WA State Maritime Accelerator Launched
Washington Maritime Blue, the Port of Seattle and WeWork Labs have partnered to launch Washington’s first maritime accelerator to help maritime companies innovate and grow.
The accelerator, which is currently accepting applications through November 18, aims to advance three key strategies for Maritime Blue and the Port of Seattle: help maritime companies innovate and grow, establish Washington as a global leader in maritime innovation, and increase the sustainability of maritime businesses in both Seattle and beyond.
Funded by the Port of Seattle and a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce, the maritime accelerator will be housed and supported by WeWork Labs in Seattle. WeWork’s global innovation platform for early-stage startups will run the accelerator through unique programming and events.
Dr. Lisa Brown, Director, Washington State Department of Commerce: “Support for tech innovation and commercialization is vital to the future of our maritime sector. The new maritime accelerator has great potential to launch new business opportunities and create jobs that will strengthen communities all over Washington state.”
Joshua Berger, Maritime Sector Lead for Governor Inslee + Board Chair, Washington Maritime Blue:
“This first Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator is yet another way in which we can work across the various sectors of the maritime and ocean economy. By supporting innovators and entrepreneurs we tap into whole ecosystems of expertise and capital that we have not yet accessed. We are recruiting for new and growing markets as a global innovation hub for the Blue Economy.”
The launch of the accelerator signals a new direction for maritime. One of Seattle’s oldest industries is repositioning itself to better leverage the vast tech and innovation resources Washington has to offer. This will be a powerful opportunity for local companies to grow and secure funding in a sector where capital is often scarce.
About the accelerator:
WeWork Labs is now accepting applications from any startup or new venture that is passionate about finding innovative solutions that benefit the maritime economy. Applicants will be reviewed and selected by the Maritime Blue advisory committee.
Maritime Blue will select 10 promising startups to be admitted to the first accelerator cohort, which will formally begin in January 2020.
These selected startups will benefit from intensive programming provided by WeWork Labs over an accelerated 4-month period. In addition to being housed at WeWork Labs, startups will receive access to the WeWork Labs global network of mentors and advisors, be a part of unique programming, and the opportunity to connect with the larger WeWork community.
WeWork Labs will work with each startup to address their current challenges and obstacles through intensive seminars and custom workshops tailored for their particular stage in growth.
The accelerator will conclude in April with a formal demo day where the selected startups will pitch their ideas to a crowd of investors, mentors, corporate partners, government officials and the general public.