– Our goal is to bring new ideas forward

Students from Nord University in Bodø gathered for a workshop about innovation in healthcare. They had a creative idea process, with thoughts on development of new ideas and products.

Wednesday October 18th six students from several faculties met for a workshop arranged by Inspir, Engage and Start Nord in collaboration. Some of the students already had experience working in nursing or health related jobs, others just shared an interested in entrepreneurship. They were given tasks to find ideas for new inventions or services that would solve problems related to the themes health and welfare.

Workshops like these can be fruitful to create new ideas for progressing work in for example hospitals and nursing homes in Norway – specially considering the growth of life expectancy and the aging population.

The success story of Minmemoria

The workshop was led by senior advisor in Kunnskapsparken Bodø, Tom Steffensen. He is also Project manager for the Inspir project in collaboration with Nord. Inspir is one of three partners working together to make a vibrant environment for student entrepreneurs at Nord university. Through Inspir he leads a series of workshops at SPIR, to encourage students in venture creation. He is pleased with the event.

– Our goal is to help the students bring new ideas forward, with new products or services. We have a good example of a former student who has started her own business in the healthcare sector, Johanne Viksaas. With help from SPIR Idélab and others, she took an idea further and created the company Minmemoria.

Viksaas is one of the more successful examples of people who have started their career at SPIR Idélab. Today she has six employees and is expanding her company. She also has received venture capital from local investors.

Tom Steffensen.

Hoping for a new selling idea

Minmemoria have created an app which is very easily explained as a Facebook for dementia patients. The family adds information about the patient so that the people at the nursing home can get to know the patient better.

Steffensen wouldn’t mind if an equally good business idea would come up again.

– It’s up to the students themselves if they want to go further on with their ideas. If so, we are here to help them forward with them and the development of their business. The workshop is also a great arena for the students who want to compete in the business plan competition Venture Cup as well, he says. Venture Cup is a competition arranged by the student organization Start Nord.

Several idea pitches were introduced

The six participants in the workshop were divided in two groups. The ideas for new inventions were many. Eventually the students were given a limit of thirty words to explain each business idea.

At SPIR there will be more workshops where students can work with business ideas in several fields. This was the second workshop this fall, and the upcoming events at SPIR will be posted at the facebook page of SPIR idélab.