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Ideas, Innovations and Entrepreneurship

Do you always have a lot of ideas, run different projects or are you thinking about starting a business? On this webpage you will find information, practical tips and hopefully get some inspiration along the way.

An innovation is an idea put to practical use. Or if you prefer - an innovation requires that someone else other than the inventor sees the benefits the idea or solution provides and is willing to use the solution.

What is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is often described as a person who gets things done, who is “entrepreneurial”. The entrepreneur is the person taking the step from idea to reality. Sometimes it means that she/he is developing a product or service and starting a business. For some entrepreneurs, the enterprise is the most important - to become their own boss and to decide over their work. But this step may also mean changing their work process or simply engaging in social work in their spare time. Entrepreneurs work with much more than starting a business, or in other ways commercialize smart inventions.

Entrepreneurs have many faces - long or short, male or female. Common to many is still that they are working creatively, plan their work carefully and know how to sell, present and network. The entrepreneur’s way of working, their "tools", can be used in many different contexts and for different purposes. When working in projects or searching for an alternative career outside academia and the county council, the entrepreneur’s tool kit can come in handy - to be more target oriented, efficient and successful.

To develop an idea

OK, I have a good idea - but where do I start? A good idea is not much more than a good idea if you cannot get others to be convinced that your idea is better than what exists today. If you cannot explain what problems your idea solves you will never get anyone to buy or use it. Start by describing the problem and your solution. Decide what role you want to take in establishing the idea. Are you the entrepreneur yourself or do you require a partnership with another entrepreneur for the idea to be realized - and thus become an innovation?

Do not forget to think early on about if you should protect your idea in any way. Examples would be to keep your solution secret or protect it by, for example a patent. What protection you go for depends on what kind of idea you have (for example a service or product, simple or hi-tech, etc.) and how you choose to proceed. If you have ideas that you think may be patentable - remember to always examine the patentability before you talk openly about your solution. If your solution gets widely known, you can display the "novelty requirement" required to obtain patent protection.

Starting a business

There are many ways to run a business, and businesses can be developed in many different forms. Before you start your business you should carefully think through why you want to start, how you want to run your business and how you want your business to be developed.

An important and valuable tool before and during a business start-up is your business plan. In the business plan you describe briefly your business, products, market, organization and financing.

If you have ideas or thoughts about a project that you somehow want to realize, you will often get to the point where money is needed. How much money you need depends largely on what kind of idea you have. Money may be required for e.g. investment (e.g. office equipment), development of prototypes or for salaries. Consider how much money you need, what to use and last but not least - where to get it. Contact an innovation support actor and examine the possibilities for financing. Some entrepreneurs also borrow money from family and friends or taking a conventional bank loan. When you have come a little further, and have a complete business plan, it may be appropriate to evaluate the possibilities with venture capital or business angels.

Resources available for students

Sweden has a large number of actors that work in different ways to help realize ideas. In addition to training, many offer free advice and some also the opportunity to apply for grants, or to borrow money on favourable terms, either to further develop an idea or to start up a business.

Below we have selected a number of actors and resources that might be of use for you when you want to take your ideas further. For more information about available resources visit KI's general webpabes for Innovation Support.

General Advice

KI Innovations AB KI Innovations is a service function at KI providing advice and guidance in issues related to innovation. The office is open to anyone with ideas in the area of medicine and health including students at KI. The office can help you with questions related to how to turn your ideas into innovations and gives guidance to rules and regulations and possible resources that you can benefit from - including organizations, financing and useful tools.
Career Service at KI Karolinska Institutet's Career Service offers various activities and information regarding recruitment and career paths for students at Karolinska Institutet.
Drivhuset Drivhuset Stockholm is an economic association that through its activities provides a meeting place for people who want to develop their ideas and their entrepreneurial drive. The focus is on the entrepreneur not on the idea itself.
Start up Stockholm Start-Up Stockholm is Sweden's largest centers for free counseling on business and innovation for people in the start-up and early growth phases. Start-Up Stockholm is a foundation with the main partners: the City of Stockholm, SEB and ALMI .
ALMI Almi's vision is to create opportunities for all viable ideas and companies to be developed. We offer advisory services, loans and venture capital through all phases of the establishment of a business – from idea to successful company. This includes ideas with potential for growth in the early stages as well as existing companies that are investing in growth and expansion. Almi Företagspartner AB is owned by the Swedish government and is the parent company of a group consisting of 16 regional subsidiaries, Almi Invest AB and IFS Rådgivning AB. With 40 offices across Sweden, we are always close to our customers. Stockholm is a web-based guide and portal that that has been created for those that are starting, running, want to develop or will close a company in Stockholm. On the website you will find everything you will need to know; like the differences of various types of companies, business related documents, information on how to register your company, accounting and how to pay taxes (!). The initiative is collaboration among several Swedish government agencies like Skatteverket (the Swedish Tax Agency), Bolagsverket (Swedish Companies Registration Office) and Tillväxtverket (the Swedish Agency for Growth).


