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!


Students from the Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be taking over our Instagram account next week

March 16, 2018News, WeAreIdeon

#INSTATAKEOVER Next week, two students from the Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Lund University will be taking over our Instagram account to show us what they are doing, what projects they are working on and tell us about the Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship (SKJCE). We met up with the students, Antonia Mühlbauer and Gisele Azad, as well as faculty member Lottie Norrsén from the SKJCE.

Can you tell me a bit about the Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Master’s programme?

-We are a hub for entrepreneurship at Lund University. Our aim is to advance both entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship research. We focus on the areas of teaching, research and societal engagement. Our current research projects include: Refugee and Immigrant Entrepreneurship, New Venture Teams, The Entrepreneurial Process, Social Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Learning.

-We teach students how to be better entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs. We teach at all levels from basic courses to our Masters programme and PhD level, to commissioned education.

-Our flagship in terms of education is our Masters Programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Master’s Programme has 55 students, divided into two tracks; New Venture Creation and Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation. We have 75-85% international students in the programme and 40% of the students are women.

It must be a popular program; do you have many applicants?

-This year we had approximately 1700 students applied and 55 were accepted. We look at grades and experience from work and entrepreneurship. The applicants also have to submit a statement of purpose and a video.

You have a demo day at Ideon, what is that?

-The Demo Day is the crescendo of the programme, this year it is scheduled for May 25th, so mark your calendars! This is the time where the students present the startup that they have launched during the year.

-Another great upcoming event is Dragons at the University, a competition where students from the Master’s programme, VentureLab’s incubator companies and other students from Lund University get the chance to pitch their business ideas for venture capitalists – the “Dragons”.

How many companies are created each year?

-We create entrepreneurs, not companies. All of our students continue as entrepreneurs in some way, either in the project they create during their studies, or they join another start-up, some become social entrepreneurs, some join larger companies and some continue their studies. We are not an accelerator, we focus on the development of the individual. But if you want to know of some successful students, we can mention ApParkingSpot as well as BookBoost, Renjer, NordGrona, Nattaro Labs, Suntribe, Kever Genever, Pow Unity and Uniti as some great examples.

Antonia and Gisele, can you tell me a bit more about yourselves?

-We are writing our theses on female immigrant entrepreneurship and prototyping in entrepreneurial opportunity recognition. Besides, we are setting up our own business, Femcrunch, a software tool to support gender equality in corporations. We want to show you how we as a team experience the startup journey in Sweden while studying our masters. We have a lot to do in a week, from networking to preparing for client meetings, brainstorming about our marketing and of course, writing our thesis!

-I, Gisele, come from the Netherlands and have worked in a big media agency, for a NGO and I started my first business last year.

-I, Antonia, am German and have worked in corporations doing tax consulting and IT related project management. We want our company to tackle a social problem while being profitable as well.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow everything next week on our Instagram account!

Find out more about the Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Christmas greetings from our CEO Mia Rolf

December 20, 2017News, WeAreIdeon

Thank you all for a fantastic 2017 at Ideon Science Park!

At Ideon Science Park we are several organisations working hard every day to make this the best place to be if you want to change the world. As we are coming to the end of the year, it is good to look back at what has happened to make sure that we are on the right track.

Mia Rolf outside Ideon Agora
Mia Rolf

During 2017, new large corporations have moved in, like TÜV Rheinland, Schneider Electric, Volvo Cars and Continental Automotive AB. Startups like Sensative, Vultus and Tendo been awarded and garnered interest from the media. Long time Ideon companies like BoneSupport and Terranet have been listed on the stock market. And the first company to be listed on First North outside of Stockholm, was Acconeer at a meeting in Malmö!

Beyond, the unique corporate accelerator run by Ideon Open and RISE, and Ideon Takeoff; the co-working space for Ideon Innovation alumni companies, have been opened. As have the new networks Ideon Marketing and Sales and the Medicon Valley Alliance Medtech.

Beyond Opening, Ecophon
Beyond Opening

In May, Ideon Innovation organized the event Yes Day, a day focused on female entrepreneurship. Ideon Innovation is also making waves with the Yes Way, a ground-breaking initiative for creating new platforms for female ideas, networks and business building.

Audience at the Yes Day
Audience at the Yes Day

But most heart-warming this year was the event Ideon Coder Kids, where ARM, Sony, Axis and Volvo Cars together helped 80 kids between 7 and 12 years to try their hand at programming! The joy and pride of the children showing their self-made games was priceless, and the co-operation between the companies in the park was fantastic!

