We have been working on expanding our reach outside of the few major cities recently, after realising we were perhaps a little too Stockholm-focused. What we didn’t expect though, was to find a bunch of interesting technology companies in Åre. It seems that Åre has more to offer than just a ski resort in the winter time! One of the companies we found was Idea2Innovation – so I caught up with their head of international relations, Bri Stundon, and had a chat.
Idea2Innovation (i2i) is a company based in Åre, founded in 2010 by Åse Angland Lindvall and Jakob Lindvall. Åse is the Head of Marketing and Sales at Idea2Innovation and has an extensive background in business development, and marketing and sales strategies. Åse has been a front figure in companies such as SMHI, Ericsson and E.ON. Jakob is CEO of Idea2Innovation and is one of the country’s leading specialists in innovation processes and innovation systems. His background includes some of Sweden’s top incubators and Science Parks.
Their vision when they started out was to develop a product that could engage individuals to generate ideas for the purpose of creating new products, services and revenues. You could see it as a mix of Salesforce and Basecamp – a sort of project management tool but with idea development built in. This vision has proved itself to be relatively successful so far – the company won the award for “IT-entreprenuers of the year” at Guldgalan last week.
Three years ago, Åse and Jakob started Idea2Innovation with an ambitious Product Development Team and an invaluable Growth Management intern, who later moved on to become the Head of Product Development.
Within the last year we’ve had an exciting growth spurt, and because of the increase in sales we’ve added another Marketing and Sales Rep, a PR and Communications Specialist and with our recent international launch we now have an International Relations Specialist. The development and expansion processes haven’t slowed down and hopefully never will.
WIDE – cloud-based idea management system
Their main product is a cloud-based system called WIDE. It helps create new products, services and revenues. It does this in two ways:
- Promoting idea generation and encouraging social activity.
- Providing a series of decision-making and concept development tools.
WIDE however, does not guarantee success. It needs leadership and participation, just like other management system out there.
Without encouraging leadership, there will be no active participation. Without active participation, there will be no ideas. Part of our success is being able to identify an organization’s needs then tailoring WIDE to suit them. Because of the unique tools and processes, it supports and guides its users and decision-makers towards their specific developmental goals and is under continuous development in order to keep up with the constant demands of the market and technology.
What makes WIDE unique?
I was interested in finding out more about what makes WIDE a better system than other tools, such as Basecamp and Salesforce.
Results and possibilities! We are really excited about the results our clients have achieved, as are they. We together with our clients have begun to break the barriers of traditional branches and organizations.
Two years ago it was still the classical information hierarchy and with WIDE, there is an open platform for everyone to produce ideas, form dialogues and innovate together.
According to Bri, WIDE is currently used by organizations such as:
The Private Sector, uses WIDE as an organization, prioritization and decision-making tool towards new products and services. The result is a gain and understanding of new products and potential products in the future. What the market needs, may need and how they can produce it.
The Public Sector, is using WIDE in healthcare systems internally for information sharing and organization and externally to gather feedback from patients. This has resulted in fewer cracks in the system and improved patient care and services.
The education system, both students and faculty are using WIDE. The students now have a platform where they can share their ideas and see developments, and the faculty to implement their students’ ideas. The result has been an increase in ambition, engagement and student democracy.
Municipalities, use WIDE to encourage citizen participation regarding change and growth. Where the everyday citizen is not just a taxpayer, they’ve become the motor and foundation for community development. The result is new and improved public services.
On the competitive landscape
There are a few commercially cloud-based systems for idea management and innovation management available in Sweden. The competition, according to Bri, seems to be in terms of crowdsourcing and collaboration.
I’m excited to say that we are the leading the Sweden market because we have successfully combined both sides of the competition into one system. Overseas we have a great deal of competition, which makes our recent international launch all the more exciting.
We love competition; it’s a win-win for everyone. Competition builds up a market demand and makes the pie bigger for everyone who can offer valuable solutions to the market.