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A Nordic door-opener

  • Published 08/11/2016
Main prize winner of the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, AbleOn Medical, hire former Nordic competitor, while semi-finalist MotiView have introduced their solution in all five Nordic countries.

After winning the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, Bergen based company AbleOn Medical are moving full speed ahead to launch their innovative shower solution AbleOn Shower System. The system will help elderly and disabled citizens to handle their shower routine both simpler and safer than what exisiting solutions today can help them with.


The company, which was founded by Norwegian Camila Lindelid Strand and later got Vilde Lepsøy on board as co-founder, have now grown with four FTEs.



Hired competitior and building Nordic team

Among the new faces at AbleOn is Danish product developer Camilla Panduro Nielsen, whom they got in touch with through the Nordic Independent Living Challenge. She was then a competitor as part of the Admone team, who developed a solution that enables dementia patients to leave their house safer and easier. Now Nielsen has moved to Norway to lead the technical team at AbleOn. They have also hired a business developer and a product developer from Sweden and England respectively, thus grown to become a strong, multidisciplinary and international entrepreneurial team.


“We now have a solid and diverse team with broad competences and a burning engagement”, says Lepsøy.


Strand adds that their new prototype is in production with the goal of finishing it before the end of 2016. Launch of the first part of the shower system is anticipated to happen autumn 2017. You can follow AbleOn Medical on Facebook for updates on their progress.


Parter and market access

AbleOn Medical is not the only Nordic team to arise through the Nordic Independent Living Challenge. Behind semi-finalist project Safe and Independent Living we find Danish Falck and Icelandic E21, who met through the competition and are now continuing their partnership to develop a system of smart sensors and alarms to increase safety in the homes of elderly and disabled citizens.


“We have had an excellent collaboration with our Icelandic partner and made contact with quite a few other Nordic startups through this competition. Without participating, we probably would have focused mainly on Danish partners”, says Nicolai Søndergaard Laugesen, director at Falck.


In addition to finding partners, Laugesen is quick to emphasise the opportunity for close dialogue with all five Nordic capital cities as one of the main reasons while Falck joined the competition.


“That particular aspect of Nordic cooperation was probably the most interesting, and gave us a possibility to access other markets than just the Danish. When the Nordic capitals cooperate on developing new solutions, you increase both the power of innovation in the Nordic region, as well as the companies’ possibilities when it comes to operating on a close to common Nordic marked”, he says.



Introduced in all five Nordic counties

Semi-finalist MotiTech AS are also going forward on the Nordic scene following the competition. Founder and CEO Jon Ingar Kjenes has always had ambitions of establishing the company also outside Norway, and have now tested their MotiView solution in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland.


That would never at happened this soon without participating in the Nordic Independent Living Challenge, according Kjenes.


“Through the dialogue with the cities we have gotten in touch with people who have opened doors and given us the opportunity to test our product. It has saved us a lot of time and work”, says the Norwegian entrepreneur.


MotiView is a solution that motivates elderly people and people with dementia to exercise by bike, by hooking a bicycle ergometer to a screen showing videos of places familiar to the user.


The solution, which now contains about 750 videos from all the Nordic region, is in use in more than 50 municipalities in Norway and sold to customers in Denmark, Sweden and Iceland.