Ideon Coder kids 2017
Ideon Coder kids 2017

What happens next year

Looking into 2018 we have new exciting things to look forward to.

Ideon will be helping University of Nigeria, Nsukka to set up a science park with Ideon as a model and we hope to open up a market for our companies. Special interests to Nigeria are off grid power solutions including solar panels. Other international relations with possible new markets are Colombia, Indonesia and Spain. Let us know if you have any interest here.

Closer relationships will be tied with the Swedish Energy Agency, through organisations here at Ideon who are collaborating with the agency, and by a venture called Energy Innovation Node South lead by us, to increase the number of energy related innovations in the region.

Next year we are also looking forward to celebrating 35 years of innovation and entrepreneurship here at Ideon! We hope you will join us in the celebrations and in creating the solutions for the next 35 years!

Spadtaget för Ideon 1983
The groundbreaking on 9th of June 1983, with Gun Hellsvik, Nils Hörjel and Nils Stjernquist 

Connect with us

If you are worried about missing out on all the fantastic news, don´t forget to register to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter. At @miarolf you can follow me on Twitter. Let me know if there is anything you think we can do better.

May the Christmas holidays be full of family, friends and relaxed private time, you have earned it. And please come back in January with the aim of creating the best year ever!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

All the best,

Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park

It’s as important to listen as to not listen – founder of Najell talks about their first five years

October 18, 2017News, WeAreIdeon

Next week, Najell takes over our Instagram account. Since they also celebrate five years this fall, we took the opportunity to have a chat with one of the founders, Niklas Najafi.

Niklas Najafi

You celebrate 5 years, how did you get started?

– My brother had gotten his first child and one night, my wife and I were trying to put their girl to sleep for the night. She could only fall asleep if we carried her, but every time tried to put her down in her bed, she woke up. Me and my wife started talking with other parents and realized that many had the same challenge, we saw an opportunity to solve this problem. From this, SleepCarrier was born, which is still our most popular product. In connection with that, I began to look around for support on how to start a company and got in touch with Ideon Innovation, where I joined the incubator program in in 2013.

– During the first year I focused on product development and started selling in the summer of 2014. It took a lot of time to build a network and find suppliers and manufacturers. The good thing about Ideon Innovation was that there were many entrepreneurs who were very active and dedicated, we supported each other.


Who else is working in the company?

– We are two full-time employees, myself and Anna Lagesson. We also have a trainee and we are looking to hire a resource to work with our marketing and communication.

What does the process look like when you are developing your products?

– Our product development is an open process. We include industry designers and architects, but also ask families as early as possible to test our ideas. At this point it is good to listen and to not listen, as we have to make the final decision ourselves about what will be a good product.

– One example is how we worked with our Baby Carrier that was released this spring. The process was quite similar to that when we developed SleepCarrier, we talked to parents to understand their challenges in carrying their child. Most responded that carriers were difficult to use and did not provide sufficient weight distribution. We started to look at what we could improve, and from there came our Baby Carrier. Our goal is to create things that are decidedly better than what is available on the market.

What have these past five years been like?

– The biggest challenge is to be able to manage a big and complex business with few resources. We sell to 18 markets and to be able to do it all with a small team is tough. The rewards come when we meet our customers and hear that they love our products!

Do you have any advice for those who are considering starting a business of their own?

– My advice is to focus on the calculation. If the business does not look great in your simplest calculations, find something else to focus on. Everything will take longer than you think, so unless the deal looks good from the start, it will be difficult. But if the forecast looks good, well then you’re well on your way.

– Zlatan has said; you should listen and not listen at the same time. You will meet many people who will tell you what to do, so pick and choose what you take to heart. You have to listen to yourself and find your own way, it is after all your business.

– Don’t forget to have fun while you work! This important, because it’s tough and will take time, so make sure that you are having fun in the meantime.

What does the future look like?

– Our main focus is on expanding our market, we want Najell to become a well-known brand among parents. This will allow us to grow and create more products.

What will you show us next week at Instagram?

– We will show a fairly typical week at Najell. We exhibit at a fair, have a photo session and of course work with sales and marketing. Welcome to follow us next week!

Find out more about Najell here

Follow Najell on our Instagram Account