22.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

This is TAI and SafariSeat – the Swedish start-up ranking no.3 in the world

During #BRIGHT21, 80+ countries competed in the Creative Business Cup to be crowned the best creative entrepreneurs in the world. TAI/SafariSeat – representing Sweden – claimed the bronze, ranking them the third best start-up in the world!

In 2020, SafariSeat – a product of TAI (The Accessibility Institute) - was announced the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden.
In high anticipation, with the 2020 cohort being delayed to this year, we watched as SafariSeat competed in the Global Creative Business Cup. With over 80 countries represented, we watched SafariSeat sail through the initial rounds of pitching and competing, progressing through the semi finals, and ending up in the Global Finals, together with five other start-ups, based in Norway, Czech Republic, Estonia, Nigeria, and Latvia. 

After a nail biting final round of pitching, TAI and its SafariSeat claimed the bronze, making them the third best creative start-up in the world!

We spoke to Isabella Oriani, CEO of TAI, to congratulate her, catch up, and to hear more about the SafariSeat journey.

TAI's COO, Ken Kahindi, demonstrates the functionalities of the SafariSeat. Video via CNN.

An all-terrain wheelchair that changes the lives of low-income mobility-impaired people in Africa, SafariSeat is all about using innovative design to aid in mobility solutions for those in need. And it’s not just about mobility – it’s also about accessing opportunity, breaking the loop between disability, poverty, and social exclusion.

With an estimated number of 20 million mobility-impaired people across Africa, in Kenya, there are over 750,000 alone. Of these, 90% can’t afford a suitable wheelchair; and even for those that can – it might not be very convenient. In Kenya, roads are often uneven, making it hard for disabled people to get around – even with a traditional wheelchair, simply because they are not designed for the rough Kenyan terrain.

The first of its kind, the roots of SafariSeat trace way back, to when Janna Deeble – SafariSeat designer, who grew up in Kenya – first met Letu, a man mobility-impaired by polio, living a traditional lifestyle in the Kenyan countryside. With a background in industrial design, Janna started drafting a design for an all-terrain wheelchair, the SafariSeat. In 2016, together with Cara O’ Sullivan and Bertie Meyer, Janna launched a fundraiser on Kickstarter to start development. Hugely successful, the campaign tripled their initial target, raising £90,000. 

The build and design of SafariSeat. Image: SafariSeat.


“The research and development process was very extensive, because the SafariSeat was developed in very close collaboration with its users,” Isabella explains. “Our design team built and tested about 30 different versions of SafariSeat integrating users' preferences and feedback, before they confirmed the final one.” 

In 2018, Ken Kahindi, TAI COO, joined the team and the SafariSeat workshop in Kilifi, Kenya, was set up. In 2019, Isabella Oriani joined the team in bringing further the SafariSeat project, forming The Accessibility Institute (TAI) – established as an NGO in Sweden and a social enterprise in Kenya – in the process.

Since the start of manufacture in 2018, over 130 SafariSeats have been distributed, thanks to the initial Kickstarter campaign and other donors.

The SafariSeat is distributed for free to the poorest, and is also offered through a microcredit scheme, making it an affordable solution independent of income – and one that can drastically change the life of its user. Thanks to its innovative design, SafariSeat is manufactured with simple tools in Kilifi, Kenya, and consists of a robust metal frame, wheels, and bicycle parts, which can all be sourced locally. “When we distribute a SafariSeat, we also train the user in how to use and maintain the chair,” Isabella says. “By using bicycle parts, we make it easier for them to be self-sufficient. In case something would need to be repaired, they can just take the chair to a local bike shop to be fixed, making for a local, quick, and affordable service.

SafariSeat helps mobility-impaired people break the cycle of poverty. Photo: Janna Deeble.

An innovative patented suspension mechanism is at the chair’s core, allowing users to balance even on the roughest of terrains.

“Each of the four wheels lifts independently,” Isabella  explains. “This means that there is no risk of the wheelchair tipping over when traveling over uneven ground with rocks and logs, which a conventional wheelchair is not designed for.” Similarly, the seat is powered by two hand pedals that through a chain allow continuous transmission of movement to the wheels. “By using hand pedals, we ensure that even if our users are traveling uphill, they won’t lose momentum – as they would using a traditional wheelchair solution.”

An incredible innovation, the SafariSeat entered into the 2020 Creative Business Cup Sweden and claimed a ticket to the global competition in Copenhagen.

