. Over 150 community and business leaders joined the party to help celebrate the first program to boost emerging maritime companies in Washington State.

For many of us this maritime focused accelerator is a dream come true. We live in a world class entrepreneurial ecosystem that has spawned some of the most successful companies in the world. At the same time, this ecosystem has not really touched our traditional maritime industry in a tangible beneficial way.

Based on what I saw the other night this is about to change. Many established maritime company representatives attended the kickoff to learn more about the accelerator cohort. Emerging companies participating in the program offer some real-world solutions to the industry problems and partnerships are already blossoming between these new and traditional firms.

What was even better is that many technology company employees and mentors also attended the kickoff. Seeing companies working in artificial intelligence or digitization interested in a maritime accelerator gives us a lot of hope that purposeful connections can be made that bring these advanced technologies to the maritime industry.

Companies at the Maritime Accelerator Kickoff

Governor Inslee and Commissioner Felleman hosted the kickoff party. Inslee highlighted opportunities to boost Washington’s maritime industry while becoming a world leader in sustainable maritime technologies. Commissioner Felleman shared his passion for supporting emerging companies that can help resolve some of our pressing challenges to the ocean and closer to home within the Salish Sea.

While Inslee and Felleman did a great job, it was the participating companies that stole the show. As the entrepreneurs introduced themselves, their passion and excitement were contagious. Eleven emerging businesses are participating in the accelerator and their commitment to the four-month program was obvious.

In early April our Maritime Blue accelerator will culminate in a “Demo Day” where the entrepreneurs pitch their company’s products or services to a group of maritime mentors and local investors. It will be interesting to see how they progress and I’m confident the accelerator will stir our maritime industry in a disruptive yet positive manner.

We will be featuring profiles of each of the participating companies in the future. Learn more about these companies

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