Happy winners of the Uminova Innovation Startup program. From left Simon Dahl. Mikael Ostberg, András Gorzsás and Meiju Vartiainen. Behind is Erik Lindberg from Nordea, who is responsible for the scholarships that the winners receive.


András Gorzsás wins the Uminova Innovation Startup competition for the best business idea. - It is really exciting to receive this award and I must say that the Startup program that Uminova Innovation runs, provides great opportunities, says a very happy András Gorzsás, winner of the Startup competition and researcher at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University.

In cooperation with Umeå Tech Arena and before 250 participants, Gorzsás received a 35 000 SEK grant from Nordea on Thursday, as the winner of Uminova Innovations Startup program pitch competition, with his idea of an efficient way of cutting down trees, with a new method for quality control of trees. Second place in the competition was given to Mikael Ostberg and Simon Dahl from Instrube, with their business of video feedback in rehabilitation. The third prize winner was Meiju Vartiainen with "Shelter", a matching service for home seekers and providers.

High pressure in the program

The competition was an end to the autumn edition of Startup Program, a program that takes place twice a year. The pressure in this autumn round has never been greater.

- We had 43 registrations for the autumn Startup program, and that alone is worth a round of applause, says Anders Blomberg, business developer and one of those responsible for the program. He also got the chance to show off his “Get out of the building” T-shirt to the participants at the Umeå Tech Arena.

- It seems a little provocative perhaps, but the point is that we want our Startups to go out and meet their clients. The knowledge they get from customers is not possible to get if they stay at home, says Anders Blomberg.

Developed business ideas

Of the 43 registered, there were 15 entrepreneurs in the autumn session. Under the guidance of experienced coaches, they had to develop their business ideas and consider whether there is potential to develop them into successful businesses. During the program, entrepreneurs also received inspiration from successful entrepreneurs like Ida Backlund from Rapunzel of Sweden and Martin Wiklund from Sportswik.

The Startup program ended with an intense race, where the participants presented their business ideas and how they can meet customers' needs, during their short presentations or so-called pitches. For the jury, it was a tough challenge to sift out the three finalists.

Hot Startup scene

- The Startup scene in Umeå is very hot. I am so impressed by all of the new ideas that come to these competitions, which we have arranged for the twelfth time now, explains Erik Lindberg, Nordea, chairman of the jury.

Other jurors were Mattias Eriksson, Partnerinvest Norr, Charlotta Erlandsdotter-Berglund, Sogeti, and Ulla Maria Granåsen and Robert Winter from Uminova Innovation.

- We look at several factors. The contractor and the team are important. Can they take the idea further? We also want to see if there is a potential market. Another thing we look at is whether the idea is feasible and not just something that stays on the drawing board, explains Erik Lindberg.

First prize in the competition is a scholarship of 35 000 SEK. Second and third places recieved prizes of SEK 10 000 and 5 000 in scholarships from Nordea.

The next round of Uminova Innovations Startup programs begin in February 2017, read more about the program.

Text: Mikael Hansson Photo: Malin Grönborg

Link to original articleexternal link, opens in new window