Delayed one year because of COVID-19, the 2020 Global Finals took place last month. “I really liked the collaborative nature of the CBC. While we were all competitors, there was a really friendly atmosphere and a supportive spirit,” Isabella says. “I thought it was so interesting, too, from an innovation perspective. I was so happy that out of six finalists, two of us were social start-ups, with impact, rather than profit, as our main goal.”

2021 marks a turning point for SafariSeat. Among many exciting things, TAI is expanding the SafariSeat portfolio by adding the SafariCart – a all-terrain cart that can be attached to the chair to carry and/or display goods – the first step in transforming SafariSeat into a working station. “This allows disabled people to work in ways they haven’t been able to do before. For example, if you are a shoe maker, or maybe working to repair phones, you can load your cart with tools, and when adding a table, you have a mobile working station” Isabella says. “We are also looking to start the design of a child version of the SafariSeat. It’d be amazing to start helping mobility-impaired people already at a young age.”

The SafariSeat changes the lives of its users. Photo: Janna Deeble.


In addition to the production of the SafariSeat, TAI is dedicated to continuing their journey in disability expertise and scaling their social enterprise.

As of now, TAI is part of Innovate Now, Africa’s first Assistive Technology Accelerator, hosting Kenyan start-ups in the Assistive Technology domain, as well as the Acumen Academy and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator. “Together with the great peers in our cohort, we are receiving mentorship, guest lectures, and hands-on workshops, providing us with great expertise in the area of disability,” Isabella says. “We are also receiving support from coaches at Acumen and IKEA, helping us grow and scale our social enterprise.”

Innovate Now is part of the Spark Innovation Sub-program of AT2030–Life Changing Assistive Technology for All, a £20 million UK aid funded programme led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub. Acumen Academy and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator is a 14 week program in which social enterprises will learn the value of engaging with customers, modeling finances for sustainability and developing a marketing strategy among other subjects.

Furthermore, TAI is looking into expanding access to the SafariSeat across the Africa-region with the help of partnerships. “We want to maximize impact – not profit – so partnerships make a lot of sense for us. Currently, we are working to license, train, and certify an organization with locations in Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda to manufacture and distribute the SafariSeat over there,” Isabella says. 

On a parallel path, Isabella is hoping to expand partnerships to other parts of the world, and to receive support from CSR programmes who are interested in funding the distribution of SafariSeats and in linking its provision to user’ skills development and access to job and income.

If you are interested in supporting TAI and the development of SafariSeat, you can read more and get in contact with Isabella Oriani through the SafariSeat website: http://www.safariseat.org/

--------------------------

Cover photo: Janna Deeble.

31.8.21
|
Anneli Xie

Calling all Creative Entrepreneurs:Join the GovTech Challenge!

Open call for creative entrepreneurs, startups and smaller IT companies. Pitch your most innovative idea for a digital match-making platform in this collaborative GovTech PubSec challenge from Creative Business Network and the City of Copenhagen.

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30.8.21
|
Anneli Xie

Nature, craftsmanship, and sustainability in focus at UFA 2021

The finalists of the 2021 Unicorn Fashion Awards offer glimpses into the future of fashion. With designers spread across the globe, craftsmanship, innovation, and nature keep them united.

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12.8.21
|
Jonathan Wintoft

#RRCrossingBorders - Elin Beckman

What drives Elin Beckman forward is the enormous pleasure of playing music and making a dance floor happen “DJ:ing for Crossing Borders was such a pleasure and honor and I really loved the initiative."

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9.8.21
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Anneli Xie

#RRCrossingBorders: New Ways of Play – Innovating with Phlay

An interactive media technology that changes how we act, think, and feel about branded content, Phlay engages audiences in an innovative way. During this week’s episode of Recap & Rewind, we revisit Mario Amura – Phlay’s Founder’s – presentation.

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5.8.21
|
Anneli Xie

A Green Revolution with Plastic-Digesting Larvae – This is Norbite

The life of a plastic bag is glorious by no means. Used for an average of 12 minutes, the plastic may take up to 1000 years to decompose. But factor in 100 wax moth larvae and a plastic bag is digested in 24h. Too good to be true? Nope. Meet Norbite.

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3.8.21
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Anneli Xie

Daring, Adventurous, Radical, and Eccentric: Welcome to UFA 2021

Hosted by DARE Clan and ERA-KI, the Unicorn Fashion Awards seeks to find and promote emerging fashion designers to an international platform through a 4-12 month long accelerator program. Let's dive deeper into the UFA process.

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29.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

#RRCrossingBorders: A Psychological Approach to Creativity

Getting out of a creative rut can be overwhelming. How can psychology help us harness our brain's energy? In this episode of Recap and Rewind – a look back at our annual event, Crossing Borders – we let psychologist Pär Säthil tell us the answer.

