In 2020, Yara Marine Technologies launched a 5-year growth strategy in order to achieve their ambition of becoming a full-fledge maritime green-tech player.
One of the key strategic initiatives was to use open innovation as a method to expand their green-tech portfolio. This meant they needed an innovation partner embedded deep in the international startup space and with a unique knowledge into the maritime industry.
Oslo Venture Company was chosen as the best fit to help create, develop and manage this approach to startup-driven innovation in the form of a corporate accelerator.
The Yara Marine X concept was subsequently developed with an ambitious timeline of 3-4 months to launch a global startup campaign, with the goal to find and join forces with an exceptional founder team. A team that would ultimately fuel a more diverse portfolio strategy and enable a greener maritime industry.
Corporate processes, startup spirit
Developing a scalable, high-performance startup accelerator that would create value within the company meant that Yara Marine needed to position themselves in the startup space to gain access to the right audience.
The process started by conducting extensive market research to find out where and how to reach this global, yet niche target market: startups with a sustainability or green focus applicable within the maritime industry.
The audience not only consisted of startups with this specific focus, but also key stakeholders needed to help endorse and communicate the program – clusters, startup communities and Universities within the maritime space. A joint effort commenced to reach this audience, position Yara Marine, and open the application process for startups through an integrated marketing and communication strategy.
Each program also consisted of prescreening teams, internal and external jury selections, event management and program planning that would end in a global pitch event where 1-2 startups would be chosen.
The chosen startups participated in an onsite bootcamp and a tailored 3-6 month accelerator program that gave them a unique opportunity to develop and pilot their startup through Yara Marine and Oslo Venture Company’s industry competence, network, distribution, and scaling knowledge. Ultimately exploring partnership opportunities, possible investments, and a collaborative future together.
The accelerator program was repeated in 2022.