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Innovation and sustainability is the way forward

The SU Business Model Cup combines pursuit of innovation and societal benefits with the need of transforming into sustainability. In this way the competition reflects both Stockholm University and our time. Tony Apéria is the enthusiastic engine behind the project.

Tony Apéria of the SU Business Model Cup.
Tony Apéria of the SU Business Model Cup.

He has the picture set in his mind. It's in Albano in November. People are there. Competitors, jury, audience. The winners of the eighth edition of the SU Business Model Cup will be presented. But that is then and this is now. The seventh edition has recently been held digitally due to the pandemic. Just like the sixth was last autumn. Stockholm Business School (SBS) and senior lecturer Tony Apéria have, together with Drivhuset, arranged the SU Business Model Cup twice a year since 2017 and hope to do so for a long time to come.

“I look forward to having a physical event again. It has worked well digitally but doing it live is something else. People meeting creates something extra”, says Tony Apéria.

Ideally, he would like the SU Business Model Cup to be televised. There is no doubt that Tony Apéria is passionate about this. He speaks warmly of the professional jury. Of the unique combination of innovation and sustainability. Of the event being open to everyone at Stockholm University. Student, researcher or staff doesn’t matter. Everyone can participate and compete and those who have really good ideas can also win.


And the winners are…

This spring the winners in the student category is Dermalytics that have developed an app that helps doctors to make better diagnoses for skin cancer. The company consists of Christoffer Ekström, Fredrik Marthinsen and Jonatan Helenason from the Department of Computer and Systems Science and the jury's motivation read "For using new technology in a creative way to save lives and reduce costs in the global healthcare system".

The category for researchers was won by the company Bsense. Fatima Bayloun from the Department of Computer and Systems Science presented the development of a special hat that measures oxygenation in the blood and which may facilitate the work in geriatric care. The jury's motivation was "For using innovative techniques for measuring and monitoring health conditions, with potential lifesaving effects".

“This time both winning contributions are aimed at health care but I want to empathize the diversity in the SU Business Model Cup, that we get contributions from the entire university”, says Tony Apéria.


Experienced and professional jury

The jury that had the tough task of selecting the winners among many strong contributions consisted of: Jan Ståhlberg, founder EQT, now CEO Trillimpact, Anders Kempe, founder JKL and European director MSL, now CEO Bellbird, Michelle Wegner, Global Head of Marketing, large corporations & financial institutions SEB, Annika Nordström, former CEO of Handelsbanken Baltikum, now Head of Risk Assessment at Handelsbanken Finland, Pär Hedberg (CEO) Sting, Erik Feldt, Head of Community Engagement Nordea Group and Jakob Lundberg, Chairman of Albaeco Stockholm University.

“The standard of the jury is really high and it’s great that these people take the time and want to give something back. Something that can help the participants move forward”, says Tony Apéria.


Ways forward for winners

One example of the possibility to move forward is Mylad Chamoun and Enerpoly, winners in the spring of 2019. Mylad has a doctorate in organic chemistry from Stockholm University and just a few days ago the magazine Tekniktidningen wrote extensively about the company's work with rechargeable zinc batteries. Something the European Innovation Council (EIC) believes so much in that they in the autumn of 2020 were awarded a Horizon 2020 Accelerator Pilot Green Deal grant in the order of SEK 17 million and they have also received 3.8 million from the Swedish Energy Agency.

“Innovation, engagement, sustainability, to be able to pitch your idea in competition form and feel that it can carry on outside the academic setting. It is extremely important. Both for the university and the future”, says Tony Apéria.

That he also thinks it’s fun to work with does not need to be stated to be heard. It's hard to imagine someone who, in the midst of this green spring and among flowering cherry trees, longs for November more than Tony Apéria.