Virtual worlds for phobia training wins Startup Life Science program

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More than one million people in Sweden suffer from phobia that puts them in need of support and therapy to be able to cope with certain situations. Today, only a few thousand patients get treatment. Startup company Mimerse has developed a tool that provides phobia training − without the physical constraints of reality. At the STING Startup Life Science program finale, Mimerse was awarded 10 000 SEK for its innovation and was named “Startup of the Year”.

Mimerses solution means that all patients who want and need to get help can get it. The treatment can take place at the therapist, at home or at any chosen location, which provides great flexibility compared to the current situation where patients must make an appointment and wait a long time for treatment. With this treatment, the patient and therapist can easily follow the progress of the phobia training.

− Virtual reality is a grail for many areas of psychological research and something that will ultimately change the world. Initially, the treatment will be offered as an aid to therapists, and eventually the product will be offered directly to patients, said William Hamilton, founder of Mimerse and student at the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University.

Eleven innovative business ideas with high growth potential presented at the finale of the Startup Life Science program, a hands-on workshop series for entrepreneurs offered and organized by STING (Stockholm Innovation & Growth).

The jury consisted of Pontus von Bahr from Vinnova, Mona Wilcke from SU Innovation and Par Nordstrom from Almi Invest. The award was presented by Vice Rector Hans Adolfsson from Stockholm University. The jury’s motivation:

“This innovation creates the conditions for a more relaxed attitude of concerns. The innovation is scientifically based and the technology is an example of an innovative application in Virtual Reality.”

− Gaining recognition as “Startup of the Year” in this fine starting field feels great. I wish my brother had had the opportunity to be with me today since we founded the company together. Now we will continue working on completing the construction of our first prototype and to then test it in real life after the summer, says William Hamilton.

The Startup program is a practical training program for those who want help to formulate and refine their business models and create a good platform to potentially start a business. The program consists of six evening workshops and is based on LEAN Canvas, a strategic and visual template for the development of business models. Theory is intertwined with practical training, and experienced entrepreneurs and experts share their knowledge.

Stockholm University has hosted this year’s program, and KTH Innovation, Innovation offices at Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University have sponsored the program.