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26.7.21
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Anneli Xie

DARE Stories: New psychology for a daring artistic life with Pär Säthil

How can psychology help foster creativity? How do we kick-start our creative processes? In this week's DARE Story, Pär Säthil – writer, psychologist, and former musician – tells us all about the intersection of psychology, creativity, and bravery.

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20.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

#RRCrossingBorders – New Ways of Storytelling with Natural Pengu

During this episode of Recap and Rewind – a look back at our annual event, Crossing Borders – we catch up with Markku Lorentz of Natural Pengu to talk storytelling, heroes, Dungeons & Dragons, and the power of the internet.

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19.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

DARE Stories: Changing Lives, Changing Culture – Kamal Aubakirov and 360 Mentors

In this episode of DARE Stories, Kamal Aubakirov tells the story of 360 Mentors: an educational organization changing the lives of youth in Kazakhstan by helping them prepare for college.

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15.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

#RRCrossingBorders – What is FemTech? And why should we care, anyway?

On this episode of Recap & Rewind: FemTech and its importance in the modern entrepreneurship ecosystem. How do we render a new social reality of services, products, and design to support women’s health? And what really is FemTech, anyway?

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12.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

DARE Stories: Raul Romero and Yakera

Welcome to DARE Stories – a new series hosted by xPlot in collaboration with creators all over the world. Here, we let creative entrepreneurs tell their story – of daring, of innovating, and building their own. First out: Raul Romero and his Yakera.

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5.7.21
|
Anneli Xie

#RRCrossingBorders: Social Infrastructure and the Importance of Third Places

Welcome to Recap and Rewind – a look back at our annual event, Crossing Borders. First out is a discussion on urban design and the importance of creating third places – all through a lens of community, creativity, and CultureHouse.

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30.6.21
|
Anneli Xie

#BRIGHT21: SafariSeat in the Global Finals of the CBC!

SafariSeat, the winners of Creative Business Cup Sweden 2020, are one of the top six creative start-ups in the WORLD! Today, June 30th, they're making their final pitch in the Global Finals of the Creative Business Cup, held virtually at #BRIGHT21.

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28.6.21
|
Anneli Xie

#BRIGHT21: Footprint Level®, Smart Fashion – and much more!

#BRIGHT21 is a three-day virtual event running from 28 June – 30 June that will change your perspective on entrepreneurship and creativity. Join us to talk fashion and see Footprint Level® – winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden – take on the world!

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25.6.21
|
Jonathan Wintoft

Onwards and Upwards: the xPlot Journey Continues

The Crossing Borders event showed us the endless possibilities stemming from the Cultural and Creative Industries. This summer, we’re picking up on loose ends and tying it all together.

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21.6.21
|
Anneli Xie

The future is BRIGHT – and so is Smart Fashion

In a week – on June 28th to 30th, 2021 – Creative Business Network is hosting their annual conference, #BRIGHT21. Of course, xPlot is joining in on the fun! On June 30th, tune in to hear our thoughts on the future of the fashion industry.

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10.6.21
|
Anneli Xie

Crossing Borders, Taking Risks: All We Learned About Hybrid Events

On the 19th of May, we did something we’d never done before – we hosted a full-blown, international, hybrid event. Thank you to all who came! We had a blast and we hope you did too. Here’s what we learned.

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30.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

Building Climate Resilience Through Communication with Footprint Level®

How do we build a climate resilient future amidst our ongoing climate catastrophe? We talk to Footprint Level® – the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden 2021 – to see how their company contributes to the greater good of our climate, world, and us.

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20.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

...and the winner is: Footprint Level!

After an intense and enthralling final of the 2021 Swedish Creative Business Cup, Footprint Level – under the lead of Mats Huss – emerged as the winner!

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18.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

...and finally, meet the finalists!

TONIGHT, during our annual get-together, we present the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden! Curious to hear more? Meet this year’s jury and our impressive top two finalists!

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18.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: Markku Lorentz and Pengu Studios

What kind of hero would you like to become? In Natural Pengu, Markku Lorentz explores the concept of cooperative storytelling of real-life, albeit virtual, humans, crossing the borders between life online and life offline. But how? Let's see..

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15.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: Haruna Katayama, FemTech Analyst

How do we render a new social reality of sex? Why is it important? Meet Haruna Katayama, FemTech Analyst, on her journey to democratize sexual pleasure and to normalize women’s sexual health.

