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Entrepreneurs get new ideas market studied by students

Published: 2 June 2016

Entrepreneurs from northern Sweden have had their business ideas examined by students from Luleå University of Technology during spring. Students work with tech verification and validation of business cases under the supervision of business developers from LTU Business AB.

Some 30 students from the program Industrial Economics has studied business ideas from entrepreneurs during the course Strategic Project Work, which is a collaboration between David Rönnberg, lecturer at Luleå University of Tehchnology and business developers Kent Mrozek and Emil Svanberg LTU Business AB. It is the second consecutive year in which the course is held, and it has received very good feedback from the students.

– The partnership with LTU Business has been a great success. Emil and Kent contributes with great commitment and great knowledge of technology commercialization. For the students it is invaluable to work with so experienced coaches in the process of evaluating the market potential of new technologies, said David Rönnberg Sjödin.

The aim is that students, in teams of 3-5 people, will learn and apply the method LTU Business AB works with around the market validation on real business cases.

Several new ideas were tested and presented at the final presentation. Among other Saltamin which examined the possibilities of launching a new type of salt substitute to the Swedish food market.

– We propose a licensing this product when the cost to launch a new product on a low margin market would be too great to bear himself, said Joakim Lindberg, a student during the presentation.

The virtual white cane, a high-tech improvement to the usual white cane for the visually impaired was also examined.

– There is a big market demand due to many people visually impaired and a great interest in better navigation through open spaces, but there are challenges that must be addressed before taking the next step towards the market, said Joakim Wiklund to Kalevi Hyyppä researcher at Luleå University of Technology .

A third assignment was Locxit which is a locking mechanism for cable connectors to prevent females and males drifting apart when exposed to stress.

– It was interesting and instructive to hear the presentation, I would highly recommend this course to other entrepreneurs who want to explore their ideas, said David Mattson, the entrepreneur behind the idea.

Even acclaimed Thingwave who have won several international competitions pitch was examined. The product is an application of industrial internet of things, where rock bolts  instruments monitors the mountain. The idea is that the product will increase safety and identify vibrations in the mountain.

– Your analysis agrees with the impression I have, our talks with Boliden signals that found the same challenges as we did and we are strengthened in our plan for the future, says Jens Eliasson, co-founder of Thingwave.

During the course nine ideas have been investigated by the students and it is a concept that works very well says Emil Svanberg, business developer and specialist in commercialization at LTU Business AB.

– The important work of market validation in the early stage is surprisingly often neglected. Through this course, students will bring a concrete methodology and experience to a live case and idea owners get valuable decision support. The icing on the cake is the relationship that we at LTU Business AB builds with the students. In this group, it may well be one or two that we want to continue working on other projects with.