Sasan Shaba is the Munktell Science Park CEO turned Business Developer at the Swedish Energy Agency.
"Our vision at the Swedish Energy Agency is A sustainable energy system and our goal is to support startups and scaleups that contribute to the vision. We usually say “The development is not here to stay”.”
Sasan, how come you entered the ‘world of incubators’?
– I started my first company, a consultant firm for product and business development in early stages, at Idélab when studying engineering and innovation at Mälardalen University. That was my first contact with incubators.
After that, Sasan went to SH Innovation, Idélab, KTH Innovation where he also got the opportunity to work in Silicon Valley for three months together with Skydeck UC Berkeley, Silicon Vikings and Vinnova’s Anne Lidgaard.
– It's great to see people with business ideas and startups reaching their goals and dreams.
Why the Swedish Energy Agency?
– For me, what’s most important is the purpose of doing things. I want to know why I work in a particular organization, the higher purpose of doing great things.
Supporting entrepreneurs and startups in sustainability is something Sasan’s been looking for, he says.
– Simply getting involved, making a change in our world and handing over something we're proud of for future generations. This made the choice simple, working at Swedish Energy Agency.
Sasan’s vast experience working with startups and scaleups in various business development processes and phases, creating sustainable business models and go to market-strategies, is something he brings with him to the new job.
– And also, lots of internationalization work, as well as a strategic and operational mindset. And quite a big network.
Sasan will primarily focus on incubator and science park contacts, as the Commercialization & Entrepreneurship Unit wants to identify and initiate activities and strategic partnerships with these organizations.
– Incubators and science parks are doing a great job getting Swedish innovations to the market, both nationally and internationally. Our main goal and effect of this will be to identify companies connected to energy and in need of our support during the commercialization phase. We look for those who can reach the market and create an impact.
So it’s all about togetherness?
– As our prime minister says, "Sweden cannot be the cheapest - must be the best". Enhanced collaboration is key, also from the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals which will change the world by 2030. Together we can achieve that change.
– For us, incubators and science parks is a strong extended arm that has an invaluable knowledge of local and regional business and collaboration that we - as an agency with national focus - can benefit from. Together we can work harder and help entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to achieve a sustainable energy system and a more sustainable world that we are proud of.
It’s a win-win collaboration, Sasan explains and continues:
– My experience is that incubators and science parks have a great knowledge and know-how of how the local and regional business works, they usually have good collaborations with the companies, municipalities, universities and other business organizations. In addition, they have the networks and the experience working hands-on with finding new collaborations. Add to this, SISP is a great organization that works hard boosting Sweden through their network. Together with SISP and their members we can initiate different strategic and operational activities and projects in both short and long-term.
Imagine 10 years from now, where are we? :)
– Haha well, good philosophical question, quite hard to answer. In terms of sustainability, I think we will continue to be one of the leading countries in energy and sustainability, the Swedish Energy Agency have reached all set goals. In terms of attitude I think we have reached a tipping point where humankind have a much bigger knowledge of the environment, says Sasan and continues:
– I think major trends and X-factors are AI, the Gig-economy and the digital world, but also that people have more time to spend in going back to nature and hopefully relax together. Globalization will make people come together and join forces.
Lastly, do you want to add anything to the incubator and science park colleagues reading?
– We are one of the largest research financiers with a budget of 1.4 billion, distributed on Research & Development, Demonstration & Commercialization, as well as promotion efforts for internationalization. If the energy relevance exists in your company’s solution, our aim is to be a support thru ought the whole development phase. If any incubator or science park wants a visit from us or has any questions about our support, financing or organization, they are warmly welcome to contact my colleague Ada Nilsson or me.