The PortXL 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.

With a unique fast-track program that is different from Rotterdam and Singapore’s global program, Antwerp’s acceleration formula consists of 10 days (spread over a period of 3 months), with a special focus on validating use-case and generating client leads.

On October 18, Antwerp conducted the first-ever Selection Day, with intensive day of pitching and conversations with representatives from DEME, MSC and Port of Antwerp and EY across business functions – such as innovation, sales, logistics, operations, and maritime and logistics advisory.

Six start-ups convinced our partners: Esoptra, Peripass, Seafar, Xetal, Enervalis and Waylay proved to be the closest matches and to have the most potential for closing pilot projects.

PortXL Antwerp 2018 Startups


Esoptra addresses the opportunity cost of the gap between data theoretically accessible by an organization and its availability as actionable information. They provide a lightweight, high-performance, industrial strength data structuring platform and offered as an “any client, any cloud” solution, can serve as an instant scaffolding for plug-in solutions to an interesting range of data-related challenges.


Seafar provides a solution to counter shortage of crew, high cost of crew, accidents and overall operational inefficiency. They develop technology to remotely operate unmanned vessels for inland shipping and port operations. By integrating innovative solutions and technology, Seafar offers next generation ship management services to ship owners and shipping companies.


Road logistics reception comes with on-site truck chaos, communication in a multitude of languages, no real-time overview and a gap in current company processes, this is what Peripass fixes. The Peripass software platform automates and digitizes the access and communication of different site flows and helps companies thrive by enabling hassle-free logistics flows.


Xetal provides a technology to detect and track people and heat sources. They use simple low-cost temperature sensors on the ceiling to detect and track people and other unique heat emitting bodies.


Enervalis provides a smartgrid software platform that enables diverse energy assets, buildings and microgrids to deliver flexibility to the energy system which results in a greener, stable and more cost-effective energy system and provides financial benefits to the participants.


Waylay is active in the Internet of Things (IoT) world and offers both IoT cloud aggregation as well as an advanced rules engine. They focus on reducing the development and operational cost of projects once they have reached the production stage (scaling, adding new sensors, changes in the rules on top of the information received from the sensors, interaction with IT system and application).

Our partners


MSC Belgium is a world leading maritime shipping agency and facilitates the transportation of containerized cargo to and from all 5 continents with weekly scheduled sailings and arrivals to and from the Port of Antwerp. Moreover, except the traditional shipping agency services, MSC Belgium offers today, via its intermodal partner, modern and innovative door-to-door tri-modal services (truck, rail, barge).

Port of Antwerp

The Antwerp Port Authority manages and maintains the docks, bridges, locks, quay walls and land. It is also responsible for the efficient passage and safety of the shipping traffic in the Antwerp port area. It provides tugs and cranes, carries out dredging work and promotes the port in Belgium and abroad.

DEME Group

The dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME is an international market leader for complex marine engineering works, providing its clients with integrated, global solutions. Building on more than 140 years of experience and know-how, DEME has organically moved into several related sectors, such as the financing of marine engineering and environmental projects, executing complex EPC related marine engineering projects including civil engineering works, the development and construction of renewable energy projects, providing services for the oil, gas and energy sector, the decontaminating and recycling of polluted soils and silts and the harvesting of marine resources, etc.


EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. They help clients to capitalize on new opportunities and assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth. Their high-performing, multidisciplinary teams help them fulfil regulatory requirements, keep investors informed and meet stakeholder needs. PortXL Antwerp and EY have engaged in a service partner collaboration.

What’s next: Use-case innovation

The program starts with an intensive kick-off week in November 2018 to set up a business case and pilot project, followed by a period of work sessions and roadshows with the corporates, all along supported by a network of mentors and experts.

After three months of hard work, we will organise a final event where the teams will pitch their results to an audience of corporates and experts.

The program is successful when at the end of the program, the start-up has been able to validate the potential of the use-case and generate a lead or a client, marking the start of a pilot project and collaboration.

Photography: Sven Goyvaerts