Next week, VentureLab will be taking over our Instagram account. So we took the opportunity to talk to Patricia Szolnoki, Communications Manager at VentureLab.
Hi Patricia, can you tell me a bit about VentureLab?
– VentureLab is part of Lund University and we empower students to create the future! Our office is at Ideon Agora where we have between 30-50 companies in our incubator each year. VentureLab is a free service any student at Lund University can use in the form of business advice meetings, workshops and networking events and can even apply to access our incubator. The latter is practically work-space for those entrepreneurial ideas that have a high potential and need more concentrated help, business coaching and the benefit of being in the Ideon-network every day. We have intake to our incubator 4 times a year and companies can stay up to one year.
Who are working at VentureLab? What are your backgrounds?
– We are currently three working full-time at VentureLab in Lund, one at Campus Helsingborg, three junior business advisors from LU Innovation, and we even have an affiliate in Alnarp at SLU. The three of us sitting at Ideon all have backgrounds at studying at Lund University, social sciences, communication and developmental studies with the occasional adventurous courses in geography, religion, linguistics and everything in between. Some of us have been part of startups and some are fascinated by them. Our common interest is to see a new generation of students succeed with their aspirations in creating their own opportunities and bring their amazing ideas to the public. We have all seen what encouragement for highly educated and ambitious students can do: John Henric, Tamam, Lunicore, Animus Home, IV-bracelet, Tendo and Vevios are just a few examples. We are working to support these ideas become reality and help these entrepreneurs start on their journey.
How many companies are with you right now?
– Currently, we have 26 companies sitting in the incubator. They exemplify the great diversity that Lund University stands for with entrepreneurial minds from all backgrounds and study disciplines. Some are starting online services, some are creating the next generation of smart living solutions, some are interested in the consumer market. What all have in common is a great drive and love of coffee!
What will you be showing us next week?
We’ll show you more of what it’s like here at the incubator, but we’ll also show you what’s happening at Lund Innovation Challenge, a three day innovation challenge where students from LTH and EHL will work together in teams to develop data-driven business ideas and prototypes aided by data from Bisnode. Join us!
Between May 29 and June 2, southern Sweden was buzzing with seminars, events, meetings and exhibitions about innovations. The week is organized by Region Skåne, and there were 140 activities taking place during the week. At Ideon, we hosted two whole day events, as well as a pitching contest within Health Tech. Here is a few highlights from the events.
The overall feeling that we felt during the days was hope. There are many great challenges going forward, but there are also many amazing entrepreneurs and innovators who want to make a difference, who want to contribute to a better world. And we want to be a part of that, together we can create a great future!
Per Persson, Director of the Department of Innovation & Economic Development at Lund Municipality started by saying that the municipality can’t do this on their own, collaboration is key in order to succeed with creating a truly smart city.
Eva Dalman, Project Manager for Lund Northeast/Brunnshög continued by saying that when creating this new part of Lund, they focus on finding innovative solutions.
“In order to achieve this, the developers need to collaborate with each other in order to get really innovative in order for us to give them the contracts”, Eva said.
Mats Larsson from IUC Syd started by describing the complex challenges that we are facing within the transportation system.
“This is a systemic challenge so we need system solutions for transportation, fuel and energy”, Mats finished.
There was also a long discussion afterwards where the audience talked about the benefits of different fuels, materials for batteries and the need for global strategies.
Nathalie Kinell from Clever talked about the need to support the resellers as the buyers of electric cars make many more trips to the car dealership before making a purchase.
She also talked about the many possibilities with IoT and big data, like being able to charge the car at home when there is the most energy in the system.
“The questions is, who should develop these solutions? The house developer, the energy supplier or the car manufacturer? There are many possibilities for collaboration”, Nathalie said.
Johan Bjurmar from Koenigsegg talked about the innovations needed to build the fastest car in the world.
This started as an idea 23 years ago, now it is reality. A focus on challenges and innovation is key
51 % of transports in cities are light enough and short enough to move by bike. With this statement, Staffan Solve from MOVEBYBiKE changed the focus from cars to bikes.
“One of the main advantages with using bikes for transporting goods is that they are not stationary in the city, they can move around everywhere and do not take up as much parking space as trucks and vans”, Staffan said.
Marianne Larsson from Innovation Skåne talked about how we can combine life science and connectivity, in order to can claim the area of Health tech in the Nordics. One of the ways to achieve this is by building a Nordic tech and test bed.
