From robots to new materials: 18 KTH startups join the pre-incubator program
Over 50% want to actively contribute to sustainable development, and a third have been founded by KTH researchers. Among the ideas are an autonomous robot that delivers food, 3D-printed implants, musical instruments, and smart solutions to reduce waste. This is Batch 13!
One of the teams that enter the program is ReLi, that focuses on upcycling retired batteries from electric vehicles. When EV batteries reach about 80% of their capacity, they have to be replaced due to strict mobile operating limits. In a course, founders Laura Laringe and Ashish Baskar got the idea to use the remaining capacity to let house owners store excess energy, for example from solar panels.
Helps creatives track their work
Another team in the program is SCAPA, a solution to make it easier for creatives, like graphic designers, to keep track of different versions of their work, for example when designing a new logo. SCAPA was founded by Esra Kahraman och Araxi Mekhitarian, both recent KTH graduates.
- It’s frustrating to work on a project and have to save ten different files to keep track of your changes, says Esra Kahraman. We want to solve that problem. We are excited to start our journey together with the other teams in the pre-incubator program. It will be a challenging and very fun year that we are looking forward to.
Ideas in all areas
Every year, KTH Innovation meets over 350 teams of students, researchers and employees at KTH with new ideas or research. Around 30 per year enter the KTH Innovation pre-incubator program. The 18 new teams, are in good company. Among the program’s 200 alumni are companies like Airmee, Manomotion, Degoo, and imagiLabs.
- Batch 13 is interesting, because there’s such an amazing diversity in terms of ideas, says Viktor Olsson, Program and Community Manager. Many develop solutions related to sustainable development, from energy solutions to new materials, and there’s also a wide variety of hardware cases. It’s always fun to start a new batch, and we look forward to following their development this year.
3D prints degradable implants
Another team in the program is AKIRA Science, building on KTH Professor Anna Finne Wistrand’s research. They have developed a new, degradable polymer, that can be used in for example 3D-printed implants. The field is called tissue engineering. From the team of six, PhD student Álvaro Morales López and Astrid Ahlinder, who recently defended her doctoral thesis, will be the most active in the pre-incubator program.
- We’ve been working to create impact from this research for two years, but we felt we needed a community, says Astrid Ahlinder. We have a lot of knowledge about our research, but the business side and communicating our work is the tricky part. We are looking forward to taking part in the program and share the experience with other startups.
Structure and support
During the year, KTH Innovation leads the participants through the KTH Innovation Readiness Level model’s six areas: technology, customer, business, intellectual property, team and funding. They take part in workshops on communication, how to talk to customers, secure funding, or get a grip of their competition. Every week, a new topic is under discussion, often with invited guests who share their experience. Since 2020, the program is completely digital.
- We haven’t seen a drop in applications. In fact, the digital format lets even more teams participate, says Viktor Olsson. It’s also great to see that the width in terms of diversity and the number of women who apply continues to grow. We're happy to see that the efforts of our department and KTH as a whole are starting to have an effect.
By: Lisa Bäckman
Full list: Meet Batch 13!
AKIRA expands the emerging field of tissue engineering through the design of a new degradable polymer optimized to work in 3D-printing technologies.
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