The Swedish Innovation Compass is a digital hub for innovation in Sweden. It is a downloadable app that helps guide users through the complex innovation system in Sweden. Sweden has done a great job of building up the resources in the innovation system, but with that comes complexity. This line of thinking is exactly what inspired the Swedish Innovation Compass, a new tool that helps entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, SME’s, researchers and established businesses find and connect the most relevant available resources.
THE TEAM AND UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE APP
Stephen came to Sweden to pursue Masters in Entrepreneurship at Lunds University.
“The Swedish Innovation Compass came together from my time working and studying within the innovation ecosystem at Ideon Science Park and Lund University. The team at Creatify and myself have both worked with different players in the innovation industry and met from our time at Ideon. We were discussing how complex and messy the innovation system has become and the idea evolved from trying to make sense of the comprehensive mass of resources out there,” shared Stephen Batley, Swedish Innovation Compass co-founder.
Other groups have tried to tackle the problem of this complexity in the past. For example, the Life Sciences industry released an encyclopedia last year, and ALMI released a large book attempting to list all the innovation actors. However, what makes the Swedish Innovation Compass different is the improved functionality available by having an app, and that it can easily be kept up to date – making it so much more than just an index of innovation actors. The app uses algorithms, analytics, and user information in order to ‘navigate’ its users to the most relevant innovation players.
The unique value of the Swedish Innovation Compass is that the app maps the entire innovation system with all its players and their specialties and creates a direct communication channel between all these actors. Users are able to contact innovation actors, and book meetings while innovation actors are able to send out push notifications to relevant users about events, activities etc.
USER GENERATION AND BUSINESS MODEL
In order to attract users, the founders are leveraging the networks of the innovation players that will be present in the app. The Compass has formed key partnerships with innovation actors such as Ideon Innovation, the Innovation Pioneers Network, Innovation Academy and Googol to work with leaders within the innovation industry. There is also a plan for a nationwide marketing campaign to push up the user count around the launch.
The Swedish Innovation Compass will be free of charge for users. Part of the revenue stream will come from large innovation players who want to sponsor their position in the innovation system by making their logo visible while the app is used in certain locations or by certain users. The innovation actors on the app have the ability to choose if they want a free profile with limited features, or a premium profile allowing them to use the full features of the app.
“We have chosen this business model to keep the app free for the user, and to ensure we have a full database of innovation actors on the app. Getting the big sponsors on board helps to get some money behind the project for developing the system behind the Swedish Innovation Compass, and also for the extensive marketing campaign we have planned around the launch, while premium profiles offer more functionality and value for the innovation actors” says Stephen.
CURRENT CHALLENGES AND VISION FOR THE FUTURE
In terms of challenges that Innovation Compass will have to deal with is the problem that the app is trying to solve in the first place – the complexity of the innovation system.
There are so many players out there, and their relationships with each other can be complicated. It can be very time consuming for us to find all the innovation players out there, and determine their relationships with other players, says Stephen. The best way to overcome this has been by going through the already established networks such as the Swedish Institute for Science Parks and also partnering with key innovation players to help us in their respective niches.
So far, the compass has received a very positive reaction from future users and innovation players alike. The app will be launched before summer, coupled with a large marketing campaign.
As for the future, Innovation Compass aims for the EU market. The company has already been in talks with the EU level government bodies about starting an initiative to get all of Europe on a platform similar to what the Swedish Innovation Compass will be doing for Sweden.
“Overall, the innovation industry is looking very positive right now, and for the future. There is a big push in Europe in general to promote innovation and support is increasing every day. With this comes the increase in complexity and an even stronger need for a solution like the Swedish Innovation Compass,” shares Stephen.
This article is in collaboration with Øresund Startups, originally by Iryna Velykokhatko. Øresund Startups is a news site focusing on startups in Copenhagen and the other cities around the Øresund strait; Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. It was initiated by Karsten Deppert and covers news about startups and events from the startup scene. You can follow them at @Oresundstartups.