Drive maritime innovation in Antwerp


Specialised focus on Belgium ecosystem

The Antwerp program acts as a local acceleration hub, and is centred around building client relations in the local ecosystem and matching start-ups with our partners. This is why we focus on lead generation.

Belgian & global maritime network

Leverage our deep maritime network to discover a previously uncharted sea of opportunities with PortXL’s mentors, industry experts, partners and alumni – not just in Belgium, but all over the world.

Startups we're looking for

We aim for B2B startups or scale-ups with relevance to the maritime sector and proactively look for:

1. Platforms, technologies, and services that are applicable to the maritime sector, and have a tangible impact on the short-to-medium term for the supply chain processes of our partners.

2. Companies that have a product, and may offer product customisation/consulting as a subservice or offering.

3. Companies that are not yet active in the maritime sector, but whose potential impact can be assessed (e.g. Artificial Reality, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, 3D Printing, Drones).

Qualifying Criteria

  • A Scalable Maritime Proposition
    Only startups that offer a scalable, port-related proposition or working prototype with a +/- 12 month Go-To-Market timeline, or scaleups with a working product are eligible. We do not select companies whose core offerings are consulting or project management services.
  • Incorporated in Belgium
    It is a prerequisite for startups/scaleups to be a legal entity embedded in Belgium (as a BVBA, NV or other judicial structures).
  • Not more than 10 years
    Startups/scaleups must not be incorporated for more than 10 years.

How Antwerp differs from Rotterdam and Singapore

Compared to Rotterdam and Singapore’s global 3-month program, Antwerp’s fast-track and localised program consists of 10 days (spread over a period of 3 months), with a special focus on validating use-case and generating client leads.

Local hub (Antwerp) International hub (Rotterdam/ Singapore)
Partner lead generation
Start-up acceleration and partner lead generation
Three months, 1 full time kick-off week, followed by fortnightly follow-up sessions of on average of 4 hours per week
Three months, and attendance is required to all sessions
All Belgium and Alumni start-ups
Global start-ups
Q3/ Q4 2018
Q1/Q2 2019
Investment from startup
One-off investment of 8500€
Equity options/Convertible Note


  • July 2018: Applications open
    Assess maritime-sector relevance and qualification criteria of startups.
  • September 2018: Applications Close
    Shortlisted startups are invited to Selection Day in Antwerp.
  • October 2018: Selection Day
    Startups and corporates are introduced. A final list of startups are invited to join the Antwerp program.
  • November 2018: Kick-Off Week
    Develop use-cases in preparation for pilot projects.
  • November 2018 - January 2019: Use-Case Program
    Embark on testing of use cases with partners.
  • February 2019: Close Event
    Finalise pilot projects and partnerships between startups and partners.

PortXL Antwerp



Cees-Willem Koorneef
Director PortXL Antwerp

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