From business idea to prototype in eight weeks

By on June 26, 2019
The company MIA Invest, from the left: Alexander Jacobsen, Emelie Jin, Theo Renaudin and Daniel Saphir.

Monday 24 June marked the launch of a new accelerator program called Activate from the SSE Business Lab, the incubator unit at the Stockholm School of Economics. Activate can be used by students and alumni who want to develop a prototype and begin commercial sales over a summer. The program provides ambitious entrepreneurs the support they need to quickly get to market.

“With Activate we can support students and alumni by providing robust help for quickly and easily developing prototypes, and in that way reach their markets,” says Julia Delin, interim CEO of the SSE Business Lab. “We see numerous companies spending an entire year on their apps before getting them onto the market. That’s coming at things from the wrong end. We want to help those with the right driving force to develop their products and get them to market as fast as possible.”

Activate should work as a bridge between two of SSE Business Lab’s other programs, Initiate and Incubate. Initiate encourages students to develop their entrepreneurial competence, regardless of the career they have chosen, while Incubate supports start-ups that already have a team, a business idea and a prototype.

Some companies have gone the whole way from Initiate to Incubate, one example being the electric scooter company Voi Technology. The founders met at a hackathon held by Initiate that was conducted together with the Entrepreneurship Society, part of SSE’s student association.

Five companies have been selected for Activate by the SSE Business Lab Advisory Board, which consists of Cristina Stenbeck, Katarina Martinson, Sebastian Knutsson and Mikael Schiller. Besides support from this board, each company will have a dedicated mentor, receive coaching from a prominent entrepreneur, participate in workshops and join the network at SSE Business Lab’s 400 m2 office complex in A House.

The following companies have been chosen.

Beaubi – A platform for beauty products that helps consumers navigate a continually growing assortment of products. By gathering product data, independent reviews and prices, Beaubi makes the beauty industry more accessible and transparent.

Bookself – A social, freemium book app for Generation Z. The app makes reading more socially engaging, inspiring and more accessible for a new generation of readers.

Places – Converts unused city spaces into a network of coworking spaces. The platform provides members with access to a wide choice of workplaces as well as an inspiring meeting place, for a fraction of the going market price. This is made possible by utilizing restaurant space during the day.

MIA Invest – A savings platform with smart algorithms and a user-friendly app enables clients to create a tailored, actively managed portfolio in line with their own personal values.

The Puppy Poster – Makes it fun and easy to create unique, personal and artistic posters of your favorite dogs, in real time.

Business | From business idea to prototype in eight weeks