Plymouth Startup Weekend’s marine edition opens next week

Plymouth Startup Weekend is being held between 12-14 November, led by the University of Plymouth and part of the Techstars Startup weekend.

Entrepreneurs will team up to solve problems related to marine technology, renewables, cruise and leisure, and marine engineering.

Participants will be welcomed and encouraged to pitch their groundbreaking ideas and form teams that will see them through the weekend. From there, teams will each be assigned a mentor and undertake workshops before working on their pitches and presenting their ideas to the judges.

Participants will strengthen their network while gaining valuable knowledge from developers, designers, and mentors in attendance. As it is taking place during COP26, the Plymouth Startup Weekend is focused on the marine industry and hopes to inspire innovators and changemakers to pursue their ideas to help protect our planet.

Around 10 per cent of Plymouth’s employment, and 11 per cent of its GVA (gross value added), comes from the marine sector – and with the city soon to be home to the UK’s first national marine park – the Startup Weekend arrives at an important moment, organisers say.

Professor Chris Bennewith, interim dean of the faculty of arts, humanities and business, says: “The nation’s marine sector supports more than 950,000 jobs and contributes £46bn to the UK’s economy – the size of the sector means there is plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurs and parts of the creative arts sector to collaborate, and engage with issues and opportunities in areas including marine technology, renewables, cruise and leisure, boatbuilding, shipping and marine engineering. 

“With Condé Nast Traveller magazine recently voting Plymouth among the top ten places in the country to start a business, we have a genuine opportunity to write a new chapter in the long and proud maritime tradition of this city – as a destination of choice for ambitious, high-growth blue-economy enterprise. By connecting the marine sector with creatives, there is the opportunity to launch a sustainable step change in Plymouth’s creative economy and make Plymouth a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”

Richard May, head of Oceansgate and marine investment, economic development, Plymouth City Council says: “It is a great pleasure to be a judge at the Plymouth Marine Startup Weekend. The support for the marine sector in Plymouth and surrounding area has never been so high. The pending Freeport status gives businesses great tax incentives against new investment and a strong springboard for international trade. Indeed, I am keen to see solutions that have deliberate export potential.”

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