Despite the challenges of the past year, many new, exciting companies continue to be started in Skellefteå. A good proof of that is the nominations for Smartup of the Year: Whitebox, PreLocate and Photon Sports.
– There are three strong companies that show the breadth and creativity of start-ups, says Anja Palm, business manager at Skellefteå municipality. It appears from a press release.
Smartup is Skellefteå’s collective innovation and business promoter, which offers support for developing and financing business ideas and innovations. This year, for the second time, they are awarding the Smartup of the Year award, which goes to a person or company that has taken advantage of Smartup’s various offers. Other criteria required to be nominated are that there is a sustainable and innovative idea with growth potential, which is also considered to be good for Skellefteå.
– Happily enough, despite the pandemic, we have not noticed any loss in the new business and there were many good suggestions on who should be nominated. It was a tough vote, but in the end we were able to agree on three really strong nominations, says Anja Palm.
Creative solutions to current challenges
Every year, approximately 350–400 new companies are started with an F-tax certificate in Skellefteå, and among those who received help from Smartup in 2020, three stood out a little extra.
– The nominated companies are good examples of many new ideas emerging and meeting current needs. Whitebox, for example, has taken its starting point in the pandemic and developed products for disinfection in the retail trade, and PreLocate facilitates recruitment in a Skellefteå during strong growth. Photon Sports also has an offer that is exactly right on time, with its self-developed 3D camera that optimizes speed training, says Anja Palm.
SEK 50,000 and needs-adapted help
The prize for Smartup of the Year is awarded during the Bizbuz Day on March 26 and consists of both SEK 50,000 and access to the tailored services that Smartup offers. Anja Palm believes that the way Smartup works has been very positive for new business in Skellefteå:
– Before, it could be a bit unclear who to turn to, but thanks to Smartup, there is a clear way in to get the right support. Because the different actors work together, synergy effects are created that are valuable for all those who have a business idea that they want to realize.
The nominations for SmartUp 2020 of the Year
With the outside world’s super current needs in focus, Whitebox has developed products for disinfection of shopping carts, payment terminals and other potentially infectious areas in the retail trade. In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, Whitebox was quickly on the ball with developing decontamination equipment completely free of harmful chemicals. Instead, LED technology and UVC light are used to eliminate viruses and reduce the spread of infection. Fast, secure and efficient! This makes Whitebox a shining example of both a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to introduce new technology to solve society’s current and future challenges, both in Sweden and internationally.
In a rapidly growing and increasingly international Skellefteå, the recruitment of competent staff is one of the biggest challenges. PreLocate has taken this into account when offering companies support in the establishment process for new employees, in order to both attract and retain competent staff. The goal is to increase well-being and the conditions for a meaningful life, both for new employees and families who move to Skellefteå to work in the Skellefteå of the future. The people behind PreLocate have really found a niche that is both unique and just right for the times. With their expertise in the field, they have all the prerequisites to both grow themselves and become an important factor in Skellefteå’s growth.
With its self-developed 3D camera for analysis of bodies in motion, Photon Sports has created completely new conditions for optimizing athletes’ flexibility and speed training. The company was started with Smartup support and its founder Jonas Sjöberg himself has 25 years in the industry as one of Europe’s leading experts in optical systems. With Photon Sports, he has both made a big impression in Sport Analytics and laid the foundation for a company that can grow over time globally as well. Already in 2021, it is planned to employ five to ten people, which gives an exciting picture of Photon Sports as a future company.