Next week, Sweden Water Research will be taking over our Instagram account, so we took this opportunity to have a chat with Malin Nydesjö to find out more about who they are and what they do.
Hi Malin, what can you tell me about Sweden Water Research?
We’re a research company working with one of the most important things on earth: water. We started in 2014, when the municipal organisations NSVA, Sydvatten and VA SYD decided to merge their research and development activities into one research organisation. Our research focus is new, effective solutions to meet the future challenges facing the water services industry.
Can you give me an example of a typical project of yours?
Our projects are connected to the challenges and goals of our mother organizations. Some examples are securing the drinking water in a changing climate, reducing micropollutants in wastewater, and blue-green storm water solutions in the cities. Collaboration is a very important part of our work – we work with industry, municipalities, academia, cities and others.
Who are the people working at Sweden Water Research?
Today we have 15 PhD students, as well as senior researchers, project managers and administration staff.
What will you be showing us next week on Instagram?
We’ll give you a glimpse of our work, who we are and what we do. Hopefully you’ll learn a little bit more about water, what it is like being a PhD Student and all the nerdy (exciting and super interesting!) details within this field! 🙂
We love showing off our amazing companies, and next week, Zaplox will take over our Instagram account to showcase who they are and what they do. We took the opportunity to talk with Pernilla Brodd, CMO at Zaplox to find out more!
Who are you in the team at Zaplox? Are you all located here at Ideon?
My name is Pernilla Brodd and I´m the CMO at Zaplox. The amazing Zaplox team is located at Beta 5 at Ideon. We also have an sales office in New York, US.
Can you tell me a bit about your Zaplox solutions?
Zaplox offer a mobile guest journey to the hospitality industry in Europe and North America, that includes mobile check in, mobile keys, mobile check out with payment and promotions.
How did you come up with your idea? Have you worked in the hotel industry before?
Zaplox was established in 2010 and offered mobile keys to many types of facilities from the start, over time the offering has evolved into a complete mobile guest journey for hotels. Several of our employees have experience from the hospitality industry.
What will you be showing us next week on Instagram?
A lot is happening at Zaplox every week, and we will feature some of our great team members daily happenings.
During Ideon’s 35th anniversary celebration on 28 September, prizes were awarded to promising growth companies in two categories, the Ideon Stipend and Ideon’s Mentorship Program. The winner of the Ideon Stipend, Bjorkstrom Robotics, received 25,000 SEK with the motivation “The company is awarded for having developed an exciting solution, with the help of VR and AR, that may revolutionize a complete industry. Although being in its early phase the company already has strategic customers/partners and great potential. The Ideon Stipend is given to support an increased market contact.”
In addition to the prize money, Bjorkstrom Robotics also won a Changeware workshop at Rouk AB to find processes to speed up time to market.
Five winners of the Ideon Mentorship Program
The five winners of the Mentorship Program are:
Magnus Lindström, founder and CEO, Tempiro
Ofelia Madsen, CEO, BrainLit
Johan Ranefors, CEO/CTO, Glimworks
Lennart Bergström, co-founder, Sib Solutions
Anders Arkenstedt, founder and CEO, Dimon systems
The five mentors to help the growth companies scale up are Martin Gren, co-founder of Axis, Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel, Charlotta Falvin, senior vice president and chairman, Pierre Elzouki, co-founder of Scalado and Staffan Gestrelius, co-founder of QlikTech. Together, they have chosen five adepts among the applicants who have stated in their application information about their growth goals, their backgrounds and arguments as to why they should win a place in the program. Each mentor will offer a total of 10 hours of mentorship in 2018 and the five adepts will receive two hours with each mentor.
“Ideon has meant a lot during my entrepreneurial journey and now I look forward to sharing my learnings through smart questions from hungry Ideon entrepreneurs,” says Martin Gren, co-founder of Axis.
“This will be an ongoing process where we match mentors with adepts and after the first five we will not have a limit on the number of adepts and mentors, but rather the interest will control the supply, “says Mia Rolf, CEO of Ideon Science Park.
Sharp Minds Sessions with the mentors gives everyone a chance to learn from the best
During the year, Ideon have hosted the “Sharp Minds Sessions” where mentors talk about their journey, important lessons they have taken and what they would like to share with new entrepreneurs. The next meeting will be held on November 20th where Martin Gren and Pierre Elzouki will take center stage to talk about the journey from an idea to a growing startup.
