Välkommen to Västerås: Swedish innovation
The Imperial College alumni network stretches far, wide and high. This month Jamie Morrison, an ex PHD student at Imperial, invited us to pack our bags and head north - to Sweden!
After a fascinating career at the University of Stockholm, researching heart regeneration in Salamanders, Jamie is now inspiring the next generation of Scientists at the Carlforrska High School. Having come across one of Climate Edge's articles and recent awards, Jamie saw an opportunity for us to come and talk to his IB students about our journey so far.
Now it seems the Swedish need no help going from a start up to a billion dollar company - from Spotify to iZettle and beyond Sweden reliably churns out innovation in style. I therefore decided to focus on the other side of the equation, which is consistently hard no matter who you are or where you're from: Going from an idea to a start up.
Ironically, I think one of the biggest barriers to people being entrepreneurs is the age old start up creation myth. We started in a garage and look where we are now. Unfortunately, this inspirational story often comes with an asterisk:
We started in a garage and look where we are now*
* but our founders were genius chessmasters aged 8
* but our product was the most innovative thing seen by mankind
* but we worked 68 hour days
I firmly believe that this is nothing but thinly veiled marketing, and makes working for or founding a start up seem elitist and inaccessible.
Therefore, over the course of three days I had the privilege of working with the students during a series of lectures, workshops and practical activities to demonstrate that they already had the skills needed to take their ideas forwards and build their future. No grand mastery needed!
In fact, we are delighted that a team of the students have decided to work with Climate Edge over the next year as a part of their CAS (creativity, activity, service) project. These students will be helping us test and improve our weather stations over the next 12 months and will see that working for a start up is a rewarding, enjoyable and accessible experience.