Digital Ventures accelerator program is moving on the next step. After a six month pilot phase the first cohort has now started, with eight companies from four different countries on board.
The last couple of weeks four new companies has entered the Digital Ventures accelerator program: SunSense (Norway), Flow (Iceland), Masano Health (Sweden) and Asya (Latvia). Together with the companies that has been running the pilot phase, this marks the official start of the 10 month module-based accelerator program.
– It is really exciting that we have been able to attract companies of such high quality. About half of the cohort is scaleups who already reached quite far. One of the companies, Flow, have an estimated valuation of 10 million dollars. The mix of startups and scaleups is very interesting for the dynamics of the accelerator, says David Holm, Investment Manager of DigitalWell Ventures.
KTH-model inspires new tool
A lot of effort has been put down in evolving the KTH Innovation Readiness Level-model, developing it from an assessment-tool to include a knowledge based curriculum tool that drives progress for startups in the DigitalWell Ventures accelerator program.
– This task is bigger than us. We have worked on this almost like an “open source platform”, where different stakeholders from the academia, startup- and innovation ecosystem have made great contributions – and I am sure more will follow, says Lina Svensberg, Program Manager in DigitalWell Ventures
Karlstad University, Oslo University, OsloMet, Örebro University, Linneaus University, Innovatum Incubator and Movexum Incubator is some of the stakeholders that’s already have been involved. KTH Innovation is of course also a crucial source of knowledge, and take great interest following the reshaping of their assessment tool and partakes actively in the work.
Making test environments available
A key factor before launching the accelerator program was the access to test environments. This has turned out to be a unique assessment to attract high quality scaleups. More than half of the accelerator companies have access to local test environments, made possible by DigitalWell Ventures ecosystem. Two examples are SunSense, who are going to test their UV warning platform on 30 employees in Arvika municipality, and DigitalWell Arena is now helping Asya to set up at test for their AI-tool helping to communicate and avoid conflict, involving 20 families with children.
– We’ll be conducting in-depth studies with focus-groups here in Sweden and setting up public sector trials inside EU, which has a tremendous value for a Norwegian HealthTech startups, says David Holm.
The strong network connected to Digital Ventures has also surpassed the expectations. The mentor program that has been launched have engaged about 60 highly skilled professionals, contributing with key knowledge and entry points to the international market.
– At yesterdays kick-off, we counted participation from cross-discipline mentors in 18 countries in 4 continents which reflects our ambition to offer a truly competitive international grade program for born-global startups, says Lina Svensberg.
Exciting ten months…
In total the DigitalWell Ventures team thinks the possibilities for the accelerator companies to develop and scale up on an international market looks bright.
– The coming ten months will be very exciting. I am quite sure that some of the companies are going to have a breakthroughs on the market and perhaps we’ll have a new Unicorn starting right now, says David Holm.