Innovation That Matters

Swedish entrepreneurs get access to untapped patents

Work & Lifestyle

Patents are at the heart of countless technologies, and that can make life difficult for smaller startups, which are less likely than big companies to be patent-holders themselves. Aiming to create opportunity, innovation and new businesses in southern Sweden, the Mobile Heights Business Center is a partnership between local industry, academia and the public sector that offers approved participants access to a bank of unexplored patents, business ideas and solutions requested by industry. Anyone can apply for membership with MHBC, which requires an interview and test to prove the applicant’s entrepreneurial drive. Once approved, members are presented with a wide variety of as-yet-untapped patents and other business ideas provided by participating members of the telecom industry, including TeliaSonera, Ericsson and The Astonishing Tribe. In “Crash Lab” sessions led by professional business advisors, members can discuss any ideas they may have as a result; once a week, meanwhile, representatives from industry join in to listen and offer advice. Next, entrepreneurs develop a business plan with support from professional legal, HR, PR, marketing and business advisors. When they’re ready, they can present that plan at an “Investment Day” open to active investors. Spin-off companies are expected to show a positive cash flow within two years. MHBC is a pilot project administered by Teknopol AB with funding from various local municipalities and EU regional development funds. A model to emulate in other parts of the world? (Related: Incubator for socially focused ideasMicrofinance meets mentoring.) Spotted by: Liobov Triufanova



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