New investment: Walerud Ventures invest in Graphmatech AB together with ABB Technology Ventures

We are happy to announce a new investment!

Walerud Ventures has together with ABB Technology Ventures led a seed round from five investors in Graphmatech AB, a Swedish materials technology startup.

Graphmatech has invented a technology to keep graphene flakes separate. The result, Aros Graphene®, is a powder that can be well dispersed in metals, polymers and fluids, utilized to coat surfaces or 3D-printed without loss of graphene’s properties.

Graphene, the two-dimensional, one atom thick carbon structure, is the strongest material the world has ever seen. It has extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity and is ultra-light and transparent. Graphene is expected to revolutionize engineering materials as well as the power and electronics sectors, but industrial adoption has been slow since its isolation in 2004, mainly due to agglomeration issues. In production, graphene flakes have tended to stick together and thereby lose graphene’s remarkable properties. Graphmatech has solved this issue.

Malin Carlström, responsible for investments in Northern Europe, will represent ABB Technology Ventures on the board.

“From day one, I have been impressed by the founding team and the properties of Aros Graphene®, says Malin Carlström. “Graphmatech is based on solid research and its potential application areas have also sparked great interest within the ABB organization, resulting in a number of ongoing collaboration projects.”

Jane Walerud chairs the board and works actively alongside the management team. Jane is one of Sweden’s top business angels.

“I’m excited to help build Graphmatech, Europe’s next big industrial company. Graphmatech will significantly reduce the environmental impact of many industries by enabling the use of graphene in industrial processes and products at scale.”

Read more in among others, Breakit and Di Digital.

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The Swedish National Innovation Council celebrates three years

The Swedish National Innovation Council, celebrates three years this February, and Jane is a member.

The Swedish National Innovation Council (NIC) was created by the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, in February 2015. It is personally chaired by the Prime Minister, which is unusual for similar councils in other countries. Another atypical characteristic of the Swedish NIC is that it has a dominant and wide focus on innovation policy. In other countries, such councils focus predominantly on science and/or research policy and treat innovation policy, if at all, as an “appendix” to research policy.

There are a lot of interesting things happening in our area right now, for example, the Swedish government has hired a chief digital officer, and there is a new life science unit at the Swedish Government office.

Below is an interesting read on our work, written by Rausing Professor in Innovation Studies at CIRCLE and Lund University, Charles Edquist, who is also a member of the Council. It discusses how Sweden works with innovation and how The Innovation Council can serve as a role model for other countries. 

Relevant for everyone who is curious to know more about the work of the Innovation Council!

Read the article here.

 Picture: Martina Huber/the Swedish Goverment office

Picture: Martina Huber/the Swedish Goverment office

Caroline in EU talks

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Last weekend, Sweden and Gothenburg hosted an EU meeting, with the official title “Social summit for fair jobs and growth”. Because of this, Carline was invited to take part of a round table discussion on EU related issues. Representatives from both politics and business attended, among others, Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament and Klaus Walle, Secretary General of the European Parliament, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, the Swedish member of the European Parliament, Nami Zarringhalam, Cofounder and CSO of Truecaller and Staffan Helgesson, General Partner Creandum.

 

Among the issues brought up were the biggest impediments to growth for startups, and how to create the next huge successes in Europe. Truecaller and SUP46, who attended, talked about free data and less strict integrity rules. Caroline and Walerud Ventures raised the discussion on talent acquisition, to allow the worlds experts to move to Europe, educating and retaining them here. 

 

Other topics discussed were the importance of being forward thinking with the big upcoming trends, like AI, automation and biotech. To ensure that EU helps those industries grow through providing clear frameworks.

 

Thanks to all the participants for the invitation and an interesting discussion!

 

New investment in Ekkono

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The news is out! We´re investing in Ekkono togheter with Almi Invest!

Ekkono sells tools to make IoT products learn from and adapt to their own circumstances. The result is IoT products that are more intuitive to use and more effective. 

Walerud Ventures is excited to have the chance to join Ekkono's successful serial tech entrepreneurs and build a company together. We've long been fascinated by Machine Learning, AI, och IoT and see great potential in the company.

Read more in the article in Di Digital (in Swedish) and at ekkono.ai

 

Caroline on the jury for Rivstart

Today the Swedish bank Swedbank announced their new competition called “Rivstart”- a contest concerning entrepreneurship that improves society. Ten entrepreneurs will win 250 000 Swedish kronor each.

Read more about it in Breakit!


Caroline Walerud is on the jury together with Sara Wimmercranz (co-founder of Backing Minds), Arash “Ash” Pournouri (who runs Symposium and Driver at Night) and Richard Båge (co-founder of Mediaplanet and Insplanet).


Send them your brilliant ideas!

Jane and Caroline on list of Sweden's most powerful business women

Veckans Affärer, Sweden's business weekly, lists Jane and Caroline among Sweden's 125 most powerful business women. They take place two and fourteen, respectively, among the tech profiles. 

Jane was also named one of Europe's 50 most inspiring women http://www.inspiringfifty.com/inspiring-fifty-europe-2017/