35 years since the start of Sweden’s first science park

June 11, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon

On June 9th, 1983, the groundbreaking for Sweden’s first Science Park – Ideon – took place! The area, Pålsjö meadows, looked very different then, as the name hints, it was mostly meadows and farmland.

The groundbreaking was made by Gun Hellsvik, chairman of Lund Municipality, Nils Hörjel, Governor of the County Administrative Board of Skåne and Nils Stjernquist, principal of Lund University.

Since then, the park has grown and today we are 400 companies and 9000 sharp minds working on creating the future, together!

Meet our Mentors – Staffan Gestrelius, co-founder of Qliktech

June 4, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon

Ideon Science Park has been mentioned as one out of 13 brain belts where the smartest people in the world live and work. Let´s make even more use of that! 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 is your chance to get to know one of our amazing mentors – Staffan Gestrelius – a bit better.

Staffan Gestrelius
Staffan Gestrelius

Staffan Gestrelius has a Master of Science degree in Technical Physics and a BA in Business Administration from the University of Lund. After 10 years at the university and another 10 years at big companies Gestrelius co-invented the interactive graphical interface QlikView, which led to the creation of QlikTech International AB, where he also worked as CEO for the first six years.

Staffan Gestrelius was IT Manager at Astra Draco when he founded QlikTech in 1993 with Björn Berg.
“We did a consultancy work for Astra Draco. It became such an exciting product that we could apply for a patent, “says Staffan Gestrelius to Sydsvenskan in an article from 2010.

Qliktech expanded, but much of the revenue came from consulting work.
“The most critical point was the mid 1990s. For many years, when we carried out the balance between developing and providing us with consultancy work, Staffan Gestrelius says in the article.

In 2001, Staffan founded the company Capish and now serves as Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Board. Capish is a software company developing innovative products for data integration and data exploration. He is also involved in various degree in several other companies in the region.

How it works

Each mentor will offer a total of ten hours of mentoring during 2018 and to win the award – two hours in a one on one meeting with each mentor – you need to compete with the winning argument of why it should be you!

You as a mentee will be responsible for booking the meetings and prepare scaleup related questions to discuss. At the end of the year, the mentee will provide Ideon with feedback about what they learned, you will also be featured in social media stories during the year.

Five lucky winners will be awarded the 35th Anniversary Mentorship Award on the evening of September 28, when we celebrate 35 years of innovations in the park.

Who can apply?

The mentorship program is open for applications for entrepreneurs who are currently at Ideon Science Park.

So what are you waiting for, apply today for the chance to a one-on-one conversation with Staffan!

Apply to the Ideon Mentorship Program

Have you tried the outdoor office at MHC?

May 29, 2018WeAreIdeon

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and you are sitting inside at an office. Why not take the next meeting outside instead? There are many cafés and inner gardens at Ideon where you can sit and enjoy the weather. One of these places is the outdoor office at MHC where they have solar panels generating electricity for your laptop (and some needed shade as well).

Grab a coffee at the café and give yourself some needed air and Vitamin D!

Utekontor MHC
The outdoor office


Solar panels power the electricity oulets

How to get there?

MHC is located at Mobilvägen 10 in Lund and the building is managed by Vasakronan.

The easiest way is to use the walkway/bike lane below the E22 or get of the bus at the stop Höjdpunkten.

Want to know more? Contact the team at Vasakronan!

How to use the value tree to communicate the right values to your customers

May 17, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

“You don’t realize how much you need this until you actually do the work”, this was said by Vala Zulfiu, Marketing & Communications Specialist at Sensative AB about the value tree workshops they had with Carin Madsén Kollberg a few months earlier. She accompanied Carin at the Marketing and Sales network to talk about and shared her experiences from working with value proposition design and how it has helped the team at Sensative.

Carin Madsén Kollberg
Carin Madsén Kollberg

Carin Madsén Kollberg came to our network to give us an introduction on how to define product’s different values and structure a tree. “When we communicate about a product, we are often good at describing the product’s values on a high level and the functions down in the product, but not how they are linked. The tree creates these connections and can be used to, communicate with customers in a better way to create trust”, Carin said.

Carin used a special water bottle as an example during the workshop for everyone to focus on when finding the values. “Customers are looking at the product in different ways. Some are interested in technical features, other in what gains the product will give or what it can bring as future possibilities. In this workshop we will put them together”, Carin said. “When you have built your value tree you can pick out the “right” values that help the customers with their challenges. “What you pick and highlight depends on the customers and their needs. You need to focus on the problems in that customer’s type of market”, Carin said.

“When talking to customers they will find appeal in different aspects of the value tree, like value or realization. You can see how it is all linked together, and so can they, but they might be persuaded by different values.”

