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How STING helps Startups to succed


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STING’s business incubator helps entrepreneurs to build international growth companies faster. By offering support within business development, financing, and networking, we want to create the right conditions for our startups to conquer the world. Learn more!

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How STING helps Startups to succed

  2. 2. Business development STING’s business development support has received international recognition on several occasions. Our handpicked business coaches have solid experience in building up and lead- ing international technology companies and are specialised within different technical fields. Companies admitted to the incubator are as- signed a personal business coach, who pro- vides support at least a half day per week. Our business coaches are also a close-knit team, and they continually work to develop STING’s unique ”toolkit” and to offer everything from specialist sales training courses to advanced assistance in recruiting key personnel. Financing We help entrepreneurs develop a financing plan and find the best possible financing solutions. We feel it is important in the initial phase to look for financing that does not dilute the founder’s ownership, such as through customer financ- ing and ”soft” money. We have also created the STING Business Angels network and the ven- ture capital fund STING Capital. Naturally, we STING – for faster growth STING’s business incubator helps entrepreneurs to build international growth companies faster. Through business development, financing and network support, we aim to create the conditions necessary to allow start-ups to conquer the world. The incubator process consists of two parts. From day one in the incubator, the goal is future global expansion. The Business Lab pre-incubator is for individuals that have a product idea or a research finding in a very early stage that they want to develop and test. They do not yet need to have started a company to develop their business idea. To be accepted into the Business Accelerator incubator, the team is expected to have completed the start phase and be ready to begin market activities. Here, it is expected that the entrepreneur will be 100 per cent committed. STING also offers two practical training programmes: The Startup entrepreneur programme lasts four months (primarily in the evenings) and consists of workshops within business critical areas. This is of- fered free of charge. Here participants are able to test the validity of their technology- based product idea at a very early stage. The Go Global Medtech internationali- sation programme is open to medical technology companies from throughout Sweden that want to succeed with their global expansion. This is offered once a year and lasts four months. also make available our network of both Swed- ish and international investors. network Through STING and our business coaches, our companies get access to our broad national and international networks. We have also cre- ated our own recruitment network – STING Search for Talents – where we offer convenient and cost-effective help in recruiting key per- sonnel. Our partnerships within the business, academic and research communities offer such advantages as access to technical and com- mercial verification of business concepts. Other STING companies also serve as an invaluable source of inspiration and expertise. acceptance criteria New companies are admitted into the business incubator on a continual basis. STING targets entrepreneurs and innovators from academia, research institutes and the business community. We focus on working with a few, select projects and companies. For this reason we have an extensive and thorough selection process. With this in mind, external stakeholders, investors and potential customers see admission as a STING company as a stamp of quality and reliability. A STING company’s business idea should be based on an innovative technology, be clearly useful to customers, be unique and scalable, and have a large international market potential. We work primarily with ideas within ICT, Internet/ media, medical technology and energy/environ- mental technology. Since the team is crucial for a company’s success, we place great importance on the willingness to build a team with star-power. oFFices STING is based in Kista Science City – in the middle of one of the world’s premier growth regions. Our Kista incubator is in Growhouse, which is home to many growth companies. We also offer offices at KTH Vallhallavägen in Stock- holm and at Karolinska Institutet Science Park in Flemingsberg. This has been made possible through strategic agreements with KTH and Karolinska Institutet. Companies admitted to our Business Lab pre-incubator are offered offices at no charge for six months. During the next phase, known as the Business Accelerator, companies pay reduced rent for up to two years. Read more: sting’s programmes
  3. 3. The core of our offer is the highly qualified business support provided to the company by its personal business coach. Our support can total over 450 hours during the incubation period. It is important, however, to point out that it is the team’s responsibility to produce and deliver. Together with the business coach, a milestone plan is established with the most important activities that are to be implemented and the plan is revised on a regular basis. The busi- ness coach encourages and supports the team in achieving the goals on time and achieving breakthroughs. The coaching is provided dur- ing weekly meetings, but also on an ad hoc basis when the business coach takes part in meetings with, for example, potential investors, customers, suppliers and key recruits. The team receives support and other help from the business coach in developing its business plan, product concepts, business model, financing plan and sales strategy. This is primarily done through regular coaching, but also through some of the development modules described below, what we like to call ”STING’s toolkit”. Different business coaches are special- ists for different modules, which means com- panies work with many members of our team during the incubation period. sting’s toolkit Since 2002 we have built up a bank of knowl- edge, experience and materials within different areas that are critical for newly started technol- ogy companies. To avoid reinventing the wheel each time a company is on the verge of enter- ing a new phase of its development, we have created a toolkit consisting of important services and development modules. The order in which the modules are implemented depends on each company’s unique situation and not all modules are necessarily appropriate for every company. Base Camp – This module helps everyone in the company to focus on selling from day one. It provides training to focus on an identified and well-defined customer who has the greatest need for the product. Are we in the same boat? – Helps the team at an early stage to develop common goals for the company and agree on a shareholders’ agree- ment. The Journey – Provides