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Sustaintech October 7, 2020

20 teams selected to Test Drive Climate Action

Startup Climate Action is now continuing to its third phase, “Test Drive Climate Action”, with 20 carefully selected teams that are developing solutions to 13 different climate challenges.

The Startup Climate Action initative by Sting and Norrsken is a challenge-driven initiative that was launched in June 2020 consisting of four phases, aiming to accelerate the creation and growth of new innovative startups that help fight climate change. 

The first phase, “Ideation” attracted more than 1000 signups from 72 countries. Together, they formed close to 200 startup teams from which 52 got selected to the second phase, “Deep Dive”. After an intensive month of refining their business ideas, 49 of the 52 teams applied to the third phase, “Test Drive”. 

A jury consisting of representatives from Sting and Norrsken and selected Climate Champions has now chosen 20 of the 49 teams to join Test Drive Climate Action, a pre-incubator program where the participants will focus on testing and validating their business ideas. Twelve of the selected startups have hardware solutions and 17 of the teams are mixed gender, with 35% of the all team members being women. 

The fourth and final phase of the Startup Climate Action initiative, a Climate Accelerator run by Sting, will start in February 2021. Seven of the startups that applied to Test Drive will be invited directly to the pitch-finals for the Climate Accelerator.

“The original intention was to choose 13 startups for the Test Drive program – one for each for the 13 challenges. But the quality of the applications was really impressive and the jury had a very hard time choosing, so we ended up selecting 20 startups for the Test Drive program and seven startups that we will welcome directly to the pitch-finals for the Climate Accelerator.”, says Karin Ruiz, Deputy CEO of Sting and Startup Climate Action Lead. 

Sting has extensive experience from running Test Drive programs in a number of verticals. But this is the first time with a dedicated Climate Action Test Drive program, run in collaboration with Norrsken, and delivered in a hybrid physical and online format to enable participants from outside Stockholm and Sweden. 

“We are so excited to start the Test Drive together with these amazing teams. The fact that 49 out of 52 teams, with more than 200 team members from 20 countries, wanted to continue with us to the Test Drive – and that 85% of the teams are mixed gender – gives clear proof that this kind of challenge driven approach to attract individuals is working. “ says Henna Keränen, Program Manager and Communications Lead of Startup Climate Action.

These are the 20 teams that have been selected to Test Drive Climate Action and the 13 challenges they are addressing

Challenge #1 – Green & Clean Transport

Retrofit (IN) is making transition to emission-free electric motorcycles more affordable and sustainable for developing countries like India where two-wheelers are a major mode of transport, by retrofitting with an in-house developed ingenious ‘e-wheel’. 

Skrym (SE) combines different sources of underutilized data to solve a fundamental problem in eCommerce – getting rid of the air in packages, cutting both costs and emissions.

Challenge #2: AI for the Planet

LongYields (SE) is unlocking advanced agricultural planning for 540 million small farmers, and providing financial forecast data that make loans possible, that can enable growth, ultimately decreasing eutrophication and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Challenge #3 – Sustainable Materials

GREENer Materials (SE) is producing bio-elastomer from birch bark that will replace fossil fuel-derived rubbers in many applications. 

Planboo (SE) is capturing carbon with bamboo, the fastest growing plant. Engaging and educating businesses to reach Net Zero transparently and affordably, whilst empowering communities in the Global South. 

Challenge #4 – Energy Efficiency

Platypus (SE) With the Platypus AC-to-DC electricity conversion device, we are reinventing the efficiency of in-building distribution, delivering 5-10% reduction in electricity consumption, with no behavioural changes needed by the end user.

Challenge #5 – Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy

Another Closet (SE) is helping clothing companies to reduce emissions and waste by giving them the data and insights needed to move into the clothing rental market and profitably scale their rental service. 

Challenge #6 – Recycling & Reduced Waste

Cling Systems (SE) is a logistics company and a marketplace platform that enables traceable and safe electric vehicle battery recycling. We get the right battery to the right place. One box. One market. Infinite loops. 

Challenge #7 – Reduced Carbon Emissions

Bluemethane (NL) will develop methane capturing technologies allowing hydro-power companies to generate up to 8% more energy from their current infrastructure while protecting the environment.

Cando (SE) is a social shopping app inspiring better choices by making consumers aware of their carbon impact. We are changing the game by helping consumers build sustainable habits.

Challenge #8 – Energy Storage & Integrated Energy Systems

Animaeh (SE) is helping humanity become sustainable by solving the need for renewable energy by local green Hydrogen production.

Challenge #9 – Carbon Capture & Storage 

Direct Air Capture (SE) is building a market platform – to launch and iterate with customers and our network of partners within direct air capturing.

EKEN Forestry Financing (SE) is a readily available, rapidly scalable, profitable, natural carbon capture solution with the potential to store billions of tons of CO2e in European and North American forests.

Challenge #10 – The Human Ocean

The Grapheneers (SE) is transforming the boating industry through TechAiLos – our 3D-printed, fully customizable boat hull made of smart, sustainable material empowered by an AI platform ensuring sustainability throughout a boat’s lifecycle. 

