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Students put Kalix on the tourist map

Published: 17 January 2017

A roe bus, food trucks with local ingredients and an extraordinary sauna experience. That is the content of some of the business plans that students from Luleå University of Technology presented for Kalix Municipality and Guldhaven Pelagiska AB on the 11th of January.

– We have been able to use our skills and work creatively with how to start a business from scratch, says Isabella Adolfsson studying Business and Economics at Luleå University of Technology.

Together with three other students, she presented their idea that involves the company Guldhaven Pelagiska AB and their facilities and raw materials to offer a complete experience from sea to table.

– We want to offer cooking activities under the guidance of a chef and the participants will be taken to the event by a roe bus, she says.

The management of Guldhaven Pelagiska AB came in contact with the LTU Business AB because they wanted a collaboration with the university on how to develop their business during the winter months. They were stakeholder in a number of the business plans.

– We have listened to many ideas and will now go through the business plans to see which ones are viable for us. The challenge is that we need someone who manages the project, says Teija Aho, CEO of Guldhaven Pelagiska AB.

Positive trend for tourism

The tourism industry has increased the recent years in Kalix and that is part of a national trend. More people are traveling on their own and chose to stay where it is easy to find experiences and activities. For the municipality it would mean a great public benefit if the ideas become reality. Peder Nilsson, development manager at Kalix Municipality said that this cooperation provided good input for them and for the business community locally.

– I'm impressed that they have come so far with the concepts in such a short time, they have identified good opportunities with high quality, he says.

In the autumn representatives from Kalix visited the university so that the students could learn more about the municipality. The result of over 16 000 hours of work were the 16 business plans presented in January in Luleå. Besides experiences that utilize the Nordic nature and its raw materials, there were also ideas on adult education, a fitness center and a playground for children.

The thesis is the next step

Håkan Perzon is responsible for the project course and called for the companies to explore the opportunities they have to offer students a place for doing their thesis.

– It’s important that they get to meet their future potential employer before they must apply for jobs. The business plans are working samples of what they know now and next year they'll make their thesis. That means they will have even more knowledge and skills that can be of great benefit for the companies, he says.

During the course the students receive a good insight in the needs of the companies and also learn to present it in a good way. But it is also an opportunity for small municipalities and businesses to get a platform for networking with the students.

– We have done the course in cooperation with several smaller municipalities in the region and have seen how valuable it is for them and their business sector. It starts many collaborative processes locally, says Håkan Perzon.