About the Ideon Stipend and Mentorship Program
The Ideon Society has stipulated the following criteria for a nomination and awards from the Ideon Stipend. The company should:
be an Ideon company (be located at Ideon Science Park)
have great growth potential
have an innovation that has a foundation in research
are in the Startup category, ie few employees, at a startup stage, no older than 5 years
show good entrepreneurship
The Mentorship Program with the five mentors starts in October and the program will continue after the turn of the year.
This week, Memlin will be taking over our Instagram account. We took the opportunity to ask co-founder Christian Ramel some questions about the company and the team.
Can you tell me a bit about Memlin, who are you, who’s working in the team?
Memlin is a platform for corporate event planning that turns anyone in the company into a professional event planner and puts event administration on autopilot. You can manage trainings, courses, events and seminars without excel and personal email addresses as senders.
We are 9 people working with the service; Christian Ramel, CEO, Gustav Olsson, COO, Eric Andersson, CFO, Jens Agerberg, CTO, Alexandra Wingstrand, Marketing manager, Damien Jaillot, Design and frontend, Anas KM, web development, Mickey Ngo, web development and Saurabh Naik, web development. Damien is located in France, Mickey in Vietnam and Anas and Saurabh in India.
How did you come up with the idea of Memlin? Had any of you run a company before?
It started out as a simple service for sending invitations, accepting signups and an app for fast check in of the participants with QR-codes. The name was Digiviter at first. Two years ago we decided to use the knowledge from that system and the feedback we got from early customers and build a new service from scratch, that better targets the need and newer technologies.
You are a part of Ideon Takeoff, for companies leaving the incubator. What does it mean for you to sit with other scaleup companies?
It’s a super dynamic environment and we have close collaborations with the other companies in the office. As we run very similar services and are basically in the same phase, we can use each others knowledge and get inspiration from each other.
What will you be showing us next week on Instagram?
We will show you a week in the early days of a growing SaaS company. We are still developing a lot, but are in the process of shifting focus to a more sales and market driven company.
With 400 companies in the park, it can be a bit hard to know what everybody’s doing. That’s why we ask some companies to take over our Instagram account and show us more about who they are and what they do. Next week, Everyday Baby will be taking over and because of that, we took the opportunity to ask Edon Ramadani from the team some questions!
What can you tell me about the team at Everyday Baby? Who are you?
Everyday Baby was founded by Edon Ramadani, Andreas Bengtsson and Fredrik Persson. We met each other while studying International Marketing and Sales back in 2008 and we quickly became friends. All the three of us shared the same love and passion for Business and Entrepreneurship. A funny fact is that none of us was a parent when we founded Everyday Baby, and today we have two children each!
How did you come up with your idea?
Me, Andreas and Fredrik, all have a few things in common: an active lifestyle, a great interest in family life and the love of trips to beautiful places. On a lovely sandy beach, we sat in our sun chairs enjoying our trip. We observed a family of two children who had just come down to the beach. We saw the dad heating a baby bottle at the beach bar, but patiently had to wait with his sad baby because the bottle had become too hot. The father tried to both taste and feel the bottle, but could not really tell if the temperature was right. The mother was chasing the oldest child who just wanted to play and swim in the ocean. It was a struggle for her to put on the sunscreen. We discussed how life would change if we became parents ourselves. This became the seed that made Everyday Baby, and the idea that we would work with products that reduce as much stress as possible for families.
We think that if possible, we should focus on what brings joy and love and continue to live a wonderful active lifestyle. Moving forward a few years and we are all dads and still live an active life with our families and our company baby. At this time, we had launched several products that facilitate everyday life for families; SunHero makes the beach days easy when you know that the children will not get burnt in the sun. Feeding bottles and temperature bands in safe materials that keep track of the temperature of the milk. Bath mats that show the right temperature in the bathtub and make sure the children do not slip – everything is perfectly designed to take with you on trips or to friends. Everyday Baby is not the solution to everything, but it’s an important step closer for parents to continue living their active lives with the extra love and joy that children give. That’s what Everyday Babe strives for!
What types of products do you make and sell?
Our mission is to create innovative and safe products for the conscious parents who value safe materials, new thinking, design and functionality.
