Hej everyone,

this is a late post about the OKAWARDS 2017 in Stockholm. It was a really interesting event and I am super glad that I was part of it. As a volunteer I could look behind the scenes and could help to set up the event. It was an honor to pass the award of the category ‘Best Business’ to EntryScape Catalog by MetaSolutions.se. Meta Solutions is a startup of former KTH students which is dealing and managing open data. Their winning project EntryScape is called as a sustainable information management platform for providing a workflow for modern data management. We had the opportunity to mingle before the event with the guests and the jury and get to know each others visions and getting advices. The two founders of MetaSolutions told us their impressive story about setting up the startup and explained what they do and what they want to do in future. For me as a German it was nice to hear that they will expand 2018 and will work together with Sachen – a state in Germany. Germany is not leading in dealing with Open Knowledge and young firms like MetaSolutions are taking a step in the right direction. For the future it is important to encourage innovation democracies and increase open data!

Jury               Award

Open Knowledge Awards are for celebrating heroes in open knowledge and are an incentive for sharing more data and information, also in a digital way. Three out of six winners couldn’t come to the event but joined per Skype call and were happy to hear that they got the award. All winners: Beate Eellend (www.openaccess.se), Wikimedia Sverige, EntryScape Catalog by MetaSolutions.se, Lidding, Helena Bengtsson and Eric Borälv are leading in sharing data and setting examples. We need all to shift our mind about sharing knowledge to overcome challenges in the future. Sweden is on the right path but has a big potential to improve – in 2015 the country was ranked #27 in the Open Knowledge Index. Leading countries are Taiwan, Australian and UK.


All in all, it was really instructive and informative to join this event as a volunteer. But moreover the people who helped to set up the event and the winners are a big inspiration for me! It was also a perfect opportunity to talk to founders of Startups and to work on the most important thing in future: network! I want to thank all of you for making this event as it was and also Serdar again for the Kebab at the end of the day 😉

#ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!




Innovation night took place in Nymble building on the main campus of KTH, the event started with inspirational speeches from start-up founders and academics in the field of Innovation.
Here’s a recap of the speeches. Amir Sharafat the co-founder of Shortcut Labs AB / Flic emphasized the importance of being curious, passionate, determined and most importantly that you should not be afraid to try and fail. Niklas Arvidsson Associate professor at KTH spoke about how the innovative idea of blockchain got rid of the middleman of transfer money such as banks and creating bitcoin as a digital currency. Johan Båth – Customer Success Manager at Detectify mentioned the idea of crowdsourcing white hat hackers that can be spread all over the world to find vulnerabilities of different websites and that is a very good example of how open user innovation can be utilized.

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After that, participants were divided into the different Case workshops. There were 4 workshops: Sogeti, Karma, MAD, KTH Innovation. The event was a very good place to meet with innovative students from different majors and experienced mentors and moderators that have a lot of experience with the innovation process. I participated in the Sogeti and we worked on how to utilize a high-speed wifi connection on SAS flights in an innovative way. In less than 30 minutes the teams came with a lot of innovative ideas that can be employed and this is a vivid example of how the open user innovation works and how it adds values to the different technologies.



Later we had a very interesting panel discussion with Andrew Hennigan, Niklas Arvidsson, Emelie Ekblad, Johan Båth and Gustaf and they kept bouncing ideas and advice that it is really beneficial for anyone wants to start in the field of innovation.

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Overall, it was really good experience and a perfect opportunity for networking with mentors who started their journey of innovation already and have a wide experience.



This event was part of the Armada fair and the registration is on Armada website and I highly recommend it to everyone in the upcoming years!


This thursday, 7th of December 2017, we had the last lecture for our course Open and User Innovation with another very interesting guest lecture by Cristina Gadibadi. The topic was ‘Learning from Failures’ based on Cristina’s experiences as a serial entrepreneur and her last failed startup ‘Get Deals’. In this blog post, I am listing some of the key things I learnt from the presentation.