a total review of the company’s business development strategy. Financing plan/strategy – Establishes a budget, financing strategy and plan that mini- mises ownership dilution for the founders while ensuring capital for the first 12 to 24 months. Radically increases the potential for bringing in capital but we can never guarantee that capital will be found. How to convince investors – Provides informa- tion and practical training in presenting yourself and company in a winning manner that inspires confidence with all types of investors and ven- ture capitalists. Protect your business – Reviews possible ways of protecting the business, including patents and trademarks, and put together a strategy for this. Sales development/training – Provides insight and knowledge of all parts of the sales process and skills for generating more sales income for the company. STING Brand Academy – Offers such help as defining target groups and main message and developing a graphic profile. We also offer help with media contacts and advantageous partner- ship agreements. Internationalisation strategy – Helps with de- veloping an effective internationalisation plan. The module concludes with a company presen- tation for international investors and experts. Achieving a breakthrough
  4. 4. STING’s in-house financing options In order to meet the capital needs of new technology companies in the early stages of their development, STING has developed its own sources of financing. However, we would like to emphasize that this should be seen as merely a possibility and that STING’s incuba- tor companies do not automatically receive financing. sting capital The fund offers financing at very early stages to companies that have an innovative and unique technical product idea with potential for becoming an international growth compa- ny. An external investment committee makes investment decisions. STING Capital invests up to SEK 4 million per company. sting Business angels The STING Business Angels (SBA) network consists of about 30 specially selected individ- uals, the majority of whom have a background as successful technology entrepreneurs. SBA invests primarily in STING companies. In ad- dition to capital, the members are expected to also contribute their industrial expertise to the company. STING Search for Talents STING’s ambition is to help companies build winning teams. As a STING company, you gain access to our own recruitment service, STING Search for Talents. The service pro- vides support throughout the recruitment process. We offer access to a web-based recruitment system, help develop job descrip- tions and adverts, provide channels for finding candidates and support companies in the selection process through to the final decision. Facts about STING Organisational form: Non-profit company owned by the Electrum Foundation Founded: In 2002 by CEO Pär Hedberg Time in the business incubator: The Business Lab pre-incubator 6 months, the Business Accelerator incubator 12-18 months Number evaluated projects/companies: 873 since start Accepted projects/companies: 69 since start (of which 5 have been shut down) STING compaNIeS’ reSulTS 2002-2009 Total corporate value: SEK 1.624 million Accumulated public capital SEK 191 million Accumulated private capital SEK 627 million Number of employees 2009: 376 Sales 2009: SEK 200 million STING’S owN fINaNcING opTIoNS The venture capital fund STING Capital: Normally invests a maximum of SEK 4 million (EUR 400’) /company and only in STING companies. Has invested SEK 46.1 million in 20 portfolio companies (091231). STING Business Angels: About 30 business angels with entrepreneurial back- grounds. Have invested about SEK 45 million in 15 STING companies and STING Capital. (091231). “STING’s ambition is to help companies build winning teams.”
  5. 5. “STING gave us an excellent start and has been incredibly flexible in support- ing us when the need was greatest. STING also has an interesting and wide-ranging network that we have gained great benefit from. The invest- ment we received from STING Capital was also very important for allowing us to move forward with development of our mobile application tool and we have now received international ven- ture capital.” Alex Jonsson, MoSync AB “During our time in the incubator, we went from four founders, who worked when they were off from their regu- lar jobs, to 15 employees and a partnership agreement with RWE Innogy, Germany’s largest energy producer. We have won several awards and received lots of PR. This would not have occurred without STING. STING has served as a catalyst, helping us finding a number of skilled employees, actively contributing to creating dialogues with customers and supporting us in the critical area of financing.” Erik Odén, Mantex AB “During our STING time, the company made an incredible journey. We secured SEK 5 million in venture capital, grew from 3 to 11 employees and went from three customers in Sweden to 16 in five countries. Sting has been very valuable for developing our sales process. We also gained important insight on how the financing system works and what financing alternatives were available.” Sorosh Tavakoli, Videoplaza AB “In the beginning we were faced with all the challenges a startup can have – everything from recruiting and financing to technical development. STING’s business coaches played a very important role in our develop- ment by both inspiring us and serving as a sounding board throughout our journey. Today we have over 5.000 customers in 70 countries.” Stina Ehrensvärd, Yubico AB
  6. 6. The STING team The founder and CEO Pär Hedberg, who was previously CEO for a number of technology companies with 50-300 employees, founded STING in 2002. Since then, Pär has carefully hand-picked employees to ensure that all business coaches have solid experience from building up and leading international technology companies and that they have expertise within different technical fields. All of us at STING agree that we have the world’s best job – having the privilege of helping the most talented and committed innovators and entrepreneurs in building new export companies. STING’s vision is to support the building of new global growth companies by attracting the best innovators and entrepreneurs, offering them world-class business development support and networks. The STING business incubator is a non-profit company, owned by the Electrum Foundation – a collaboration between the business and research communities and the City of Stockholm. Our main partners are Innovations- bron, Karolinska Institutet and KTH. Growhouse, Isafjordsgatan 39 B, SE-164 40 Kista, Sweden • Phone: +46 (0)8-20 28 40 MAIN PARTNERS RESOURCE PARTNERS INDUSTRY PARTNERS RESEARCH PARTNERS ENTREPRENUERIAL PARTNERS LOCATION PARTNER partners MARTIN GEMVIK Investment Manager and Partner STING Capital JESSICA STARK Head of Marketing OLOF BERGLUND Business Coach Medtech ANGELA G. STRÖMBERG Assistent MAGNUS REHN Business Coach Cleantech IVAR STRÖMBERG Business Coach ICT and Internet/Media PÄR HEDBERG CEO and Business Coach ICT RAOUL STUBBE Business Coach ICT MARIA NILSSON STING Search for Talents and STING Business Angels ULF BRANDELS Business Coach Internet/Media