Maritime accelerator welcomes new applications

Open call goes out to SMEs and start-up ventures in Liverpool city region maritime sector to join the Port City Innovation Hub business accelerator. Tony McDonough reports

Maritime Knowledge Hub
Image of the £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub to be opned at Wirral Waters


SMEs and start-up firms in Liverpool city region’s powerhouse maritime sector are being invited to join a business accelerator programme.

Port City Innovation Hub (PCiH) is a £1.9m project to support SMEs in the maritime sector. It has joined forces with Danish accelerator specialist Rainmaking to provide the Sprint Cohort 3.

Since January 2022, 16 companies have taken part in Rainmaking’s accelerator sprint programme. It has helped them to capitalise on the maritime sector in Liverpool City region.

A report published by industry cluster organisation Mersey Maritime in June revealed the Liverpool city region maritime sector was worth £5bn a year. It supports more than 48,000 jobs. Maritime is a diverse eco-system that encompasses more than 30 sub-sectors. They include shipping, logistics, engineering, digital and professional services.

Participants on the Rainmaking programme can expect introductions to Mersey Maritime’s extensive network through their events. They will also gain access to bespoke support from Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

PCiH offers Liverpool city region SMEs and start-ups tailored support to introduce new products, services, or processes. It helps them to grow and scale their businesses in the maritime sector.

The programme is led by Wirral Council and jointly funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is looking to accelerate innovation ahead of the opening of the £23m Maritime Knowledge Hub in Wirral Waters.


Mississippi Star
Liverpool city region maritime sector is worth £5bn a year. Picture by Tony McDonough


Rainmaking is currently working with its second cohort, having successfully accelerated innovation for entrepreneurs who took part in their first cohort. It offers a 20-week intensive programme that takes an idea from conception through to full prototype and launch to market.

Participants receive expert coaching, mentorship, workshops and access to international maritime experts to help validate their idea and get market ready. The next programme begins on November 7.

For more information email Rainmaking innovation programme director  Neil Meekin at or click – to apply for the programme click here.

More general information about Port City Innovation Hub can be found at

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