A milestone has passed for DigitalWell Ventures. Today the first two start-ups – Ineq Solutions and StudyBee – graduated from the accelerator program. But really, there was three start-ups on stage at Karlstad Innovation Park...
The third one was DigitalWell Ventures own organisation. The process of starting an accelerator has been equally educationally for the Ventures teams as for the first companies.
Starting from zero, the first cohort attracted eight companies from four different countries. The accelerator also have gathered an international network of more than 50 mentors from four continents, David Holm, Investment Manager at DigitalWell Ventures, summed up when opening the ceremony.
– I am deeply impressed of the journey you made, and without the first companies there would never have been an accelerator, said Håkan Spjuth, Head of Grants and Innovation Office, University of Karlstad, and board member of DigitalWell Ventures.
Lina Svensberg, Program Manager of DigitalWell Ventures, also stressed the mutual benefit and the contribution the pilot companies have made do develop the accelerator program.
There was no doubt that the first graduation ceremony involved lots of emotions. Lina Svensberg have followed Ineq Solutions for a long time, starting in DigitalWell Innovation Support. Seeing her protégés entering the stage, holding the diploma and with a newly signed deal that gives access to all schools in the City of Stockholm made her shed a tear of joy.
– This journey you have made is incredible and I am so glad that I could take part in it, said Lina Svensberg.
The DigitalWell Ventures team celebrating the first graduates, StudyBee and Ineq Solutions, at Karlstad Innovation Park.
Beside the new deal with Stockholm, Ineq Solutions have launched a new service called ConfidBox, targeting psychosocial matters at companies. In the same way their core product can gather information about relations between pupils at schools, it can also benefit a company, for example in creating well-functioning working teams.
Founders of Ineq Solutions, Sara Lindahl and Sofi Finnstam especially praised the overall support and expertise provided by the DigitalWell Ventures team. A support that has made them overcome challenges of information security, being female founders and showing that social innovation can be profitable.
New package attracting schools
The overall support in the accelerator program was also highlighted by Johan Henricson, CEO at StudyBee. During StydyBees run in DigitalWell Ventures their new products and packaging, focusing on schools rather than teachers, has boosted their sales. To this date more than 50 schools use StudyBees digital tools to follow the pupils results, with and early warning-system that shows when support is needed. Having most customers at high schools Johan Henricson also reached out to elementary schools to test the Google Classroom-based product.
New cohort opening borders
Actually, the graduation ceremony was the first IRL-meeting between Johan Henricson and the DigitalWell Ventures team. The quarantine that came with Corona turned DigitalWell Ventures from a dual-location accelerator to a non-location accelerator.
For the next cohort the physical workspaces in both Karlstad, Arvika and Oslo will open. Tale Skjølsvik, Professor and Vice-Dean at Oslo Metropolitan University, manifested this fact welcoming the next generation of accelerator companies to Oslo. She also appreciated DigitalWell Ventures Lean Start-up-based methods and pointed out the impact of innovation and the surrounding ecosystem for the academia, also driven by innovative companies.
Launching DigitalWell Ventures One
To further boost the ecosystem surrounding the start-ups Stefan Skoglund, Innovation Manager at DigitalWell Ventures, also gave a short introduction to DigitalWell Ventures One. A separate investment company that will be launched next year. The idea is to give investors a chance to invest in the start-ups in the accelerator, and also share knowledge and networks to make more people become investors.