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The Swedish Olympic Academy launches sports and innovation initiative

Pressmeddelande   •   Feb 14, 2019 13:23 CET

We share our jogging achievements, put sensors in our shoes, and keep track of every heartbeat. Technology is an increasingly important tool for the athlete in reaching their full potential. Today, the Swedish Olympic Academy launches a new initiative to strengthen sports innovation in Sweden.

The Swedish Olympic Academy (SOA) is a foundation founded by the Swedish Olympic Committee, KTH, Karolinska Institute and the Stockholm School of Economics. Together with the international organization HYPE Sports Innovation, SOA now launches Spin Accelerator Sweden, an accelerator program with focus on sports innovation. The program is an initiative where academia, the sport community and the startup tech sector meet at a global scale.

Focus on the individual athlete

The program is powered by KTH Innovation and the Center for Sports and Business at the Stockholm School of Economics, with the aim of contributing to new solutions that can help both elite athletes and the average gym-goer reach new heights. Focus lies on the athlete.

- It doesn’t matter which gender you identify as, if you’re an elite athlete or a recreational jogger, the important thing is that each individual should be able to reach their full potential. That’s why we chose the athlete as the theme of the program, says Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation.

Innovation and a global network

Stockholm is a global center for innovation, and number three in Europe within sportstech (KPMG). Connecting this with the world’s largest, global ecosystem for sports and innovation is what will give the participants an edge.

- We are convinced that the Swedish sports sector will develop both in terms of knowledge and practical implementation, as innovation and technology become fully integrated into the sports movement, says Martin Carlsson-Wall, Director of the Center for Sports and Business at the Stockholm School of Economics.

The power of sports and innovation

Some of the world’s leading sportstech universities, including Loughborough University in Great Britain, join the initiative. Nir Bin Lavi, Managing Investor and CEO of HYPE US, who visited Stockholm for the launch, says:

- I believe we can do great things together here in Stockholm to impact people’s lives through sports and innovation. 

A place in the global innovation ecosystem

Despite its size, Sweden is ranked as the fourth best sporting nation in the world counted per capita (, and the third best in the world when it comes to innovation (Global Innovation Index 2018).

- Stockholm holds unique expertise when it comes to developing new tools for the individual, for better results and for more inspiring workouts for all. The Swedish Olympic Academy was founded to gather this competence. To fully achieve our ambitions, we need to take our place in the global innovation ecosystem, says Stefan Lindeberg, CEO of the Swedish Olympic Academy.

Welcoming global applications

Startups from all over the world are invited to apply to one of the twelve spots in the program. During the spring, the startups will meet both in Stockholm and online to develop together, before the finishing Demo Day in June. The program is supported by Vinnova, the Swedish government agency that administers state funding for research and development.

Contact and registration: Program manager Stina Lundgren Högbom,, +46709546726

Interview Requests: Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation,, +467906607

The Swedish Olympic Academy

The foundation the Swedish Olympic Academy was founded in 2017 by the Swedish Olympic Committee, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institute, and the Stockholm School of Economics. The foundation’s aim is to contribute to individuals reaching their full potential, the improvement of athletes’ basic conditions, and strengthening the competitiveness of Swedish sports. 

Handelshögskolan i Stockholm är den ledande handelshögskolan i Norden och Baltikum och har ett högt anseende i Sverige såväl som internationellt. Forskning i världsklass utgör grunden för våra utbildningar som består av kandidat-, master- och forskarutbildning, ett Executive Format MBA-program och ett stort utbud av executive education. Våra program är utvecklade i nära samarbete med både forskning och näringsliv, vilket ger våra studenter stora möjligheter att uppnå ledande positioner i företag och andra organisationer.

Handelshögskolan är ackrediterad av EQUIS, som garanterar att både undervisning och forskning håller högsta internationella standard. Handelshögskolan är också den enda svenska medlemmen i CEMS och PIM, som är samarbeten mellan ledande handelshögskolor i världen, vilket bidrar till den höga kvalitet som Handelshögskolan är känd för.

Stockholm School of Economics . Sveavägen 65 . Box 6501. SE-113 83 Stockholm .  Sweden . Phone +46 8 736 90 00 .

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