Marina Ahoy wins Wärtsilä Marine Mastermind innovation contest
Marina Ahoy Ltd. has won the Wärtsilä Marine Mastermind innovation contest, launched by Wärtsilä in connection with the Slush start-up event in October 2015. The company, which hails from Estonia, is developing a customer service touchpoint for marinas and a convenience tool for sailors. The innovative tool offers sailors and marinas a real-time connection that helps automate routine tasks and can therefore enable marinas to operate around the clock.
The aim of the contest was to find fresh, unique ideas for digital services that could bring value to the marine industry. The winners get the chance to develop their idea further together with Wärtsilä's experts and Shift Actions, a company specialized in agile concept and product development. The winner also gets a chance to become part of the highly international marine business.
"The overall quality of finalists was really high, and the decision was made mainly based on two key factors: innovativeness - especially potential for business disruption - and which entry would most benefit from the development sprint organised by Wärtsilä and Shift Actions," says Tero Hottinen, General Manager, Business Innovation at Wärtsilä Services, who was in charge of the innovation contest. "Marina Ahoy's offering has strong potential to become a successful commercial product, and it was also seen as something that benefits from exactly this kind of approach. The solution Marina Ahoy is developing for leisure business could very well fit the industrial shipping as well, and that will be the focus within Lean Innovation Lab."
Cooperation creates opportunities for start-ups and growth for customers
Wärtsilä, a globally known pioneer in the use of digital technologies in the marine and energy industries, organized the Wärtsilä Marine Mastermind contest in order to build closer relationships with international start-up companies, encouraging them to use their imaginations and discover the opportunities for innovation offered by the marine industry.
At the same time, Wärtsilä is looking to find and refine services or solutions that could support the growth of its customers' business.
In addition to the winning idea, the finalists included novel data analytics tools and methodology, structural shape monitoring technology, a fuel-saving routing solution, and a spectral sensor system that measures the chemical composition of solids, liquids and gases.
"All in all, we received 47 submissions from 17 different countries. The overall quality of applications was really high and we had a positive problem in selecting the finalists. We really look forward to the next steps and foresee collaboration with several contest participants," Tero Hottinen says.
From idea into product
The winner of the contest gets to experience a 30-day agile "Lean Innovation Lab" product or service development sprint. The sprint is focused on the challenges of innovation, development of the concept for commercialisation, its prototyping as well as the business plan and its implementation plan. The goal is to use the concrete idea in the future together with Wärtsilä.
"We are thrilled about the victory and the chance to develop our innovation further together with Wärtsilä and Shift Actions. The slogan for Marina Ahoy is 'For sailor-friendly marinas', and that is what the invention is all about. We want to make marina services easy and convenient for sailors, but at the same time boost the marinas' business by enabling them to automate their basic operations," Hannes Koppel, CEO and Founder of Marina Ahoy says. "We are happy that the jury recognised the potential Marina Ahoy's solution has in industrial shipping as well, and are really looking forward to jointly explore how our offering could be developed into that direction."
The winner was chosen by an international jury established by Wärtsilä. The jury included Wärtsilä's experts as well as distinguished representatives of the marine industry media, Wärtsilä's customer and capital investor as well as a start-up incubator.