Maritime Blue, a statewide organization of maritime stakeholders, the state Department of Commerce, and the Port of Seattle, has launched its second group of Maritime Innovation Accelerator start-up companies. The goal of the program is to spur new technology and investment in one of Washington’s most enduring and important industry sectors - maritime accounts for over $37 billion in economic impact annually, including some 69,500 jobs.
“Now is a crucial moment to support and invest in the innovation clusters and clean technologies that will strengthen Washington’s economy and create good jobs for the future in communities all over the state. The Washington Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator is a prime example of our state’s commitment to resilience, innovation, and equity in our key industry sectors,” said Lisa Brown, Commerce Director.
Applicants were reviewed and selected by the Washington Maritime Blue Innovation Advisory Committee who considered, among others, three core areas of focus for the Port and Maritime Blue: help maritime companies innovate and grow, establish Washington as a global leader in maritime innovation, and increase the sustainability and conservation impact of maritime businesses in Washington State and beyond.
“Washington state’s innovative spirit is part of the DNA that has made our maritime, aviation, and technology sectors globally competitive. Drawing from our region’s wealth of talent, mentors will help winners of the second Maritime Blue Accelerator to develop their products and create jobs of the future,” said Fred Felleman, Port of Seattle Commission President. “As a public agency, the Port is committed to fostering an economy that floats all boats that can sail on healthy seas. Projects like these that spur sustainable maritime businesses are key to our ability to build back better.”
Studies have shown that there is a particular need for early-stage capital, as most venture capital is not aware of maritime opportunities. Clusters, incubators, and accelerators such as the Maritime Blue Accelerator can create vetted and supported pipelines of new deals between participants. Government and philanthropic grants such as this program can help de-risk investments and promote innovation.
The global Blue Economy is predicted to double by 2030 and is already showing as much as a 14:1 return on investment, according to a report from the United Nations High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
“I entered this Accelerator program as a marine biologist trying to do something good for the environment and muddling along as a businesswoman trying to make that happen,” said Nicole Baker of Net Your Problem. “As a result of this Accelerator program, I now have goals, a growth strategy, know what my value proposition is and how to digitally market that to highlight my competitive advantage”.
For more information and links to previous cohorts please visit the Maritime Blue Accelerator webpage.
The eleven companies participating in this year’s Innovation Accelerator program are:
Allosense provides “always connected” asset trackers using cellular, satellite, and mesh technologies to reduce logistic inefficiencies.
Canscan has developed a system, based on artificial intelligence, machine vision, and data analytics that uses existing cameras and infrastructure to automatically inspect containers transiting into or through a terminal.
Future Sight AR
Future Sight AR is using augmented reality to disrupt the way engineering and construction companies build the infrastructure we rely on every day.
Lockstep incentivizes good supply chain behavior by providing low-cost supply chain financing for businesses that make sustainable inventory and transportation decisions. Powered by cost-effective IoT and advanced analytics, Lockstep-backed companies can get paid at any point of a shipment's lifecycle and have the confidence to deliver product sustainably.
Marine Construction Technologies
Marine Construction Technologies’ self-attenuating pile system simplifies and expedites marine construction while also reducing environmental impacts.
Mariner Credential Service
Mariner Credential Service helps professional mariners and active duty service members navigate the complex credentialing process.
OpenTug provides marine logistics companies with branded sales suites that handle marketing, booking, tracking, and management to allow them to better connect with customers digitally.
Pacific Mobility Group focuses on the interface between various transportation modes and modal users and seeks to implement mobility solutions that improve people’s lives. Key areas of concentration are vehicle electrification, shared mobility, connected systems, and autonomous technology.
Puget Buoy is developing and testing a new generation of alternative fishing gear that will reduce waste and prevent disruption to migrating whale populations that will benefit the seafood industry.
Silverback Marine is focused on designing and building boats that are primarily intended for research, recovery, and cleanup operations, as well as commercial fishing support vessels.
Virgil Software is building a first-of-its-kind service to instantly verify that seafood was legally sourced and meets current regulatory traceability requirements (where applicable); this capability will save industry millions in audit fees, minimize the risk of penalties, and demonstrate a commitment to responsible sourcing.
About Maritime Blue
Washington Maritime Blue is a non-profit, strategic alliance formed to accelerate innovation and sustainability in support of an inclusive blue economy. With a mission to implement Washington State’s Strategy for the Blue Economy delivered by Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Innovation Advisory Council, we are a partnership between industry, public sector, research & training institutions, and community organizations. Maritime Blue works to create a world-class, thriving, equitable, and sustainable maritime and ocean industry through knowledge sharing, joint innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialization, business, and workforce development
Commerce works with local governments, businesses, community-based organizations, and tribes to strengthen communities. The department’s diverse portfolio of more than 100 programs and effective public and private partnerships promote sustainable community and economic development to help all Washingtonians thrive. For more information, visit Washington State Dept. of Commerce website. For information on locating or expanding a business in Washington, visit choosewashingtonstate.com.
Joshua Berger | Washington Maritime Blue | Joshua@maritimeblue.org
Peter McGraw | Port of Seattle | McGraw.P@portseattle.org
Penny Thomas | Washington State Department of Commerce | Penny.Thomas@commerce.wa.gov