Digital incubator environment for scaleups
Automation Region is participating in a number of different projects which aim to stimulate innovation and growth. This spring we are looking at some of these projects in more detail, and the first up is Swesa – an investment which includes a digital incubator for growth companies in the energy sector.
Swesa Sweden Energy Accelerator is a subproject under the major initiative Eliv, “world-class energy solutions”, which is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. Automation Region, the Create incubator and the growth hub Synerleap are working together to develop a business package for upscaling business ideas relevant to the energy sector.
“The aim of the programme is to help scaleup companies to produce a clear and structured growth plan,” says Erik Jonuks, business developer at Create and project manager for the business package. “The companies that undergo the programme are better prepared to receive external funding for further development. At the same time, we improve their capacity as suppliers for the energy sector.”
Automation Region’s task is to identify companies which may be of interest for further financing from the Energy Agency. At the same time, Automation Region’s company network and various activities constitute a valuable resource in terms of expertise and potential collaborations for growing companies.
“Cutting-edge technology is not enough if new energy-related innovations are to have an impact; a scalable commercial strategy is also necessary,” explains Daniel Boqvist, project manger at Automation Region. “Our members have a tremendous pooled experience of both technical and business-driven solutions. Something very exciting happens when experience and knowledge from different areas come together in discussions on common challenges.”
Digital incubator environment
The programme is run with the help of a digital learning platform which is supplemented with three training days in Västerås.
“Young companies in a growth phase often have difficulties setting aside time for physical meetings,” says Erik Jonuks. “A digital incubator environment means that we can offer a clear process with a training package and deadlines which the companies can work with on their own terms.”
The programme consists of three training modules:
- Scaleup – are you ready? Going from startup to scaleup; developing a strategy for upscaling.
- Organisation – the structural aspects which are crucial in order to develop the company at a high pace and in a controlled manner.
- Team – attracting, maintaining and developing a good team. Concrete tools for using a team’s full potential.
In addition to the modules, the companies receive support with raising capital, business law, marketing, and matching with customers. They also gain access to testbed environments.
Recruitment in progress
Four companies are currently participating in a pilot round and the goal for 2019 is that a further 20 companies will undergo the programme. The process of identifying and recruiting new companies is in full swing.
“We are looking for companies with an existing product or service with a turnover,” sys Erik Jonuks. “They must have a team of employees and a clear goal to scale up. The programme is designed to complement their existing business plan with a strategy for growth.
The following companies are participating in the pilot round:
- Freelway – cooperation and sharing for sustainable transport – www.freelway.com
- Graphmatech – hybrid materials and services based on graphene – www.graphmatech.com
- Robotic Lawn Care – robotic lawnmowers for multiple surfaces – www.roboticlawncare.se
- Eskilstuna biogas – biogas production vehicle operation – www.eskilstunabiogas.se
The project will run until 2020, after which we hope that the concept will be fully developed and can stand on its on feet, without external funding.
“We have built up a digital environment with a good model for how we package and deliver knowledge,” Erik Jonuks concludes. Here, we have a structural capital which can be used within several programmes and by other actors.
Are you interested in participating in the programme? Further information can be found at www.scalehere.com.
The Create incubator helps startups in Västmanland and Sörmland with business coaching, skills development, networking and funding. Further information: www.create.se.