Some of our products:
Temperature Sensing Glass Baby Bottles – The bottles are the lightest glass bottles on the market, they are protected with an Innovative Thin Silicone Coating that prevents the bottle to splinter and also indicates by changing colour when the formula is too hot to drink.
Sunscreen Indicators – Small, Round and very Thin plasters that you put on your skin and that shows when to re-apply a new layer of sunscreen by changing colour.
Anti-slip Bathmats – Indicates by changing colour when the bathwater is too hot for your baby and they also prevent your baby from slipping in the tub.
Feeding line (Silicone Suction Plate, Silicone Suction Bowl, Silicone Spoon, Stainless Steel Cutlery, Silicone Bib and more…) based on good materials, beautiful design and functionality. We say NO to Plastics!
What will you be showing us next week on Instagram?
We will be showing our preparations for the Kind+Jugend Fair in Cologne, which by the way is one of the worlds biggest fair for baby products. We will load the truck on Monday with our products and marketing materials and leave Lund for Cologne.
Then, from Thursday to Sunday we will be standing in our booth and meeting distributors, partners and retailers from all over the world, and we’ll take you along on Instagram!
More about Everyday Baby
Everyday Baby is one of the five companies nominated for the Ideon Stipend 2018 and the winner will be announced on our celebration on September 28th.
Ideon’s Energy Innovation South collaboration would like to inform you of the possibilities there are if you have an energy related innovation, that may increase the speed transition towards green energy. Right now you can apply for funding up till 2 MSEK for customer validation, as well as free training within green business development and marketing and sales for green growth.
If you are interested in this, please contact Olof Blomqvist, head of the activities in Skåne.
Utbildning för affärsutveckling, tema: Sälj & Marknad Vårens populära utbildningar (IPR & Affärsmodeller) för affärsutveckling som genomfördes av våra partners tillika experter har nu följts upp med lansering av en utbildning kopplat till Sälj & marknad (18/10) som följs upp med ytterligare en utbildning inom industrialisering & skalbarhet (26/11). Läser mer om våra utbildningar samt om den senaste lanseringen Sälj och marknad nedan. Det ingår 10h affärsutveckling av våra experter för varje deltagande bolag.
MI-Champions lanserades i samband med Mission Innovation i Malmö/Köpenhamn i Maj 2018. Syftet med tävlingen är att lyfta individer/entreprenörer/innovatörer som accelererar förändringen till ett hållbart energisystem. Ni kan läsa och nominera på länkarna nedan.
Ideon Science Park opens soft landing opportunity for international organizations that want to establish themselves on the Swedish market and find partnerships with Swedish, innovative companies. BNU-BUCM (Beijing Normal University-Beijing University of Chinese Medicine) National University Science Park–Hengqin Innovation Institute of Science and Technology (briefly called BNU-BUCM) from Hengqin New District, Guangdong Province, China, is the first tenant to enter the soft landing office at Ideon.
The service is just what it sounds like, a soft landing in a new market. Soft landing is a common offer at international science parks, as a way for international companies to gradually grow into a new market. Organization or company representatives will have access to an office and office services, as well as matchmaking and help with setup of meetings with stakeholders. Ideon Science Park is now actively working with Invest in Skåne to find more opportunities for soft landing agreements this autumn.
The goal is that relationships are deepened and that tenants like BNU-BCUM and other international guests quickly realize the benefits of being more permanently placed in an innovative environment like Ideon Science Park. A soft landing agreement with BNU-BCUM is means that we are building relationships, not only with this university, but with a whole network of Chinese universities and science parks, as well as the companies in the Chinese parks, which our Ideon companies can benefit from. We hope to create many interesting connections, says Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park.
BNU-BUCM National University Science Park–Hengqin Innovation Institute of Science and Technology is a newly established science park about 30 minutes by air from Hong Kong. The purpose of the soft landing agreement is to have a base of operations in Sweden and in Skåne in order to find exciting innovations for collaboration with Chinese companies. Areas they are particularly interested in are innovations in water, energy and smart cities.
Want to know more about our soft landing-service? Contact us!
MatchIT, an EU funded project got the green light earlier in 2018. The project aims to connect 100 IT educated candidates with companies at Ideon Science Park as well as throughout Skåne and Blekinge.