ReShore (NL) is challenging marine infrastructure to be environmentally sustainable instead of environmentally destructive; thereby contributing to rebuilding ecosystems, protecting coastlines and ensuring food security.

Challenge #11 – Renewable & Clean Energy

MbeguSolar (SE) is a platform connecting people with solar energy using a novel self-financing mechanism in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

SDK-Marine OTWENS (ES) is a wave energy solution to decarbonize electricity generation along coastal areas and insular territories helping them achieve energetic independence with no use of land, scalable, practical and effective. 

Challenge #12 – Green Buildings & Sustainable Cities

Build up Nepal Engineering AB (SE/NP) provides machines and training to driven entrepreneurs and rural communities, empowering them to produce climate-friendly bricks and build safe, affordable houses at scale. 

Challenge #13 – The Future of Food

FROOT (SE) is Karma for household food: a cool, human-centered platform built around tracking, inspiring, and repurposing food and food waste into new resources by tapping into the power of community. 

Penaka Solar’s (SE) technology is combining three wide sustainable business domains: Agriculture, Solar, Water into an efficient, mutually profitable module, all on the same piece of land, in a way never done before. 

NEWS September 1, 2020

List: The 52 teams selected to Startup Climate Action’s next phase

The Startup Climate Action initiative by Sting and Norrsken, is now continuing to its second phase, “Deep Dive”, with these 52 carefully selected teams.

The 13 Climate Challenges and the 52 selected teams addressing them.

These are the 52 teams that were selected to the Deep Dive:

  • Animaeh
  • Another Closet
  • Blue Tuesday
  • Bluemethane
  • Brine Energy
  • Build up Nepal Engineering AB
  • Cling Systems
  • CommuteSaver
  • Comparency – Know your choices
  • Direct Air Capture
  • Dissolve AB
  • EKEN Forestry Financing
  • Find sustainable fashion
  • Grapheneers
  • GREENer Materials
  • GreenIron
  • Hamsa Recycling
  • Helios Innovations
  • Hooked Seafood
  • Ice power
  • Irrigation robot
  • Leconery
  • Leral Solar Bank
  • LongYields
  • MbeguSolar
  • mooov technology
  • Nordluft – Skarl
  • Parking Buddy
  • Penaka Solar AB
  • Planboo
  • planetglobal.
  • Platypus
  • Positive Energy Ltd
  • Pregtracker
  • Pumped Hydro Storage Sweden AB
  • Redare AB
  • REE from Sweden tailings
  • Refillistic
  • ReShore
  • Retrofit
  • SC- Plastic Roads
  • SDK-Marine OTWENS
  • Skrym
  • Sticky Solar Power
  • Takåsarna
  • Village Data Analytics (VIDA)
  • WoodChain
The 13 Climate Challenges and the 52 selected teams addressing them.

NEWS September 1, 2020

52 startup ideas selected to the next stage of Startup Climate Action

Startup Climate Action, the new challenge-driven initiative by Sting and Norrsken, is now continuing to its second phase with 52 carefully selected startup ideas from 20 countries that are creating solutions to 13 different climate challenges.

A new desalination method that cleans saltwater using industrial waste heat, a platform helping retailers to become more sustainable, AI solutions for the cleaner planet, and eco-friendly materials and solutions making the transport industry greener are among the selected ideas that will continue to the next phase of Startup Climate Action.

See the list with the 52 selected ideas

The first phase of Startup Climate Action, Ideation, attracted more than 1000 registered users from 72 countries. Together, they formed close to 200 new startup teams from which 52 got selected to join the next phase. Of them, 80 % are mixed gender teams.

– We are very proud of the amazing results. It has been incredible to see that so many talented people want to take climate action and join a climate startup. We are really impressed by the high quality of the ideas and teams and it has been a difficult task selecting the 52 teams for the next phase, says Karin Ruiz, Deputy CEO at Sting and initiator of Startup Climate Action.

Now the 52 selected teams will continue to the next phase, Deep Dive, where they will be provided extended business coaching and mentoring, and an invitation to an exclusive one-day digital bootcamp consisting of workshops and inspirational sessions by high-profile climate experts and Swedish Climate Action startups.

After the Deep Dive phase, 13 qualified teams will be selected to Test Drive Climate Action, a pre-accelerator program by Sting and Norrsken focusing on validation of the business ideas.

The final step, the Climate Action Accelerator program run by Sting, will be launched in 2021.

The initiative, which focuses on UN Sustainability Goal #13 – Climate Action, was launched in June 2020 when 13 heavy-weight Swedish Climate Champions presented their 13 Climate Challenges.

The goal is to create more fast-growing Swedish companies that contribute innovative, scalable solutions to combat climate change. The initiative will also help put Sweden on the world map and make Sweden the “mecca” of the world for climate action startups.

– Our aim is to mobilize people with bright ideas and brilliant minds to team up to find solutions, and to create a movement of climate solvers that create and build the climate action startups of tomorrow, says Henna Keränen, Sting’s Head of Partnerships and Startup Climate Action Project Lead.