  1. Speak the customers’ language: The majority of the Swedish population is good in communicating in English. However, as a Swedish company, when trying to on-board clients it’s important to communicate with them in Swedish. It’s their first language and the one they are most comfortable with. While Cristina talked about language in a specific context, the learning can be applied in a much broader sense. As an entrepreneur, it’s important for clients to truly understand the value proposition and to be able to do this successfully, we have to speak their language. To put it more simply, if customers do not understand, they do not buy.
  2. Be smart at outsourcing: It’s really cheap but really difficult to manage remotely. There are a lot of operational issues when outsourcing projects to foreign countries. Hence, when outsourcing larger projects, it’s better to approach companies rather than freelancers. While companies are more expensive, they have established procedures and are more likely to meet our demands. Freelancers on the other hand can be really good for shorter projects (e.g., Logo Design, Short Video etc.)
  3. Bootstrapping is hard: If one does not have enough money to bootstrap a company, it’s best to look for venture capitalists (VCs). VCs provide funds to run a company in exchange for equity or ownership stake. Cristina puts it very well saying ”It’s better to own a part of your dream business than no dream business at all”. Moreover, VCs bring in a lot of valuable experience and knowledge.
  4. Try Guerilla Marketing: Most startups have zero to little funds to spend on extravagant marketing. As entrepreneurs, we need to be more creative in such a situation. Cristina mentioned ‘guys in the amazon holding a sign for Get Deals’. While this has nothing to do with the product, it’s cheap, different and more memorable for the customer.

Go Entrepreneurs!

— Shivam Verma

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I was yesterday at an interesting and impressive innovation talk from IKEA about

CO-CREATE CHANGE! IKEA + Social Entrepreneurship

at United Spaces Stockholm. In this blogpost, I want to share my experience and my learnings from this event, due to the high importance of this topic.


The well-known Swedish company IKEA is one of the most popular furniture and design shops in the world. I am a big fan of IKEA furniture and love to stroll through IKEA shops to get inspired by design options. Another reason to buy IKEA stuff is the appropriate prize. I never thought about where the products come from and therefore I was totally surprised when I heard that IKEA is working on expanding their production for handicraft products made by women organizations. The blue cushion cover above belongs to the project “Tilltalande made in Jordan”, which should be launched 2018 in Sweden. By 2020, IKEA is committed to create 400 new jobs for refugees and women in Jordan to fight against property and empower women in this challenging areas.

The concept behind this is social entrepreneurship by working towards a social mission. The central criterion is mission-related impact rather than wealth creation. IKEA established a team, which is working on this by finding new partnerships and sustainable development goals. IKEA want to increase their work with small social entrepreneurs, which have normally no chance to become one of IKEAs’ suppliers and to add them to their value chain. Through the creation of decent jobs, IKEA can fight against poverty and focus on people and the planet. The longterm goal is to provide the social entrepreneurs with a market place and not making them dependent. They started by pointing out social needs: many women at home and no infrastructure. As a result, they introduced different village centers and brought the work home to the women. To support women is one of the utmost importance for IKEA.


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IKEA already created 10,500 jobs in vulnerable communities by empowering women in urban areas, in rural areas and in challenging areas. A short video shows how

IKEA and Jordan River Foundation create livelihoods for locals and refugees in Jordan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SwgvHKBd4Q&t=66s&index=27&list=PLZKweYqjSlQTkErqhhbCtjWzcxSaE2mz3.


In this area – social entrepreneurship – innovation comes from small insights and can lead to powerful changes, through sharing a social mission goal. Innovation does not mean to come up with something new, but it should create value. IKEA already started to expand this and already built 19 partnerships. However, they do not have the solution for every part. Therefore, they are looking for commitment and are open for ideas. It is about how can I or/and my company contribute to the growth of social economy and give long-term opportunities. It is an important issue and the approach of social entrepreneurship can lead us to a better world. Thank you Mrs. Gunnarsson for sharing this inspiring work and insights with others to co-create change.

#ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!




Source: https://peloton-tech.com/how-it-works/

During one of the lectures of Open and User Innovation we had a guest lecturer. The guest lecturer was Thomas Tydal and he is a train driver and software developer. He developed the application Railit Tracker. This is an application for train drivers and other railway personnel. In this application the train drivers can see where they are, where other trains are, how fast they are going and if this is the right speed, and when they will arrive among other things. This application has solved the main problem of data being unavailable to the train drivers, and also it prevents drivers from going too fast and thus reduces the amount of energy used. Thomas’ presentation was very inspiring and I learned a lot from it about how the subjects we discuss during this course are applied in real life. It was a great addition to the course. The website for this application is railit.se.

After Thomas told his story, one of the students asked about the future of trains when it comes to automisation and if his business was threatened by possible automised trains. To this he said that trains are not the same as, for example, trucks. During a train ride often systems in the trains breakdown, but passengers do not notice all these failures because the train driver repairs these malfunctions. This comparison to trucks and the fact that his application saves energy made me think of a company I came across during one of my previous projects called Peloton.

Peloton is an automated vehicle technology company. They try to solve the two major problems in the trucking industry: crashes and fuel use. Peloton develops trucks that have advanced software and radars that allows them to keep track of each other and other traffic on the road. Each truck has multiple types of sensors that register data and they can share this information with other trucks on the road. Peloton software alerts the drivers if there are other drivers nearby and available for a “platoon”. When a platoon is formed two trucks are linked together when driving behind each other. With vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), the acceleration and breaking systems of the two trucks are connected. This way, if the driver of the first truck breaks the second truck will automatically break too. Also, the drag between the two trucks is diminished so the first truck no longer suffers from this. By forming a platoon the fuel use of the first truck is reduced by 4.5% and the second truck by 10%, leaving an overall fuel saving of 7%. The platoons are only made when it is safe and every platoon has to be accepted by the Operations Center and they can change the platoon parameters to the situation of the trucks. Also, the drivers always have primary control over their truck, they can stop the platoon at anytime and can still use the brakes and acceleration themselves when necessary.

The V2V communication made me think of the subjects discussed during Open and User Innovation. The trucks all register data and share this openly to other trucks, creating a sort of open data community for trucks and their drivers. They help each other navigate and warn each other for upcoming traffic and dangerous situations. Also, by platooning they work together to reduce fuel use. I thought this was an interesting form of open data and communities.


//Lynn Reichenfeld

I retrieved the information about Peloton from their website: https://peloton-tech.com/ , if you’re interested to get more information be sure to check out the website!


During a recent presentation in the Open and User Innovation course, some of my friends presented the topic of User Behavior and Free Innovation wherein they discussed ‘What motivates free innovators ?’. Combining my learning from the class and my experience as a Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) contributor, in this blog post I reflect on what motivates software developers to contribute their time and effort to building free software products.


Intrinsic Motivation –

In general, Intrinsic motivation refers to the inherent motivations of doing a task. It’s possible that there are no other outcomes that motivate the ‘free innovator’ other than the satisfaction of being able to complete a task and having fun while doing it.

It can be further divided into the following two categories:

  • Enjoyment Based – Much of open source software contribution is motivated by the satisfaction of being able to ‘fix’ a certain bug with a software and being challenged while doing it. A task that is within the skillset of a programmer but also challenges their creativity provides the most engaging experience.
  • Community/Obligation Based – Larger F/OSS projects have a very strong sense of bonding and community. It’s very common to see the most experienced contributors of a project helping an absolute beginner in getting started with code contributions.

Extrinsic Motivation – 

Extrinsic motivation refers to the external aspirations of a developer other than the aforementioned intrinsic motivations. For example, the immediate need of a bug fix motivates some to contribute to the projects they use. I personally, have fixed bugs in an open source software because I needed to use it in my project.