On August 22, MatchIT had its kickoff at Ideon Science Park! Here, the 28 new students, who will receive an intensive education at Lund University, were introduced to the different organizations involved in the project including Ideon Science Park, Lund University, Arbetsförmedlingen and Region Skåne as the project owner.
The goal is that the students will strengthen their IT education and skills to a level equal to or greater than polytechnic level (Yrkeshögskola). They will focus on Java but will learn other programming logics, agile methodology, CV writing and interview skills as well as improving their Swedish.
Following the education, there will be a 10-week internship beginning February 4th, 2019. During the fall and winter, there will be other activities aimed at introducing the students to companies, work life and what it’s like to be a part of a Swedish organization. These activities include After Work social events, company presentations to the students, site visits to companies in the Lund and Malmö area, case studies where the students will be challenged to solve some of the real-life challenges that companies face.
Internship at Sigma Connectivity
This kind of project works! Last year, there was a small test group of students of which more than 75% are now employed, one of them is Mohamed Gharibe, who got an internship at Sigma Connectivity:
“From a student point of view, the program was really good. It was really good practice for me as a newly graduated computer engineer from a foreign country, to have a connection with many great companies in this area, and actually that was the biggest benefit from the course”, Mohamed says.
“I joined Sigma Connectivity as an Embedded Software developer, which was pretty much far left field compared to the contents of the course at Lund University. Sigma is a place with many different project types, and it was easy for me to change direction, because of the foundation I had gotten from the course.”
Want to add IT talents to your team?
We are looking for companies who are interested in being a part of this project, in a small or big way. If you think this sounds interesting, whether you can think to take in an intern or not, please reach out to Neal Greenspan, Project Manager at Ideon Science Park for MatchIT.
By Jonas Michanek, entrepreneur and writer, and working for Ideon Science Park on an assignment as acting Incubator Manager at the Roar Nigeria Hub.
Did you know that Nigeria has around 200 million people? Did you know that it will be the world’s third most populated country in around 30 years? Did you know that Facebook and Google are starting to invest heavily in Nigeria? I did not. But now I do. And here are some other things I learned about when working in Nigeria.
Since November 2017, I have had the privilege to work for Ideon Science Park in Lund on an assignment in Nigeria. The assignment was to start the first university-based startup Incubator and Science Park at The University of Nigeria (UNN), in Nsukka. If you have read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, then you know the setting. UNN is set on the Nigerian countryside with red soil, banana and mango trees, cassava plantations and great views of trees and jungle. And in the middle of that a lively campus with around 40.000 students where all the students, the faculty and their families are part of the campus. The whole city of Nsukka is basically the campus with the staff and services needed to run this academic microcosmos. The concept is very similar to another school I have attended, Duke University in the USA.
I have been to Africa many times before but never to Nigeria. Here are some of the most important things I learned.
Seventh most populated country in the world
When I ask people in Sweden to guess on how many people live in Nigeria – they often say about around 40-60 million. So did I. There are various numbers circulating – everything from around 180 million to some people arguing that it is even 250 million people. It is now the 7th most populated land in the world – the most populated in Africa – and is estimated to pretty soon being the third most populated country in the world. As population growth is one other big driver of economic growth, the middle class is growing steadily in Nigeria. As Hans Rosling writes in his fantastic book Factfulness, that this is a huge potential for global companies, with much greater potential than many western countries. If you are willing to take the risk…
And for example, Hanna Einarsson is. She is a Swede who started Oriflame in Nigeria and made a big impact, but wanted to do her own thing. So, she started Tribute – a perfume company for the Nigerian population. She saw that the creams and perfumes from Europe did not work so well in the warm weather and did not fit perfectly into the tastes of the Nigerian woman (who wanted stronger and more colorful scents). She is now enjoying tremendous growth with her lifestyle brand in Lagos, maybe (in my opinion) the coolest city in Africa besides Johannesburg, Cape Town or Nairobi.
Small economy – ready for the next step
Even though Nigeria has a great population, the economy in monetary terms is still small. For example, the GDP of Nigeria is only a little more than half of that in Sweden, with it’s 10 million population. And this makes it a market for cheap mass market products. As one of the directors of the leading Nigerian incubator CC Hub in Lagos, Tunji Eleso, told me: “There is a huge market, but still people have very little money. So, the startups we work with have to have “must-have”-solutions at a very, very low price. And go mass market. In 5-10 years, we might have a middle class of size – that can pay more”. So, Nigeria is still a small economy mostly based on the oil industry. But an economy that can be boosted with the right investments in infrastructure.