Startup Climate Action initiative receives funding from Vinnova and among the supporting partners are Stockholm Resilience Center, KTH Innovation, WWF, Almi Invest, the Swedish Energy Agency, IVL, RISE, Ignite Sweden, Dalarna Science Park, Lead, We Don’t Have Time and the 13 Climate Champions.

See the list with the 52 selected ideas

Insights April 24, 2018

The Growth Hacking Gap

We recently surveyed 20 growing tech startups within our ecosystem on the growing business needs and we found the following skills along with their demand and availability:

This image shows the frequency of companies looking for the various skills (blue) and how many candidates who say they have the various skills (red). In short, this is the supply and demand for skill in the startup job market (for non-technical positions).

For every 2.5 jobs looking for Growth Hackers, there’s only 1 person in the market with that skill.

Does this mean there’s a gap?

Now when we analyze these skill gaps, most of the time we rely on the tags. How many people tag themselves with “marketing” and how many with “Growth Hacking”?

And we see that only,

50 635 persons have the keywords “Growth Hacking” in their profile and a whooping

43 830 036 persons have Marketing.

However, while marketing is hugely more common as a term than growth hacking, we’d like to highlight the growing trend for the term.

Look at the Google search trend for instance:

Note: Important to mention here is the scale in the two graphs. The total search volume is still way higher for marketing than growth hacking. But the searches are growing for growth hacking but not for marketing.

May be it’s just the term Growth Hacking

Candidates and companies do not necessarily use the same language. The jargons can vary widely and may be most modern digital marketing professionals are analytical, metric-driven, experimentative and sprint-oriented. But not all of them, call themselves “Growth Hackers”.

One reason that marketers might not use this term often is because of a certain bad reputation for “quick hacks to gain big unsustainably big user base”. Especially combined with a low retention. Another reason is that the growth hacking term is kind of ambiguous and debated.

OR if you’re not actively seeking a job, there’s not much motivation to update LinkedIn profiles with new keywords. Instead, there might be a period where the person learns new things but don’t communicate it. Job ads from companies are different. They are always fresh and updated, so they show the demands quicker.

But then what is this growth hacking anyways? Wikipedia reads,

“growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business”.

In an ideal world, isn’t every marketing person trying out new ideas? Pushing the marketing funnel? And constantly trying effective way to grow a business?

We’d like to think that and that’s why we’re inviting all growth hackers and marketers to come and meet our Startups who’re looking for you.

2 hours — 17 startups — 35+ Marketing & Growth positions

In 2 hours, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with 17 startup founders who’re expanding their teams in marketing/growth/sales areas. We call this event Join a Startup and it’s a selection-only event. So please apply asap. Deadline for registration is today.

Apply by clicking here.

NEWS May 4, 2017

Adaptive Simulations receives 1.5 MEUR investment from Creathor Venture, Karma Ventures and KTH Holding


Adaptive Simulations announced today that it has received a 1.5 million euro investment from Creathor Venture and Karma Ventures, two leading European venture capital firms in the high-tech space. The venture capital firms were joined by the holding company of highly ranked tech-university KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Adaptive Simulations’ goal is to democratize the virtual simulations market by offering cloud based fully automated flow simulations as a service, which has a potential to increase the current market volume twentyfold. There are currently around 500 thousand users of non-automated flow simulations while the potential global market for automated simulations is estimated to more than 10 million users.

The product innovation is enabled by adaptive algorithms, based on years of research in numerical analysis, computer science and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Now the ground-breaking research is finally mature for commercialisation. The algorithms replace the cumbersome and complex work done manually by simulations experts today.

— Fully automated flow simulations, has been somewhat of a holy grail for the simulations industry. The implications of automated flow simulations can be compared to the automation of weavers in the 19th century. The leap from manual weaving to automated weaving transformed the textile industry completely. Now, we want to do the same with the simulations industry. Says the CEO of Adaptive Simulations, Sebastian Desand.

Altogether the innovative solution offered by Adaptive Simulations:

  • shortens product design cycle and time to market
  • increase accuracy and reliability of flow simulations
  • reduce cost of flow simulations with around 70%
  • makes simulations easy and available to anyone

— The founders of Adaptive Simulations are well regarded researchers and experts in the field of digital simulations and they are about to introduce a truly unique product to the market. We see that by commercialising the solution the company has a potential to become a rapidly expanding challenger in the simulation software market which was one of the main attractions that led to our positive investment decision. It is exactly the type of technology innovation that we focus our investments on. Said Kristjan Laanemaa, a partner at Karma Ventures.

Dr. Gert Köhler, Managing Partner at Creathor Venture, comments:

— We are convinced of Adaptive Simulations’ innovative solution and see great potential in automating flow simulations across multiple industry verticals. We see a market need for effectiveness in design processes while maintaining high accuracy and performance. The team behind Adaptive Simulations is well positioned to serve this need and to become leaders in the simulation software market. With this investment, we further strengthen our commitment to create value in European deep tech.

> Read more about Adaptive Simulations