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14.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: DARE CLAN and Riccardo Aimerito

DARE means courage, bravery, and risk. To Riccardo Aimerito, DARE is also an acronym for DYNAMIC, ADVENTUROUS, RADICAL, ECCENTRIC. How do we revolutionize the Cultural and Creative Industries through these four principles? Time to meet the Dare Clan.

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12.5.21
|
Jonathan Wintoft

Meet our DJ: Elin Beckman

Crossing borders and breaking the glass ceiling; on May 19th, we bring you Elin Beckman, DJ Extraordinaire! Read more about Elin Beckman; and most importantly – get ready to get grooving.

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12.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: Mario Amura and Phlay

Internationally acclaimed cinematographer and photographer Mario Amura is crossing borders in many ways. Most recently, by delving into the world of rhythmic-visual performativity and human-computer interaction. Let’s take a look!

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3.5.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: Pär Säthil – The Brave Creative

Creativity and psychology might benefit more from each other than we think. On May 19th, xPlot welcomes Pär Säthil, psychologist, writer, and former musician, to speak about how psychology has the power to unlock creative action.

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30.4.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: gener8tor and its Motown Musician Accelerator

On the Swedish CBC Finals on the 19th of May, xPlot welcomes Chelsea Linder from gener8tor and Suai Kee from gener8tor’s Motown Musician Accelerator, to speak about the creative economy and the music industry in the United States and globally. 

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23.4.21
|
Jonathan Wintoft

Calling all creative entrepreneurs: Join the Creative Business Academy!

The winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden does not only get to represent Sweden at the Global CBC Finals in June, but also snatches a spot in an exclusive training program for creative entrepreneurs: the Creative Business Academy!

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22.4.21
|
Anneli Xie

Meet the Speakers: Aaron Greiner – Founder and Director of CultureHouse

On the Swedish CBC Finals on the 19th of May, xPlot welcomes Aaron Greiner, founder and director of CultureHouse, to speak about the importance of social infrastructure and how free pop-up community spaces can make a lasting impact.

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19.4.21
|
Anneli Xie

A mask start-up shows its face: Mymic wins the Swiss Creative Business Cup!

The Creative Business Cup is currently in full bloom, sprouting new and exciting innovations from all over the world. As part of an international network of 80+ countries, xPlot helped pick the winner in Switzerland last week. Let's check them out!

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12.4.21
|
Anneli Xie

5 Reasons to Apply to the Creative Business Cup!

Time to put your thoughts into action – here’s five reasons YOU should apply to the Creative Business Cup!

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8.4.21
|
Anneli Xie

Expert Input on the Elements of Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: A Chat with Dr. Jasna Pocek

At xPlot, we believe in the collective power of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. But what is an entrepreneurship ecosystem, really? We ask researcher and scholar Dr. Jasna Pocek to explain and elaborate.

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20.3.21
|
Anneli Xie

The StoryTourist Story: From the Creative Business Cup to a Successful International Enterprise

In 2019, Johanna Forsman and Andreas Jansson of StoryTourist won the Swedish Creative Business Cup. At the Global CBC, they championed their category. We talk with Forsman to talk CBC, StoryTourist, and the importance of cultural entrepreneurship.

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16.3.21
|
Anneli Xie

10 years, 10 webinars: Happy birthday, Klump!

Start the week fresh with inspiration – enjoy daily visits to Klump cultural incubator to learn and discuss cultural entrepreneurship with knowledgeable guests and passionate speakers. The webinars are informal, informative, and completely free!

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10.3.21
|
Anneli Xie

Applications to the 2021 Creative Business Cup are now OPEN!

Dreaming of growing your creative endeavors? Thinking about starting your own business? Ready for the opportunity of a lifetime? Join the annual Creative Business Cup and turn your thoughts into action! We are here to guide you along the way.

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5.3.21
|
Anneli Xie

Social Learning Enhances Entrepreneurial Education

How can entrepreneurial education benefit from social learning; and what really is social learning? In an academic study of one of xPlot's previous ventures – Barcamper – we may find the answers to our questions.

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23.2.21
|
Anneli Xie

Welcome to the creARTive Sessions!

On March 4th, 2021, The creARTive Sessions begin! Aiming to promote and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience amongst entrepreneurs within the Cultural and Creative Sector, this is a digital series you do not want to miss.

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8.2.21
|
Anneli Xie

xPlot & creARTive are joining Folk & Kultur 2021!

Reset and recharge; let’s have some fun! On February 10–12, 2021, you can join xPlot at the fourth annual – and first digital – Folk och Kultur! 250 activities packed into three days of fun and festivities; and best of all, it’s completely free!

