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NEWS August 29, 2014

Here are the new FastForward companies, Propel Capital’s first eight investments


On Monday, STING revealed the eight handpicked internet/media companies that make up the third round of STING’s accelerator program FastForward. New from this fall is that every startup receives an investment of 250,000 SEK (approx. 18,000 EUR) to further accelerate their development. The investments are made by Propel Capital, an new investment platform that STING launched earlier this spring.

Eight cutting-edge startups have been selected among 120 applicants for the 4-month accelerator program for Internet startups. The companies offer products and services for both B2B and B2C, including live-streaming, edtech, subletting, digital recruitment and the next generation’s TV guide. The founders have impressive backgrounds, from industry giants like Spotify, McKinsey, TV4 and Telenor.

– The level of quality of both business ideas and entrepreneurs has been going steadily upward for each new application period, which really has sharpened the selection process and significantly increased ​​the competition. This fall’s teams demonstrate a dynamic skillset that we are very proud to present, says Peo Nilsson, head business coach for the STING FastForward program.

Starting immediately, the entrepreneurs will begin to build close relationships with the investors behind Propel Capital. The 20 successful Swedish angel investors, including Carl Palmstierna, Kristofer Arwin, Jan-Eric Ramberg and Hampus Jakobsson, have joined forces to invest in STING’s internet/media and ICT companies. Besides investing in the STING FastForward companies, Propel Capital will make additional Internet/media/ICT investments of 250,000-500,000 SEK in STING companies exclusively, during the next 12 months.

– Propel enables me to evaluate, in a professional and structured manner, different investment opportunities, and hopefully it’s a good breeding ground for the next rising star. It’s very stimulating to support young entrepreneurs but at the same time you want good risk-balanced return, says Carl Palmstierna, investor in Propel Capital and one of Sweden’s most active business angels.

The companies now have 20 weeks ahead of them of intense business coaching by STING’s experienced Internet/media coaches. The entire coach team has extensive expertise in building companies and business development. The program follows the “Lean Startup” methodology, to increase the speed of development and to challenge and sharpen the startups’ customer offerings. The new batch will also get close communication and recruitment support, as well as access to STING broad external network of industry experts and investors.

During the program, the STING FastForward companies get free office space at SUP46 in the centre of Stockholm. The program ends in January with a Demo Day. At the closed event, the companies will present their business ideas to exclusively invited investors, potential partners and journalists.

Here are the eight companies included in the fall edition of STING Fast Forward, FFW_03:

Digger (ej live)
Digger is a new way to listen to, record, and share interviews and stories. Everyone has a story to tell. Record while on the go using your phone and share with friends and fans. The company was founded by Niklas Holmgren and Fredrik Lundqvist in 2014.

EdQu offers digital tests covering different school subjects together with powerful analytical tools. The tests help students increase their understanding of their knowledge level and how they can improve learning. EdQu’s analytical tools help teachers, principals and school system owners extract insights from the students’ results and understand improvement opportunities.

Gotogo is a communication software company with the aim of enabling organisations of all sizes to communicate using multimedia on digital platforms. The company focuses on efficient and intuitive user experiences to allow organisations to produce and distribute professional multimedia content in all areas where value may be added. Gotogo believes in using the latest in technology in combination with a methodology to promote engagement and to build brands emotionally without needing a large budget or previous expertise.

Gro Play  
Gro Play makes edutainment games and content to encourage children to learn about social and sustainability issues in an entertaining and inspiring way. There are already five app-games launched to the international market to date, that together have been downloaded more than 150,000 times. Gro Play also offers B2B solutions and have entered collaborations with companies like Håll Sverige Rent, Telge AB and Max Hamburgare.

Never miss a second of what you love thanks to Liveguide. Liveguide is a free digital service and guide to live broadcasting. Explore, discover and stay up to date with what’s on in the world right now.

Qasa is an online platform for housing-sublets that offers a hassle-free and personal experience to landlords and tenants alike. With Qasa you know and can trust your tenant and we guarantee that you’ll always be paid on time. You can arrange a viewing of your place in the blink of an eye and sign contracts online. In short, Qasa is subletting made safe and simple – as it always should have been.

SelfieJobs makes it easy and fun to post up, and apply for openings within the service sector. The main appeal is a swipe-to-like regime, short videopitches and matching with the same simplicity as seen in recent dating engines. Currently in private beta and user tests, SelfieJobs plans a Swedish launch and European expansion later this autumn.

Sudio is a Swedish lifestyle brand that designs, develops and sells elegant earphones. The company has since it´s launch of the earphone “KLANG” maintained growth and will during this fall cater to the Asian market with it’s unique overall concept for retail.