In addition, developers might have long term motivations such as learning how to code better. Most F/OSS code contributions are reviewed by experienced programmers which helps novice programmers in improving their skills. F/OSS contributions are also a great way to build a strong network in the programming community which could lead to better job opportunities and career advancement in the long run.

From my personal experience of having interacted with a number of F/OSS contributors over the past few years, it’s a mix of these extrinsic and intrinsic motivations that makes F/OSS a very successful Open Innovation model.

A more thorough analysis of this topic backed by data is available here. I would encourage everyone remotely interested in Open and User innovation to go through the article. It explains very clearly the motivations of ‘free innovators’ and the learning can easily be carried over to many more areas in addition to F/OSS.

— Shivam Verma



Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WantedPoster

During one of the lectures of Open and User Innovation, a group of students gave a presentation about competition. The competition here were competitions held by firms in order to find an innovative solution to a problem. I always thought these competitions were purely beneficial to the firm and were not something that had to put that much effort into. During the presentation I found out I was very wrong.

Holding a competition requires a firm to take many measures into account and several sorts of costs need to be incurred. Examples of costs that need to be incurred are: the cost of releasing data, the cost of the resources that need to be provided to the contestants, the cost of testing the hundreds of solutions provided by the participants, the risk of rivals gaining an advantage based on the information you share with the participants and costs incurred by controlling the entire competition.

In order to clarify just how much effort goes into hosting a competition, our teacher Serdar Temiz gave an interesting example that I wanted to share here. This was based on an example the presenting group of students gave during their presentation. The example he gave was a sort of competition through crowdsourcing. This form of crowdsourcing was used a long time ago. The competition I am talking about here takes place in the Wild Wild West, and the competition is the search for bad guys through WANTED posters. In this case, the sheriff would ask the crowd to find a person, rendering it a form of crowdsourcing. Since a reward is offered to the person who first finds them, it can also be considered a competition. The following factors were named for the sheriff to take into account when holding this competition:

  • Price setting: is the offered reward high enough in the eyes of the people to participate in the search?
  • Price justification: is the offered reward accurate for the crimes this person committed? Do you charge the same for someone who robbed a bank as for someone who robbed a grocery store?
  • Awareness: the sheriff needs to find a way to spread the word about the competition, for example, the posters, then these need to be hung up in the correct places.
  • Boundary: how far does the sheriff need to put up the posters? What regions could the bad guy be in and what is too far
  • Registration: there need to be people answering the phone about the enquiries made by people stating they found the bad guy.
  • Analysis: the sheriff needs to consider whether he has the right systems to analyse all the enquiries. He cannot simply send his men to wherever a call comes from, then there will be no resources left.
  • Description: how specific does the sheriff need to be in the description? If he simply offers 1000 dollars for a thief, then people will bring by their neighbour’s kid who once stole an egg from them and demand they get the reward.
  • Information leakage: what if they are too specific? And a neighbouring county sheriff wants to catch this bad guy themselves in order to get a good reputation. But if you give too little information, the people might not be able to identify the bad guy.

For me this example was a nice, simple way to discuss the problem. I had never thought about a competition in this way, nor did I realise that there were so many factors to consider when hosting one. It really clarified the factors that need to be taken into account, and I hope it can do the same for other people reading this!

//Lynn Reichenfeld

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I would like to share my first video guest lecture at KTH from Electrolux about their perspective of open innovation. Let’s extend and share our knowledge about this phenomenon to promote creation and improvement.

Electrolux is a leading global appliance company from Sweden since 1919, which is present in more than 150 markets, including the brands AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi. They sell more than 60 million household and professional products and is the only appliance manufacturer in the world to offer solutions for both.

The Open Innovation Strategy according to Beatrice Maestri is to create new value, new products, new services and new experiences for customers. They define innovation as new business opportunities and a new way to interact and work with each other. In short: A new way to do business. Therefore, a important point is the exchange between internal and external networks but with the main focus on people.

