- continues to be ranked as one of the best Swedish incubators
Vinnova has assessed the quality of SmiLe’s operations and portfolio of startups and found it to be at the highest level in the call for “Support to startups through excellent incubators.” As a result of this decision, SmiLe Incubator in Lund will receive SEK 5 million per year for two years, as well as additional grants, based on the portfolio of companies for 2022 through 2024. The total sum of SEK 11.8 million for 2021-2022 includes a verification grant of SEK 1.8 million that will be used for purposes such as developing patent strategies for the startups.
SmiLe Incubator thereby retains the distinction as “excellent incubator” from Vinnova’s evaluation in 2017 and will continue to be entrusted with funding through 2024.
In this call, Vinnova expanded the requirements by also evaluating the incubators’ portfolios of startups. Even here SmiLe excels by having a large number of high-quality startups.
“Skåne has a strong innovation environment and leading research within life science. Vinnova’s evaluation is an acknowledgement that we have found the right formula for developing and supporting these startups. Now we will have the opportunity to develop the operation and make it even better, as well as to support more startups with extra funding and resources” says Ebba Fåhraeus
An evaluation group consisting of representatives from Vinnova and experts appointed by Vinnova conducted the assessment. All startups in the incubator were examined, and it was the quantity of these high-quality startups in particular that resulted in the high rating and large grant from Vinnova.
“We are extremely pleased. The process has been demanding both for us and the startups, but now we have met and exceeded the goal! The financial support is more than twice what we had hoped for. Now we can attract even more exciting startups that contribute to better health.” says Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator.
This time, Vinnova has increased its support for innovative companies by providing a larger financial grant to the best incubators than in previous years. A total of SEK 87 million will be awarded annually to 29 Swedish incubators over the 2021-2024 time period. The incubators will each receive between SEK 300,000 and SEK 5 million annually during the first two years, after which a new assessment of the portfolio startups will be carried out for the following two years.
In addition to this funding, Vinnova is awarding – because of the Covid-19 pandemic – an extra SEK 33 million for verification activities in 2020 at the incubator startups. SmiLe is receiving SEK 1.8 million of these funds to allocate to SmiLe portfolio startups.
Facts about Vinnova’s call for proposals ”Support to startups through excellent incubators”:
The goal of this call is to strengthen support to new startups that, through unique knowledge and technology, could potentially grow on an international market, while contributing to reaching the goals of Agenda 2030. In order to prepare them and make them attractive to the capital market, they need not only funding, but also business development support, networking, experience and support in recruitment. The role of the incubators is to provide this support.
Vinnova is now increasing its support to the business community by providing a larger financial grant to the best incubators than in previous years. A total of SEK 87 million will be awarded annually to 29 Swedish incubators over the 2021-2024 time period. The incubators will each receive between SEK 300,000 and SEK 5 million annually.
SmiLe Incubator is a life science business incubator based in Medicon Village in Lund. SmiLe helps entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas. There are currently more than 20 companies in SmiLe, which together with alumni companies, have attracted more than EUR 280 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe offers business coaching, a large network of contacts and a dynamic community, as well as well-equipped laboratories which is unique of its kind in Sweden. SmiLe is a non-profit organization and receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. SmiLe´s sponsors are Sparbanken Skåne, Awa, Høiberg, Prevas, Setterwalls, Zacco, Aqilion. SmiLe’s listed alumni companies have a market capitalization of almost EUR 750 million (Q4 2019). www.smileincubator.life