Infrastructure is still key
It is basic growth economics, but what is the key to economic development in Nigeria? It is infrastructure. As water, electricity and internet (mobile or land-based) is functioning only on and off – it really matters. It is hard to do business today without these services in place. Do you know you know what I experienced as being the biggest problem? Lack of internet. You can have electricity going on and off, because there are batteries and generators. But if the internet is not working (or is really slow or you cannot afford to pay for more mobile connection) – you cannot work in the startup world of today. And most of the incubator attendees have ideas involving internet, mobile and/or software. So, my advice to both the government of Nigeria and companies who want to locate in Nigeria – make sure that the internet works!
Mobile and drones will help Nigeria take a big leap
Even though Nigeria is not yet a booming economy, everybody pretty much has a phone. And it is mostly not phones like iPhones or Samsungs – it is Tecnos and Infinixs. The most used communication tool is WhatsApp. So, make sure you have it installed if you are entering Nigeria.
Facebook also have a huge user base and is a good tool for marketing. So mobile is big. And so are drones! As the roads are very bad in many areas, drone delivery is not a nice to have as when you see the Amazon commercials. Here it is for real. And a big business opportunity for companies. As well as a serious help for emergency situations and for the military. Because of the situation when it comes to infrastructure, Nigeria will skip some development steps and probably take the lead in areas like drones, mobile services for farming, solar panel solutions for rural areas etc.
The youth – the talent – the treasures
Nigerians are a young population, the median age is 17.9 years. And they are well educated, the country is bound to boom financially. Mark Zuckerberg has for example invested in Nigeria’s most prominent startup, Andela, which is mainly a software outsourcing company. I think that Nigeria is where India was maybe 15 years ago in this area. And think about what happened to for example Wipro and Infosys – these Indian companies are global star players today. Nigeria has the same potential. And this time, Nigeria has a great opportunity to learn from the ideas and shortfalls of others. Because of the internet, students can get the latest knowledge online, as well as the latest software code for free. President Muhammadu Buhari has called the Nigerian youth lazy. I think that Nigeria’s future lies in the hands of the youth, they are Nigeria’s treasure chest, not the old political and/or company structures. To get a taste of the talent, please look at the startups at the Roar Nigeria incubator that I have been part of.
So, would I invest in Nigeria? Yes, but I would use local help to get settled. As in all countries you have to get to know the local business culture. How to communicate in the best way. How to manage the work-place. And I would go for the new tech communities with young people having a global outlook. Nigeria is not only a huge market – it is also competing with South Africa of being the African leader and the door to Africa. So, if you make it here, you can make it everywhere in Africa.
/Jonas Michanek, entrepreneur and innovation writer from NEW working for Ideon Science Park
Interested in doing business in Nigeria?
If you are planning to invest, locate your business or just want to do some research into the Nigerian market, please join Ideon for the Swedish Innovation Delegation in October. A handful Swedish companies will go together to meet companies, universities, government agencies and lots of talented students. The goal is to start closer business relation and partnership with the Nigerian market.
With the Ideon Mentorship Program we want to connect the experienced leaders in the park with entrepreneurs who want to learn how to grow their business. The mentors, the experienced leaders, have serious scale-up skills to teach and important connections to offer to the right mentee. By helping each other they can both grow and who knows – it could be the start of something fantastic! Here’s your chance to get to know one of our fantastic mentors, Charlotta Falvin!
I’ve worked with so many great entrepreneurs and seen fantastic companies grow. Being a mentor at Ideon gives me the opportunity to meet and inspire a new bunch of great people.
Charlotta Falvin has a Master’s degree in Business administration and economics from Lund University. After she graduated she has had many positions as consultant and manager at various companies, one of them being Axis Communications. She has been the CEO of Zi Corporation, Decuma AB and TAT AB, a company that started at Ideon.
She has been part of the Board of Directors of more than ten companies, like MultiQ International, Axis Communications and INVISIO Communications and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of seven companies like Barista Fair Trade Coffee, Ideon Open and Teknopol AB. Currently she is Board Member of companies like Net Insigt, CLX Communications and Bure Equity.