Historic investment in entrepreneurship

​Increased number of fast-growing companies and a new model for Swedish growth. That’s the objective when Chalmers University of Technology rebuilds the group and gathers strength to become world best at innovation and entrepreneurship. Chalmers are putting almost a half a billion kronor of their own funds into a new wholly owned subsidiary within Venture Creation.

Entrepreneurship in and around Chalmers has maintained a high standard for a long time. The two Chalmers incubators, Encubator and Chalmers Innovation, are ranked among the top ten university business incubators in the world. Together they have propelled such companies as super gazelle company Oxeon (2010), systems supplier Vehco and cancer vaccine company Immunicum into success.

Chalmers are now reinforcing these two complementing incubators, and simultaneously scaling up and broadening their work within entrepreneurship. This by means of consolidating Venture Creation operations at Chalmers in a new subsidiary which, over a period of ten years, will be fed 300 million kronor in investment capital plus almost 150 million kronor in operating funds.

‘We wish to stimulate the surfacing of more ideas and more entrepreneurs, improve the quality of the companies formed and see to it they grow faster, for the benefit of Swedish competitive power and sustainability,’ said Chalmers president and chief executive officer Karin Markides, who is counting on continued good relations with regional, national and international players. She continues: 

‘This is an aggressive investment to overcome the lack of stable seed financing, which has, for a long time, caused a bottleneck stopping Swedish companies from growing, and an investment in entrepreneurship without president in the university world.’

The new subsidiary form a foundation for strengthening entrepreneur spirit as a driving force throughout Chalmers. All students shall, in the long term, receive entrepreneurial experience during their education, an advantage that now primarily applies only to students at the Chalmers school of entrepreneurship. This will require greater involvement from researchers and the business community within all education. For this purpose it will be advantageous to have expertise and innovation environments gathered together more clearly.

Linnéa Lindau. Credit: Hans Lindau.Linnéa Lindau, today managing director for Encubator AB, will be managing director for the new subsidiary. Her management team will include Ingvar Andersson, MD at AB Chalmersinvest, and Andrzej Brud, MD at Stiftelsen Chalmers Innovation. The board behind them comprises Hans Ljungkvist (Chair), previously MD for Geveko, Johan Andersson, MD for Mellby gård, and MD for Investor, Börje Ekholm.

The new subsidiary will preside over a portfolio of some 60 companies, value approximately 125 million kronor.  

‘We have developed two world-class incubator processors which we shall reinforce and integrate with a common management and more aggressive marketing. We shall coordinate the development of our holdings in the best possible way. The journey starts now, with the objective of becoming one of the world’s top three incubators within five years,’ said Linnéa Lindau.

Research results and inventions from Chalmers along with spin-outs from industry, provide a natural breeding ground for the consolidated operations, but the door is open to all.

‘We welcome all entrepreneurs and researchers attracted by our focus on business acumen, scalability and profitability, with or without earlier connections with Chalmers,’ said Linnéa Lindau.

Chalmers’ ownership foundation invests

The investment capital comes from Chalmers University of Technology Foundation, an ownership foundation that will invest 300 million kronor in the new subsidiary over a ten year period. By means of this long-term perspective, the Chalmers foundation will build a new foundation for new companies benefitting not only West Sweden, but innovation opportunities for all Sweden. The investment creates security for external investors wishing to become involved with Chalmers start-up companies.

New Chalmers subsidiary for Venture Creation

The new Venture Creation unit is a subsidiary owned wholly by Chalmers tekniska högskola AB. The subsidiary encompasses the coordination of Encubator and Chalmers innovation – two top ranking incubators according to the UBI index  – with Chalmersinvest, one of Chalmers’ first involvements in earlier investments.

Encubators’ process is based on innovations connected up with students, primarily from the Chalmers school of entrepreneurship, while the other process (Chalmers innovation) focuses on entrepreneurs wishing to realize their ideas. Additionally, the new subsidiary will start up a business area for executing licensing businesses and the handling of immaterial assets.

Stiftelsen Chalmers innovation – established in 1999 owing to a large donation from the Sten A Olsson foundation for research and culture – remains, and will also be able to handle appropriate financial functions.

More about Chalmers incubators

Page manager Published: Wed 11 Feb 2015.