UIC - one of the world's most successful business incubators
One of the world's most successful business incubators is UIC, Uppsala Innovation Centre. SLU Holding is a partner in the incubator that provides support to researchers who want to take their ideas further. Support that several SLU researchers have used and that Patric Karlsson, new program manager at UIC, hopes more will test.
According to UBI Global, UIC Uppsala Innovation Center is ranked as one of the 5 best business incubators in the world. UIC has been around for over 20 years and this is almost as long as Patric Karlsson has worked as an entrepreneur and business leader. Patrick was based in San Francisco for more than 15 years and for the past 10 years he has been working in the energy sector in the Stockholm region.
“UIC has a good track record,” says Patric Karlsson, program manager for UIC's business development program. “The business incubator is one of the foremost in the country and ranks as one of the world's best. The business development support we offer, access to networks, funding and knowledge enables researchers to test their ideas. Something that's perhaps a little unexpected often entails increased room to manoeuvre and new opportunities for continued exciting new research.”
Major interest in new, efficient and sustainable solutions
“There is a considerable need for knowledge and new solutions in areas such as energy production, food production and sustainability,” says Patric. “And it's increasing. Testing your idea can be game changing, and something that does not mean that research must be shelved. On the contrary. I wish everyone would want to test their ideas. We're facing major problems and there is considerable interest in new, efficient and sustainable solutions. Not only globally, but also locally and regionally. Issues concerning food, climate and sustainability are high on the agenda now. These are also areas where there are both venture capital and investors who want to be involved in finding new solutions.”
But perhaps most importantly, as Patric sees it, is that more people can share new knowledge and contribute to the development of practical benefits.
“Sharing the knowledge you've acquired is important. It builds value. Running a company isn't that difficult. You can start in project form and with good feedback, you have the opportunity to discuss and examine new issues that often generate input for new research and thus create interaction between research and actual running of companies.”
Universities' cutting-edge expertise behind UIC's success
Patric believes that UIC has positioned itself as a leading and highly ranked business incubator both in Sweden and globally, stressing that an important success factor for UIC is the collaboration with SLU and Uppsala University, which provides access to the cutting-edge expertise at the research institutions.
“The proximity and cooperation with the two universities contributes greatly to UIC's success. The eminent research carried out at the universities gives us a 'luxury position'. UIC also has exceptional business development programs in place and collaboration with other entities and colleagues in the innovation system. UIC's network has extensive experience and the right skills to contribute to development work. We have also linked a number of partners in the business world to the incubator who contribute with their experience. Another important aspect of our concept for success is that UIC never takes ownership stakes in the incubator companies.”
What UIC offers – Business development in several steps
UIC's operations are structured around a number of different steps with a focus on the knowledge and coaching that is relevant in a company's various phases. All the way from testing the idea to international launch.
“All innovators are taken seriously,” says Patric Karlsson, program manager for UIC's business development program and responsible for UIC Business Accelerator. “We never say no to a meeting. Everyone always has the opportunity to test their ideas. UIC does not work industry-specific but focuses on issues that need to be resolved in a company's various development stages in order to create success. We are aware of the set commercial requirements and contribute with methods, experience, knowledge and coaching that take innovators and entrepreneurs further.”
Want to test your idea? Here are four pieces of advice from Patric Karlsson at UIC:
1. Dare to talk about your research. Rest assured that you've progressed further than you might think. Everyone is interested, wanting to see opportunities and improvements. Open up and explain your idea.
2. Build a team. You can't do it all by yourself.
3. Test your idea. Dare to try and dare to fail. Tests give you important information.
4. Contact SLU Holding and us at UIC. Incubator programs, coaches and methods to develop your ideas will take you further.
Interested and want to move on with your ideas?
If you are curious about UIC and want to know more, there's more information available at www.uic.se.
You do not need to be active in Uppsala to get excellent support from a business incubator. Around Alnarp you can go to Ideon and SmiLe in Lund and minc in Malmö. The incubator at Science Park Skövde works with ideas from Skara, and in Umeå there is Uminova Innovation and Umeå Biotech Incubator, which can also help you get started with your company.
Would you like to discuss an idea or research project in the green industries? Contact one of SLU Holding's Innovations – and business developers.
Several other SLU researchers have taken their idea further through UIC's business development program. Here you can read about Anna Jansson and Åsa Bergren (SciIns) and Odd Höglund (Resorbable Devices).