The Unit for Bioentrepreneurship (UBE) UBE is an academic unit at Karolinska Institutet with the mission to inspire, educate and facilitate networks for students, researchers and clinicians within the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship.
SSES (Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship) SSES is a joint school between KI, KTH, SU, SSE and Konstfack devoted to offering education, training and inspiration in applied entrepreneurship. The courses are split into three categories: core courses, context courses and skills courses. The courses are provided in interdisciplinary groups with students from different backgrounds. The ECTS credits generated through the courses could be counted towards your degree.

Environments & Physical Work Space for meeting and prototyping

Openlab Openlab is a challenge-driven innovation community providing courses for professionals and master’s students, co-working space, innovation projects and a conference center. Together with their founding partners they are experts in transforming innovation for the public sector through design methods and digital innovation platforms.
(The Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship)
SSES is a global platform for interdisciplinarity. Throughout their twenty-year history they have been elevating minds, generating ventures, forging connections and inspiring new ways of thinking. Today, they are a global network of silo-busters, system-thinkers and changemakers that work to question the taken for granted and strive towards a better future.
Makerspace Stockholm Makerspace is a crowdfunded, non-profit organization & creative workshop in central Stockholm (Drottning Kristinas Väg 53). It's a place set up to promote exploration of the intersection of tech, art & craft, aiming to encourage creative tech tinkering and drive innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration. Hope you want to join, don't hesitate to contact


Here are some of the Stockholm based communities that can provide support and a network where innovation can be explored. They often have events and are good to follow through social media.

SUP46 SUP46 is a meeting place and co-working space for the local startup scene in Stockholm. Located next to Sergels Torg in central Stockholm.
H2 (Health Hub) H2 is a co-working space & meeting place for the health tech and e-health community in Stockholm. It is located by Torsplan and is near to Karolinska Institutet.
Impact Hub A Co-working office space that is part business incubator, part innovation lab, and part social enterprise community.
Health 2.0 Stockholm Health 2.0 is the Stockholm chapter in Health 2.0 movement. Health 2.0 promotes, showcases and catalyzes new technologies in health care. This is done through a worldwide series of conferences, code-a-thons, prize challenges, and more.

Financial Resources

KI Innovations AB (KIAB) KI Innovations is an incubator and a wholly owned subsidiary of Karolinska Institutets holding company. KI Innovations utilizes research findings in life science by evaluating and verifying projects with commercial potential as well as supporting business development to corporate or licensing.

FundedByMe is a Swedish start-up crowdfunding company that follows a structured, well-defined process of funding your company. While a regular funding round could take anywhere between 6-12 months, on FundedByMe a campaign takes 1-2 months, leaving you with more time to run your company.


Venture Cup

Venture Cup is a business plan competition and a series of training sessions for anyone with an innovative business idea. The competition Venture Cup consists of a several important elements that help entrepreneurs to take their business to the market. They target two different tracks of early entrepreneurs: ”Idea” (Fall) where ideas can be tested directly through our digital community, and ”Startup” (Spring) that support startups taking the next step in launching their business.


The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to education and competition, the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open community and collaboration.

iGEM runs three main programs: the iGEM Competition - an international competition for students interested in the field of synthetic biology; the Labs Program - a program for academic labs to use the same resources as the competition teams; and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts - a growing collection of genetic parts use for building biological devices and systems.

iGEM also has iGEM Stockholm.

Social Innovation

Reach for Change

Reach for Change is a non-profit organisation founded by the Kinnevik Group and Sara Damber to improve children’s lives. We find and develop Change Leaders – local social entrepreneurs with innovations that solve pressing issues facing children. The entrepreneurs are helped to scale their innovations through seed funding, access to business expertise and networking opportunities. Launched in Sweden in 2010, we are now present 18 countries on three continents, supporting more than 400 entrepreneurs globally. We are steadily moving into more markets and increasing our global impact.


For more information about education, please contact Unit for bioentrepreneurship (UBE) at Karolinska Institutet.

For more information on how to develop an idea contact KI Innovations AB.