Corporate and startup collaboration is important for the environment

Ignite Sweden, in collaboration with North Sweden Cleantech, Uminova Innovation and Arctic Business Incubator, arranged the Ignite EnergyConfusion matchmaking, where startups had the opportunity to meet large companies.

On June 3 to 5, Skellefteå hosted Energy ConFusion, a mix of conference, event, fair and matchmaking with focus on energy solutions. Ignite Sweden, in collaboration with North Sweden Cleantech, Uminova Innovation and Arctic Business Incubator, arranged Ignite EnergyConfusion matchmaking, where startups met large companies from Sweden and Finland. Ignite Sweden is a national program that aims to boost collaboration between corporates and startups.

The corporates that participated in the matchmaking event were ABB, Skellefteå Kraft, Umeå Energi, E.ON, FLIR, Övik Energi and Vasa Elektriska. The companies were there to bring in new business ideas from startups to solve their future challenges. On Tuesday, 45 different meetings took place between large companies and a total of 18 startups from Finland, Estonia and Sweden.

Johan Granström from ABB and Ann-Christine Schmidt from Skellefteå Kraft met startups during the event.

- I think it has been a very interesting day with many interesting startups. There are many who want to cooperate with us and this is an important part of our future, to meet common challenges. Today I have met eight startups and a couple of them I take further contact with. It was also fun to meet companies from Sweden, Finland and Estonia. Established companies such as ABB have a great responsibility to contribute to the climate change mitigation and we must strive to achieve major goals and cooperate with startups and other companies, says Johan Granström, project manager at ABB's office in Umeå.

- I wish there were more events like this one where large companies can meet startups. It is important not only to focus on business when we meet them, but also to allow startups to enter earlier in the process, says Ann-Christine Schmidt, coordinator for FUI at Skellefteå Kraft.

Ann-Christine Schmidt from Skellefteå Kraft and Johan Granström from ABB met startups during the Energy ConFusion conference in Skellefteå. Photo: Uminova Innovation

Ann-Christine Schmidt from Skellefteå Kraft and Johan Granström from ABB met startups during the Energy ConFusion conference in Skellefteå. Photo: Uminova Innovation

Our sales coach Christian Malmsten took also part in the meetings to give feedback to startups.

- In many of those meetings it has been decided to take continue talking and meet again. It is impressive how our startups are so well-prepared, have read so much about the corporsates they are meeting and even prepared relevant questions about their challenges and needs, says Christian.

Kristian Heimonen from Comsel System, one of the 5 Finnish startups that participated in the event, and Markus Sjölund from WideFind, a spin-off startup from Luleå Tekniska Universitet, told us about their experience in the event.

- We have joined this matchmaking with great success. We met many big companies and had very interesting discussions with them, says Kristian.  

- During the matchmaking we had the chance to meet large companies that otherwise would be very hard for us to have access to, says Markus.

The participating startups were SCMTGROUP AB, Eco-Oil Miljöbränslen i Sverige AB, Elastisys, Gemit Solutions, Liqway AB, Nordic Quick Systems AB, OAZER AB, RenBloc, Service Node AB, Smart Climate Scandinavian AB, Sol-ionics AB and WideFind from Sweden, Comsel System Ab, Fluid Intelligence Oy, Gambit, Jukolux Oy and Linqit from Finland, and Hepta Airborne from Estonia.

Maite Bellon