Creating a value tree is a continuous job

“It is important that you bring a diverse team to the table when you do the value tree, so that they represent different parts of the organisation. Do it in at least two sessions, so that you will have time to reflect between the sessions”, Carin said.

Now it was time get to the practical parts of the workshop! We started by writing down all the benefits of the product, then grouped them into two categories; closer to the product or closer to the customer. The next step was to group the benefits into realisation, features, concept and values.

“When you have done this, you will have a tool where you can create the right messages to your different customer groups. Focus on your customer’s pains and gains, because if you can fix those you will more easily connect with the customer”, Carin explained.

Vala Zulifu, Sensative
Vala Zulifu, Sensative

“You must do this work continuously, you need to have a review process in place. The markets are changing so quickly and you need to be agile. But if you have learned the tool, you can make the updates continuously. The features might change and develop, but the customer values are less likely to change as often. With the tree, the values are connected to why we can say these things, you can follow the chain. Many companies are good at talking about customer values and the features, but there are usually steps missing and this is where the tree can help you”, Carin finished.

“After doing this value tree workshop we decided to take some time to make a communications plan that complements the marketing plan and that makes sure that our departments align. And having it in a visual way helped us a lot as an organisation”, Vala said.

The workshop was appreciated by all participants and some members in the network talked about coming together and helping each other to make create a value tree for their companies. Are you interested in finding out more about value proposition design? Find out more in the book “Value Proposition Design” or contact Carin for support.

Workshop marketing and sales network
Workshop marketing and sales network

About our speaker

Carin Madsén Kollberg has a unique background as both computer scientists and communicator and long experience as Project Manager and in communicating technical solutions, both external and internal. You can contact her at +46 709 302 684 or cmk@crossroad.se.

Are you intested in growing your network and knowledge within marketing and sales? Thein join our network and connect with us in our Facebook group!


Neal Greenspan will lead the MatchIT project connecting IT talent to companies

May 16, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

Ideon Science Park is happy to tell you that we have a new member in our team! Since early March, Neal Greenspan has been leading the EU funded project called MatchIT.

Neal Greenspan
Neal Greenspan

MatchIT will select 28 people to undergo a complimentary education at Lund University focused on IT skills with the main content being Java. These 28 students will then be placed as interns at companies around Skåne who have a need for a recently educated Java programmer.

Neal’s role will be to recruit these companies and get them involved in the process to help make the students as attractive as possible and the course as valuable as possible. A cooperative effort between Ideon Science Park, Region Skåne, Lund University and Arbetsförmedlingen, this is a pilot program which could lead to a country wide initiative within a few years.

There are many ways to get involved! If you’d like more information about how you can participate or if your company is interested in being involved in any way, especially with accepting an intern in February 2019 with the goal of hiring them if they’re a good fit, please contact Neal today at neal.greenspan@ideon.se.

Endurance is the key to success – Jon Hauksson at Sharp Minds Sessions

May 14, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon

“I am happy I didn’t know about all the hard work it would take, even if I am glad for the results today”. This was said by Jon Hauksson at our Sharp Minds Session last week. During this breakfast, we met with Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel and Anders Bengtsson, one of the investors in the company. The conversation focused on the ups and downs of Storytel, the relationship between the founders and the investors and what attracts an investor to a company.


“This image is from 2005, very early in our journey. We borrowed a corner at the Storyside stand to showcase our product, then called Bokilur. You can see me and Jonas Tellander, co-founder and CEO of Storytel. We later bought Storyside in 2013.”

Storytel was founded in 2005 by Jonas Tellander and Jon Hauksson, but the company was called Bokilur back then. Jon explained that they had plans to work together with Audible as a partner in the Nordic countries, but the deal was cancelled at the last minute. “We were sad about it for a while, like four hours, and then decided to start our own company”, Jon said with a laugh. “Jonas was working from Switzerland and me from a basement in Staffanstorp and I was getting bored so I went to Ideon Innovation to join the incubator and get an office”, Jon explained how the company ended up at Ideon. “We have our head office in Stockholm today, but some development is still done here in Lund”, he commented.

How did Anders and Jon meet?

“Jonas Sjögren believed in us and invested in our company for many years, but finally he asked us to find other investors and that is how we met Anders,” Jon explained.

“I met Jonas Tellander and Jon at a meeting with Connect Syd. They were on time, which is a very good start,” Anders said. He went on to explain that even though he didn’t know much about streaming services, he was familiar with the publishing industry and he saw that digitalization was coming. This, combined with the opportunity to invest together with two other angel investors from Connect, made him decide to invest in Storytel. Another important aspect for Anders was that he believed in Jonas and Jon and that they were well prepared and had a balanced forecast.

What is a good investor like?

Today, Jon does not have an active role in Storytel, he has instead moved forward as an angel investor himself. Anders still has interests in Storytel and comments that he enjoys the service very much and listens to quite a few audiobooks, especially thrillers. Does Jon have any advice on what to focus on when looking for investors?