Eva Lidén from Bonesupport talked about the development of this company from research at Lund University to a now international health tech company. This is an area that will affect many people; 1/3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience at least one osteoporotic fracture in their life. One of the challenges is breaking in with a new product in a traditional market:
“It can be difficult to overcome tradition, what people are used to use. You need to have people who know how the market works, because every market is different”, Eva said.
Henrik Dahlin from IBM talked about Watson in healthcare. One of the main advantages in using Watson for diagnosis is that the computer can process huge amounts of data:
“A doctor needs to spend 29 hours each work day to absorb latest medical literature, compared to 3 seconds for Watson”, Henrik explained.
Our CEO Mia Rolf got a chip implanted in her hand by Biohax International at their NFC Implant Party. Hannes Sjöblad from BioNyfiken and Jowan Österlund from Biohax also talked about what you can do with a chip implanted in your hand. Mia wants to open doors without keys or tags with her chip, what would you like to do?
The Thursday started of with disruptive morning, with two speakers who are in the middle of disrupting their business area.
Before that, we got an introduction from Richard Dasher from Stanford University who gave his thoughts on what disruptive businesses will look like going forward.
Daniel Persson from Min Doktor talked about the journey that they are on and how digital solutions can support the doctors in their work.
Min Doktor was founded in 2013 by a doctor who saw the need for a new way of working and who saw that digitalization provided an opportunity to improve the situation for both patients and health professionals. Together with expertise in development and IT security, they have built up Min Doktor to become Sweden’s leading digital healthcare provider.
He had some advice as well for those who are thinking about starting a disruptive business:
Don’t be afraid, go for your dream!
Next, an old friend returned to Ideon, Jon Hauksson from Storytel, and he talked about their early days when the company was called “Bokilur”. One of the big game changers for Storytel was when Netflix and Spotify started to grow, then customers got used to subscribing to streaming services. From the start in 2005, Storytel have grown to an international company that have bought other publishing houses. And now they are even producing their own content; “Storytel Original stories”.
How technology saves the planet
Maria Sätherström-Lantz from WIN Water presented some interesting companies with great visions for the future.
Mats Eliasson from ReGen Villages talked about how they want to create a new version of a traditional village, an eco-community that is self-sufficient in terms of energy, waste and food production but highly connected in every way. There are plans for building in Lund as well, and we are looking forward to see those plans moving forward.
William Håkansson from Vultus descibed how they are using weather data, drones and machine learning to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides wihtin agriculture.
Today, 90 % of pesticides are wasted, William Håkansson
“This year, even we in Sweden will learn why we need to save water, we need a paradigm shift”, this was said by Sara Sterner from Orbital Systems. Based on founder Mehrdad Mahdjoubi’s work with the NASA Mars missions, Orbital Systems technology has a focus of reducing the waste of water.
Living and Working with Robots
With this session we wanted to have a conversation about what robotics, AI and Machine Learning is and how it will impact us going forward.
Klas Nilsson and Maj Stenmark from Cognibotics talked about what robots can and can not do and we learned that robots will take over some of our jobs in the future, but not always the ones we think.
“Simple jobs for a human, like cleaning, is not easy for a robot, because it requires adapting to new situations”, Maj Stenmark explained.
Per Sikö and Martin Gunnarsson from Jayway talked about how Artificial Intelligence is changing our world today, and gave a few predictions about the development in the future as well. Per also pointed out that it is easy to focus on the technology, when it is important to think about what the tech can do for the customer.
Mattias Fras from Nordea talked about the big changes that are happening within the financing sector.
“45 % of work in the global economy can be automated, but less than 5% of all jobs can be fully automated”, Mattias Fras said.
Mattias also offered some tips on finding success in this digital era:
Have guts, dare to try
Have an open mindset
Remove conventional waterfall development
Johan Wester hosted a panel discussion with representatives from Jayway, Cognibotics, Nordea and IUC Syd where the focus was on the opportunities, challenges and implications with robotics and AI. The panel didn’t always agree on what robots will be able to do in the future, and how creative jobs they can actually perform. But they all agreed on that the changes are here and that we as humans must change with it. Klas Nilsson summed it up quite well:
This discussion about loosing jobs to robots is wrong, changes like this have always occurred, Klas Nilsson