Science Park Jönköping offers budding entrepreneurs business development opportunities and expert support along the way

About 15 years ago, a few Jönköping students had a vision to capture the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of their peers. After receiving funding from the university, they started a creative centre which would be the start of Science Park Jönköping. When the local hospital moved to another location in town, the centre moved into its old facilities.

Today, the deserted hospital hosts between 100 and 110 businesses with around 500 employees between them. From larger companies with 60 employees to single start-ups, Science Park Jönköping is open for all kinds of industries and fields.

“We strive for diversity. With a healthy mix of different companies and people, we end up with a great community,” says Linda Pålsson, Community Manager at Jönköping Science Park.

A good idea

The centre benefits from onsite business developers present at 13 municipalities across Jönköping county. Every year they get to hear around 1000 ideas out of which between 250-300 actually turn into new companies. About 100 of these go through to the next development stage.

“The entrepreneurs have to be driven and there has to be something exciting there,” says Linda.

But what qualifies as a ‘good idea’, is harder to explain.

“We get asked this all the time but we never say yea or nay to an idea. What we do offer is coaching and providing them with the proper tools to find out for themselves. We are not here to judge ideas as we don’t have all the answers ourselves, especially not early on in the process.”

For the 10% of ideas that do make it through the process, there are many business development opportunities to be seized at Science Park Jönköping. An accelerator programme, special projects for SME innovations, investments, networking and activities, are all available means of aid for companies joining the park – to mention but a few.

“We have realised there is a need for marketing and product development professionals as well,” says Linda.

We are unique in the way that we can help companies with the whole process; from idea to business.

Making it

There are a number of success stories at Science Park Jönköping. The largest company in the building, with 60 employees, operates in the construction industry and has gone from strength to strength in its lifetime.

“We are unique in the way that we can help companies with the whole process; from idea to business,” says Linda.

“In addition, we have started three venture capital firms and we also offer networking with a number of different investors. We have a large network of so called ‘business angels’ who are keen to give back to the entrepreneurial community.”