Creatives & Changemakers

Wheelchair made from recycled bicycle parts wins the Swedish Creative Business Cup

Caroline Wendt
March 30, 2020

The Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup was held in a new format in mid-March 2020 at Stenkrossen in Lund. The entrepreneurs that made the final presented interesting ideas in relation to both sustainability and digital technology. The winner was SafariSeat, a stable wheelchair manufactured from old bicycle parts that is intended for use by the underprivileged in Africa. The winner will take part in the international final in Copenhagen.

The Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup was conducted in a new format with a limited number of people present. The event was recorded and broadcast live so that even those who could not attend were able to experience the final (link to recorded broadcast).

There were common qualities to the entrepreneur’s ideas. Most ideas included the notion of sustainability, such as finding more environmentally friendly ways to print and re-use garments, improved methods of monitoring water quality in lakes and streams, and the means of producing nutrients from sea moss. Other ideas sought to facilitate and improve work, leisure and everyday life through digital solutions – enhancing migrant’s money transactions, the organization of publications in social media, and offering historical city walks. The ideas also addressed challenges such as social exclusion, unemployment and poverty.

The winner was SafariSeat which provides wheelchairs to children and adults in Africa’s developing countries. The idea is to target low-income people, who because of their disabilities, may have become isolated in society. The wheelchair design is off-road, stable and powered by hand pedals. In order for the poorest to afford the wheelchair, SafariSeat hopes to partly rely on the humanitarian support system – however, those that earn a little more would be able to afford the wheelchair by paying 8 dollars a month via their mobile phone or by insurance companies covering some of the cost. The wheelchairs are made of recycled bicycle parts and cost no more than 300 dollars.

Jury motivation: Being able to think from the heart and brain is important for an entrepreneur. This entrepreneur has succeeded in both areas and has also used recycled parts and local production. The company is close to reaching its target market.

The jury members were Björn Englund (I Love Lund), Mikael Kotanidis (Chimney Group), Emily Johansson (SITE), Lottie Norrsen (Sten K Johansson), Rosa Rydahl (Stenkrossen) and Maria Lindwall (Business Sweden). Chairman of the jury was Per Persson (Department of Sustainable Growth, Lund Municipality).

These were the other finalists:

Vaquita Technologies is a start-up from Lund that keeps track of water quality in a sustainable way. Using customized sensor packages, the company delivers real-time data about algae blooms and toxins in our lakes and streams. The connected sensors can give an immediate reading of the water quality and also removes the need for transportation of water samples.

Atlas-flying money has found a solution for migrants that want to transfer money to relatives, for example to South East Asia. By developing an app, the company wants to make it easy, fast and cheap to send money. Atlas’s idea is to charge a fee that is less than two percent of the transferred sum and explain that they will partner with a leading Swedish bank.

Seatrient manufactures a product that provides nutrition in powdered form. The key ingredient is sea moss grown on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean and the product is described as vegetarian, allergy free, GMO-free and sustainably grown. In addition to this, farming of the product on Saint Lucia can help with domestic unemployment while the powder would be produced in Sweden and sold online.  

Vividye offers a sustainable alternative to current dyeing methods for textiles, such as clothing. The entrepreneurs have come up with a method that can both dye and discolour garments at any time, while retaining the properties of the fabric. In this way it is possible to print textiles with a pattern, and then wash the pattern out and replace with a new one. This makes it possible for the textile industry to transform and recycle textiles thereby reducing the production of cotton, for example, which has a manufacturing process that is costly for the environment.

Rostr inc is a service that integrates social media platforms into a channel that makes it easier for the user to organize publications for relevant contacts. The app is funded by allowing businesses to buy ads on Rostr that are presented as suggestions to the user. The app is being developed in Lund and could be launched as early as October.

Be There Then is a company with an app that uses photographs to show what urban environments looked like a long time ago. Be Here Then already made last year’s final and has since been launched as an app and began collaborating with several cities in Skåne, including Lund. Now, the plan is to develop the app so that it can also show the future, which could be useful for large construction projects such as Slussen in Stockholm. Be There Then is also looking for international partners.

In conjunction with the final of Creative Business Cup, Björn Englund also presented I Love Lund, which is a network of business angels in Lund. The network consists of 56 angel investors that help entrepreneurs with financing in the form of loans, support or purchase of shares but also many other things – such as, contacts within the large network, initial advice, how to deal with skills and capital and how to scale up their business to commercial levels.

Translation: Ben Dohrmann


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