It was September 2019 when I saw a random poster that caught my attention among the hundreds of other advertisements in the THS student union building. It said something about a program to “bringing ideas to life”. I was aware of KTH Innovation and that was one of the reasons to apply to KTH. The poster was about KTH Innovation Preincubation Program – one-year structured support to students, researchers at KTH to develop ideas into startups. I was excited and had just four days left to send my application to KTH Innovation. There were two rounds of the selection process and I was happy that the application was brief and to straight to the point.
The idea finally made it to the pre-incubation program and I named my brainchild idea – PLabs. At PLabs, we engineer sustainable materials with high damping properties that can be readily plugged into any machine tool structure, converting them into high-speed monsters.
I remember the induction day when I met 14 other teams with amazing ideas and I realized that I belong here and the community including the staff, mentors, alumni, and teams together come together to create a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs. The journey started with weekly batch meetings where the teams are trained on developing their ideas, engaging customers, and various skills and knowledge needed to run a startup. We were also assigned a personal coach who mentored us for the last year with great insights, feedback and critical networks.
We were also supported with a legal counsel, coworking spaces, networking, funding. The energy in the coworking space was contagious.
Starting a company is associated with uncertainty and we have had our share of setbacks and breakthroughs. BUT
The experiential learning at KTH Innovation was much more than what the four walls in the academic classroom had to offer.
This week was the demo day which marks the graduation of the teams from the program. Every team got an opportunity to pitch their ideas and talk about their journey in front of a digital crowd of 300 people which included, investors, advisors, students and many others. I could see every team including PLabs come a long way from starting as a basic idea to creating prototypes, talking to key stakeholders, realizing the ideas won’t work and pivoting, getting inputs from other teams and mentors, feeling dejected, feeling elated, and finally reaching a stage where we are proud of the journey.
If you are interested in applying for the batch 12 of the preincubation program, do check out their website. If you have any questions, do comment in the section below.