If you are looking for an investor, make sure that they believe in you, was the message. “You don’t want investors who only see you as a money maker, you want people who believe in your company and idea,” Jon said.

What do the investors look for?

“I am interested in a long-term relationship when I invest, but I also look at the management and the forecast of the company” Anders explained.

He also said that if you can, you should invest in 8-10 companies to spread the risks, otherwise venture capital funds might be a better option. He too, focused very much on the person behind the company before he made a decision to invest.

“If I like the idea, then I start to look at the person or the team in the company. They have to have endurance, that is the most important factor for me”, Jon said.

Do you want Jon as a mentor?

If you want more business advice from Jon, apply to the Ideon Mentorship Program! He and four other Sharp Minds will meet with five lucky entrepreneurs in 1-1 sessions and the program is open for applications for all Ideon companies with the mindset to grow. Apply here!

Want to know more about Jon? Then read our article, Meet our Mentors – Jon Hauksson.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the upcoming Sharp Minds Sessions:

  • September 11 with Staffan Gestrelius, co-founder of Qlik, and Charlotta Falvin, renowned CEO and Board member.
  • November 20 with Pierre Elzouki, co-founder of Scalado and  Martin Gren, co-founder of Axis.

Meet our mentors – Jon Hauksson

May 3, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon

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! Meet our first mentor – Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel and now angel investor!

Jon Hauksson has a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Lund University. In 2005 he co-founded Storytel Sweden AB together with Jonas Tellander who is the current CEO. In the beginning, the company was called Bokilur.

“This image is from 2005 when me and co-founder Jonas Tellander were offered to borrow a corner at the Storyside stand to showcase our product. Later on, we actually bought Storyside”, Jon explains.

Bokilur at a fair in 2005
Bokilur at a fair in 2005

Until recently, Jon was the Technical Manager of Storytel. During the last couple of years Jon has been acting as an Angel Investor for many startups and has now stepped down from the operational role in Storytel. Some of the startups that he has invested in are Delibr, Elobina, Dream Troopers AB (where he is also a Board Member) and Beatly.

About his role as a mentor in the program, Jon has this to say:

“I am in the program to share, meet interesting entrepreneurs, learn new things and hopefully find companies to invest in.”

So what are you waiting for? Apply for the program today!

Sharp Minds Sessions with Jon Hauksson and investor Anders Bengtsson

Want to know more about Jon and his journey with creating Storytel? Then don’t miss the Sharp Minds Session on May 8th! Here, we will hear the story about Storytel and how Anders Bengtsson came to invest in the company. What has the relationship between entrepreneur and investor been like? What was it that grabbed Ander’s interest in the first place? How are Jon and Anders collaborating today? This and more at our first session May 8th at Edison Park. Sign up here!

Nils Rydbeck – a visionary leader at Ericsson envisioned phones that would fit into a matchbox

April 26, 2018Ideon35, WeAreIdeon

(foto: Johan Wessman, 2008)

#IDEON35 Nils Rydbeck was head of development in Lund for the team developing cell phones at Ericsson here at Ideon. Here he is showing off the Hotline phones; Hotline 900A came in 1986, as did the smaller NMT 900 c, which used battery, contact and charger from the company’s police radio. To the far right you can see the GH 172 which came in 1992 and was Ericsson’s first GSM phone.

The Ericsson lab at Ideon was opened on September 29, 1983. Nils Rydbeck became the head of development in 1985.
“My vision was to create freedom – in every pocket. When others asked how many would use mobile phones, we talked about how many mobile phones each person would have in the future”, said Nils in an interview with Sydsvenskan in 2008.

Mats Lindoff, later the head of technology at Sony Ericsson, offers this description of his first meeting with Rydbeck while Lindoff was a young researcher: “I was working in the computer department at the Lund Engineering faculty and would probably have stayed on there. But then Nils Rydbeck came to see me and a number of other young engineers and showed us the new mobile phone that ERA had developed. It looked like a police radio and was pretty large and cumbersome. ‘In 10 years it will all fit into a matchbox,’ he said. I went in to my professor’s office and said goodbye and thanks for everything. Then I started working in a shed at Ideon along with 25 others.”

More on the story of Ericsson

Slottsmiddagen som gjorde Lund till mobilcentrum (Sydsvenskan, 19 september 2008)

Ericsson history, complications

How public private partnerships can help us reach the 17 sustainable development goals for the world

April 25, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

Reflection from our CEO, Mia Rolf, on public-private partnerships

Last week, I had the honour to be a member in a panel discussion at the World Association for Sustainable Development in the Palais de National, the UN centre in Geneva. The topic was Partnership for innovation and they called it ”a crazy mixed meeting”. This crazy mix included different UN organisations, non-profit organisations like WHO and representatives from the private sector, and the focus of the meeting was how to enhance the Public Private Partnership (PPP) within different fields.

Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park
Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park

You may have heard of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a UN Summit. Over the next fifteen years, with these new goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. Everyone agrees that change must happen quicker than today and in order to achieve this, the UN must get support from private companies, as well as citizens and non-profit organisations.

In the panel about PPP activities to support innovation, I participated representing Ideon Science Park and Sweden. The moderator was Jonas Svensson, the UNOPS global director of Innovations, and the panel also included representatives from the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, USA, Zound Industries, Sweden, the private investor Atomica, UK, Humanitarian Innovations at Innovation Norway and the non-profit organisation Ocean Generation. In this group we all agreed that there is a need to define exactly what we mean with the term innovation. But I leave that for now.

No profit – no tax. No tax – no science. No science – no innovations. No innovations – no economic growth

From the reactions of the audience, I learned that private companies are not always let into the inner circle – they are perceived by many as dangerous, greedy and should be treated with suspicion. Especially wanting to generate a profit was something of a warning sign. This pushed my buttons, as I know that by striving to create a profit, companies can grow and create more jobs and become a growth engine in a region. My answer to one man, admitting he actually saw profit as something evil, was:

”Then I have a message from Sweden and the Scandinavian countries. No profit – no tax. No tax – no science. No science – no innovations. No innovations – no economic growth.” OK, I might have made it look all streamlined and easy, but I still mean it. Of course, Sweden is lucky to have many successful founder families that donated large amounts of money into science research, but this money came from some kind of profit. Another example is Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA, who were important donors in creating Ideon Science Park 35 years ago.

In fact, there was an interesting analysis made by Andrew Brown, Quid Europe, that the most driving sector towards all the 17 SDGs were actually happening in the private sector. Today, many large and medium sized companies, as well as startups, have made it their core business to save the world in some way, which is truly fantastic. Doing good, while doing business.

We are all in this together

Creating a healthy and productive Public Private Partnership (PPPs) is not easy, we all have different perspectives and incentives. But PPPs have in fact been a success factor in the growth of Ideon Science Park over the years, supporting the development of almost 1 000 new companies, and a long range of deep tech innovations. So here are my recommendations for a better PPP:

  1. Make sure that you put together a diverse mix competences, gender, age and nationalities when you gather a team or meeting members for input on how to develop your organisation. The different perspectives alone will be a starting point for creating understanding, respect and trust and could grow into partnerships over time.
  2. Acknowledge that we are all in the same boat (world) together, so we might as well put an effort in to paddling in the same direction. Find you role and the role of your organisation in this one team.
  3. Connect to national and international initiatives to make the most of the partnerships and contribute to the SDGs and the world.
  4. Be proud. Tell the success stories to inspire others to pitch in and make a difference.

And remember, we are all in this together. No one can save the world alone.

//Mia Rolf, CEO of Ideon Science Park

Want to know more?

Here are some links to find out more and connect with the UN:

Find out more about the conference, Public private partnerships for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations System

Sustainable development goals

Ideon launches mentorship program for entrepreneurs

April 12, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon


Ideon, Sweden’s first Science Park, celebrates 35 years during 2018 and in order to celebrate the Ideon spirit, where we all help and support each other in the park, we are now launching a mentorship program where successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders will offer advice and connections to selected entrepreneurs.

The program will be open for everyone who has a business at Ideon today and they can sign up to be a mentor or a mentee. To kick-start the program and celebrate a bit extra during the anniversary, Ideon has enlisted prominent Ideon figures to be the first mentors; Martin Gren, co-founder of Axis Communications, Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel, Charlotta Falvin, experienced CEO and experienced board member, Pierre Elzouki, co-founder of Scalado and Staffan Gestrelius, co-founder of QlikTech.

”With the Ideon mentorship program, we want to connect the experienced leaders in the park with entrepreneurs who want to learn more about how they can grow their business. The mentors, the experienced leaders, have great knowledge to share and a large network that they can offer the mentees. By helping each other, they both grow and who knows, this could be the start of something amazing!” says Mia Rolf, CEO of Ideon Science Park.

The mentorship program with the five mentors starts in September and the program will then continue after the turn of the year, and then all Ideon employees will have the opportunity to sign up as a mentor or mentee to exchange experiences and ideas.

”Ideon has meant a lot for me on my entrepreneurial journey and now I look forward to sharing my learnings to hungry Ideon entrepreneurs asking me wise questions”, says Martin Gren.

Who can apply?

Entrepreneurs who have companies at Ideon Science Park can apply for the program, and in the application, they will write down information about their growth goals, backgrounds and reasons as to why they should win a place in the program.

Announcement of winners

Five mentees will be selected by the mentors and the winners will be presented during the Ideon anniversary party on September 28th.

Read press relase here

Find more information and apply for the program here!