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18.1.21
|
Katarina Scott

69 different fundings you can apply for during 2021!

Do you need to finance a project in 2021? Navigating the Creative & Cultural industries for funding just got a bit easier.

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8.1.21
|
Anneli Xie

From Barcamper to TIME Magazine: Kirill Noskov on Growing IAMRUNBOX

Even during a tumultuous year of COVID lock-downs and economic uncertainty, Kirill Noskov – founder and CEO of the backpack company IAMRUNBOX – has achieved momentous success.

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24.11.20
|
Lars Mattiasson

Join our innovative educational program - Creative Business Academy

xPlot and Creative Business Network launch an international educational program for the Creative Industries.

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5.10.20
|
Hossein Lavi

Lunds kommun och Lundasupport bjuder in till webinar!

Välkommen att delta vid ett interaktivt event om finansiering och ekonomi i det nya normala. Oavsett om du driver en startup eller ett etablerat företag så hjälper vi dig att reda ut begreppen och se möjligheterna.

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28.2.20
|
Lars Mattiasson

What can entrepreneurs learn from athletes about sustainable development?

In order to create the companies of the future, entrepreneurs need to learn about personal sustainability. For this reason, we’ve invited four top athletes to join the Swedish final of the Creative Business Cup.

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21.1.20
|
Elinor Valfridsson

5 reasons why you should apply for Creative Business Cup 2020

Gather your thoughts and sharpen your pens, because the applications for CBC (Creative Business Cup) are open!

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9.1.20
|
Lars Mattiasson

Apply to the Creative Business Cup!

We can help you take your business idea to the world together with investors, business coaches and a massive international network!

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3.12.19
|
Elinor Valfridsson

What is Creative Business Network and what’s xPlot got to do with it?

To support the entrepreneurs in our network, we’ve, therefore, joined forces with Creative Business Network, a global organization whose main focus is to support startups in the creative industry.

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30.10.19
|
Hossein Lavi

Be Here Then - an xPlot story is borne.

Ever wondered how the old train station looked like or how the main city square was used 200 years ago? In October, one of our startups who made it to xPlot's national finals during 2018 launched their time machine app in the city of Lund in Sweden.

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30.9.19
|
Nida Aslam

Nida from Pakistan collaborates with xPlot in opening a new Creative Business Network in Pakistan.

I have always believed that good design and creativity can help solve the most complex problems in the world.

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10.9.19
|
Lars Mattiasson

The Brewhouse Award 2019.

Compete for SEK 20,000, business coaching, marketing, mentoring and other profits that will bring you to fruition.

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5.9.19
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Lars Mattiasson

Incubators for culture & creative industries join forces in a national organization.

Sweden's incubators for culture and creative industries gathered at Brewhouse's cultural factory to form a new association for incubators within the culture and creative sector.

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19.6.19
|
Lars Mattiasson

Creative Business Cup Global Finals in Copenhagen July 1-2.

Creative Business Cup National Competitions are organized in more than 70 countries, sending winners annually to the Global Finals in Copenhagen. ​

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5.6.19
|
Lars Mattiasson

Winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden sharpens her pitch before the Global Finals in Copenhagen.

Johanna Forsman, co-founder of Story Tourist takes part in the Baltic-Nordic Bootcamp June 4-5 in Helsinki.

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10.5.19
|
Hossein Lavi

And the winner is…Story Tourist!

We are happy to announce the winner of Creative Business Cup Sweden. Next step for Story Tourist is the global finals in Copenhagen the 1-2 of July.

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2.5.19
|
Lars Mattiasson

From a film festival to a multimedia opportunity valley.

The story about a small Italian village that became a leading film and multimedia hub. On the 8th of May, you will hear the full story from Luca Tesauro, CEO of Giffoni Innovation Hub

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29.4.19
|
Hossein Lavi

Meet our exciting finalists!

Fierce competition and strong inflow of applications made it really hard for the jury to evaluate and choose the finalists for the 8th of May in Lund.

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25.4.19
|
Hossein Lavi

Many thanks to all the startups who applied to Creative Business Cup Sweden 2019.

Next, the finals 8th of May at Mejeriet in Lund.

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27.3.19
|
Hossein Lavi

Do you want to speed up your access into an international market?

Apply today to the Creative Business Cup Sweden and check if your idea has the potential to succeed globally.

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15.3.19
|
Lars Mattiasson

Here we are, with *great news* for you!

On the 4th of April in Stockholm, the Sweden Demo Day will take place!

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