Last week, we had a grand opening of Ideon Takeoff, a shared office space where startup companies leaving an incubator in Skåne can spend the next 1,5 years to grow their business with the support of Ideon Science Park. The rent is partly sponsored by the real estate owner Whilborgs and the benefit of sitting in a community with the same kind of challenges, becoming fully commercialized and a healthy growing company, is much appreciated.
“We want to make the transit from the Incubator to the Science Park easier for the companies. You will need to find new connections and new markets and that is what we at Ideon will help you with”, said Event and Delegations Manager Lotta Wessfeldt at the opening of Ideon Takeoff. “We listen to you to find out more about what your needs are so that we can help you grow. Ideon has 400 companies and over 9 000 people working here every day, so there are many useful contacts right here for you”.
“There are 400 companies here and a lot of interactions, but people don’t always see that. There are so many opportunities here and you can learn so much from other companies. At the moment we are three tech companies here at Ideon Takeoff” said Abtin Janinejad from Entowork.
”It is a better work environment. We have space to grow, and we work better here.” says Andy Trinh, programmer at Jibber, one of the companies at Ideon Takeoff
How it works
As a part of the support for SME companies in the park, Ideon Science Park offers a place to land when leaving an Incubator, which normally happens after 1,5 year. At this stage the company has probably found a working business concept and started to grow. Here, Ideon Takeoff offers a flexible office space, where startup companies leaving an incubator in Skåne can spend the next 1,5 years to grow up to maximum 6 persons.
”The companies here are pretty much in the same phase and that makes cooperation’s with each other easy, like finding finances or recruiting.” says Christian Ramel, one of the founders of Memlin.
”Yes, by sitting together like this, we are able to act as a bigger company than we really are” says Abtin Janinejad, founder of Entowork.
”We hope that some of the service and business providers that have supported these companies at the Incubator, want to continue the relationship and start to charge at a low, but growing scale.” says Lotta Wessfeldt.
”We are several organisations working hard to make this the best place to be if you want to change the world – and grow a company” Says Mia Rolf, CEO at Ideon Science Park. ”When we find such an obvious need, that could bridge the Valley of Death for SMEs, of course we need to act.”
Next week Jonas Michanek and the Nigerian incubator ROARwill be taking over our Instagram account. So we took the opportunity to talk with Jonas Michanek the current incubator manager for ROAR incubator.
Hey, Jonas Michanek, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
I am a serial entrepreneur and writer, that’s how I usually introduce myself in short. I started several companies, couple of NGOs and one foundation. Some of those companies are Idélaboratoriet, Food to happen and NEW, all of them have an innovation consultancy angle. One of the things that I have started that I am most proud of is a NGO called Social Entrepreneurship Forum (SE Forum). By now SE Forum is 15 years old and it’s headquarter is in Stockholm, but it works all over the world with social entrepreneurship. I have also written couple of books. One of them is the Idea Agent, which is a handbook of creative processes, which has been translated into 4-5 languages and is course literature all around Scandinavia. I have written books about entrepreneurship, about creative industry and how to develop creative industry on a regional level in Sweden and Europe.
If we are talking about my background I have a bachelor degree in Film and Literature, but I also have a master in Business Administration. I love sports, culture and business – I eat it all!
What is your assignment in Nigeria?
I am an Incubator Manager and I am going to help to develop the incubator ROAR Nigeria Hub. It has already started, but it is still in a very early phase. I am going to help with the creation of program, process, the organizational structure and make it an integral part of the Nigerian innovation eco system. It already has a great start because it is based in the great university University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).
Can you tell me more about the people that you are working with and about the incubator?
ROAR has 16 teams working in the incubator. Great guys, everything from agricultural tech (how to make the processing of cassava more efficient), to social media apps (like hairstyles swapping apps), to more socially based tickets sales for events, they also have a team with a drone idea. It’s a bit of a mixture, but most of them are concentrated around high tech.
What are you going to show us next week on the Instatakeover?
I think we will show off the teams and they are going to share what they are doing. If they have some questions about Sweden, we can get an exchange and a conversation going. There is a big conference next week IDEON Science Park: Lunda Vision 1st International Workshop, so we will show some short videos from it as well.
Can you tell us a bit more about the conference and its focus?