Open Innovation provides new technologies, new ideas, additional competencies and new and other markets. Due to fast innovation processes and the speed behind new trends, it is a common need to outsource. As Beatrice Maestri mentioned: “It is not possible to be an expert of everything”.

Access to vital information for decision making, flexibility of skills and influencing innovation in an ecosystem are benefits of open innovation for Electrolux. To capture this benefits, they defined roles and responsibilities to deal with open innovation. A team of 5 people is working full time on open innovation to capture new innovative business solutions to create new value for their customers.

According to their vision: Unlock universe’ potential.

A key challenge is therefore for the open innovation team to move beyond the trusted network and to find brokers. Brokers are the intermediate connection of the company and innovators outside. According to Beatrice Maestri, they cluster Broker in “DNA”, for example industrial, academic, media, etc., to match and rank brokers. At first they focus on a balanced portfolio of brokers, then they launch – create perfect match between needs and brokers, afterwards they scout, screen, OIB, Brokers Activity and at the end is the management of brokers.

It was a nice experience to see what is possible nowadays, as i already mentioned that it was my first video guest lecture. The whole presentation was well structured and  gave a good impression of Electrolux’s open innovation strategies and how important it is to treat and involve open innovation. Thank you again Beatrice Maestri for sharing this knowledge and strategies with us in the course #ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!

References: http://www.electroluxgroup.com/en/electrolux-in-brief-492/



I would like to share my experience of being part of the Stockholm biohacking community. Last summer I implanted an 880 byte 13.56 MHz NFC chip in my left hand. It was nothing planned but happened one afternoon when I attended a biohacking event at Epicenter, an innovative environment and flexible office space for startups, and listened to Hannes Sjöblad talking about microchips and I felt “Hey, why not?”. 30 minutes later I had a chip under my skin, and just like that, I became a cyborg.

The biohacking community in Stockholm is fairly strong, compared to other countries where there seems to be a generally bigger skepticism towards this kind of human-technology interaction. With Hannes Sjöblad (Epicenter) as front person, there are seminars and meetups dedicated to biohacking. Being an early adopter of experimentation with emerging technology, Hannes calls himself a biohacker activist.

So, what can the microchip implant be used for? I am able to use it whenever there is a NFC card reader, meaning an entrance where one’s card doesn’t have to be swiped but just blipped. I can also use it as tiny storage, for example keeping my business card or Linkedin-link (even funny videos or other unnecessary stuff). SJ (Swedish train company) also support the chip technology for tickets, as well as several gyms and airlines. In the future, the chip will hopefully substitute both wallet and keys. But to be honest, I got it out of curiosity and just for fun, the small scar reminds me not to be afraid of trying new things and always keeping my passion for tech and innovations. Also, it’s a great ice breaker!

Right after I had the chip implanted. Now there is just a tiny scar. 

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I can still remember my trip to Uppstart, a special tech startup conference in a castle in Uppsala. There’re startups giving pitches in the main hall from morning to night, also there are exhibitors advertising their showcases on the way to the hall. The whole conference is informal and relaxing.


Some of the pitches are interesting, the one attracts me most is about Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the future pattern of our life, the research, products development and investments are accelerating day by day. With VR, we create new world that we can never imagine before.  People will have new experience or even easily to be scared. The pitch focused on VR gaming and gave us a live onstage demo of SVRVIVE. Also we are facing the problems such as the high price of VR devices .The conclusion is that VR is the new smartphone. It will be common in our daily life and change the world. I bought my own VR device recently, so I can tell how I’m shocked with my use. I believe VR is a new opportunity for startups.

The video of the whole pitch can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/uppstart.co/videos/1811385082442588/


Except for the pitches of startups, people also talk about how immigration process for technical talents could be improved in Sweden, which is important to students of EIT. Anyone who focuses on these issues could watch the whole video: https://www.facebook.com/uppstart.co/videos/1811375699110193/

Uppstart is now a popular annual event for startups in Sweden, check the websites below if you want to know more