It is going to be an innovation conference and it’s the first big conference about innovation and science park development in Nigeria. The Lion Science Park (that ROAR is a part of) will be the university based science park in Nigeria. There is going to be a big Swedish-Nigerian knowledge exchange, because there is about 200-300 people coming.
Do you think it’s important and useful to connect the entrepreneurs from Ideon Science Park and Lion Science Park?
I think that from the Nigerian side there is already a lot of interest to connect, but I also think that there are some companies at Ideon that would be interested in such collaboration. The Nigerian companies want to get more knowledge and understanding about tech and for the Swedish companies I think it’s useful to understand the Nigerian and in parts the African market. So, I think there can be great opportunities and exchanges with such collaboration.
Follow Jonas and ROAR on Instagram next week (link)
Ideon Science Park in Lund, Sweden and the University of Nigeria Nsukka have signed an agreement where Ideon Science Park will provide guidance on how to set up innovation governance and science park management with the goal of establishing the first science park in Nigeria, The Lion Science Park, during 2018.
The University of Nigeria (UNN) is about to launch the first university-based science park in Nigeria and Ideon Science Park together with Lundavision AB and Lund University Commissioned Education is providing mentorship in this regard. In December 2017, UNN and Ideon Science Park signed an agreement on an incubator and science park management project, which will be delivered during 2018.
It all started with a program at Lund University Commissioned Education (LUCE) in February 2017, with entrepreneurship training, innovation system setup and science park management as part of the program. During this visit, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, Vice-Chancellor of UNN, identified Sweden and Ideon Science Park as the main partner in creating an innovation system in Nigeria and setting up the first science park on UNN Campus, called the Lion Science Park.
” Many innovations that have changed the world have their roots in universities. In partnering with Ideon Science Park, the first science park in the whole of Scandinavia, the University of Nigeria is leading efforts in setting up the first ever university-based Science Park in any Nigerian university to fast-track innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The University is prepared to take advantage of this partnership to advance the frontiers of teaching, research, entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystem and science park development in Nigeria” says professor Benjamin Ozumba, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
At the end of November 2017, the fifth African Union – European Union summit was held in Côte d’Ivoire to strengthen the political and economic ties between the European and African continents. The agenda included mobility and migration as well as cooperation on governance, but the main theme was economic opportunities for youth. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven represented Sweden.
Great to see the successful Swedish innovation system being brought to Africa to further unleash the potential of the continent. Both Nigeria and Sweden will benefit from this venture, says the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg.
“Ideon Science Park is well known internationally for our 34 year history of helping companies grow and the many innovations that have originated here”, says Mia Rolf, CEO Ideon Science Park. “Over 1,000 companies have started their journey here, supported by the Swedish innovation system and the Ideon method. We are looking forward to this collaboration and to build a close relationship with such an interesting market as Nigeria.”
The Swedish serial entrepreneur and innovation author Jonas Michanek will work with the first CEO of Ideon, Sven-Thore Holm, Lundavision AB and LUCE in this joint project. The actual terms of the agreement have been negotiated with the help of Innovation system expert Sven-Thore Holm, who was successful in influencing the Swedish government to create a national innovation system in the early 1980s, one which is still valid today. Sven-Thore Holm travelled to Nigeria several times during 2017 and the mentoring partnership between UNN and Sven-Thore Holm has attracted great interest from the Nigerian government.
Mr Michanek will be the operating incubator manager at UNN in Nigeria on assignment from Ideon Science Park. Sven-Thore Holm will be visiting the University of Nigeria every three months for the next year to help with his expertise and advice in fast-tracking the setup of the Lion Science Park.
“The potential of the talent at UNN is huge”, says Jonas Michanek. “This is one of the central hubs for the creation of the future for Nigeria.”
About University of Nigeria Nsukka
The University of Nigeria is setting up the first university-based Science Park in any Nigerian university to fast-track innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The University had, earlier in the year, established an Incubator (Roar Nigeria Hub) where young brains with great ideas will be mentored and nurtured and ideas with potential to serve a need would be helped to metamorphose into start-ups. In this effort, the University of Nigeria is partnering with the Ideon Science Park, Sweden with the hope of replicating their success story in Nigeria.
For more information, please contact:
Professor Benjamin Ozumba, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Phone: +234 708 861 7000, email: firstname.lastname@example.org