Does your idea have commercial potential?

The START program takes your project closer to patients and society 

The START program is one part in the Karolinska Institutet innovation office offer. Within the START program we help you to validate the potential of your research- or knowledge-based idea. Initially, we aim to gain an understanding of the market, assess the possibilities to protect the idea by patents or trademarks and to confirm that the asset owner has the right to commercialize the concept. In a later phase we help to identify important aspects in order to take your idea to the next level.

The START program offer:

  • A dedicated business coach with long experience and focus on commercialization/utilization
  • Access to qualified expert competence in life science product- and business-development
  • Funding of verification activities through the VFT program
  • Network of customers/investors
  • Seminars and workshops in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The target group for START is researchers and students at Karolinska Institutet.

Research projects from KI supported within the START program- a few examples

Within the START program, we support all kinds of innovative ideas originating from knowledge and research from Karolinska Institutet. It can include medicines, treatment methods, digital health solutions, diagnostic methods and much more. Below you can read about some examples.

Cases in the START program

“Everyone will face death, but yet, we rarely talk about it”

Professor Carol Tishelman (Department of Learning, Informatics and Management and Ethics), runs the Döbra project to raise issues about everyday existentialism. Death is something we rarely talk about today. Therefore, many people are not prepared to encounter with death. The DöBra pack of cards can be used as a tool to help people talk about […]

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“New technology to reach organs which is hard to access raises hope for a variety of diseases”

Professor Staffan Holmin (Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and Department of Neuroradiology at Karolinska University Hospital) conducts research on microcatheter technology in combination with imaging techniques which could help to diagnose and treat a range of different diseases. Together with partners from both academia and industry, Staffan Holmin has developed a method where […]

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“Novel compounds towards new treatment for cancer”

Professor Elias Arnér (Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics) has identified novel compounds able to potently and specifically inhibit a target related to oxidative stress as a treatment of cancer. The technology has been licensed to a biotech company and is currently undergoing further development towards clinical testing. The commercial development was originally supported by Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SFF), […]

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“We are exploring a novel diagnosis and treatment for NASH”

Myriam Aouadi, Group Leader for the NASH project, Centre for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet is together with her team looking at non-invasive diagnosis method and treatment for NASH. Myriam is receiving support from KI Innovations START team and we asked her a few questions about her journey, her learnings so far and […]

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“Our aim is to develop a novel device to improve the performance of blood cultures”

Our aim is to develop a novel device to improve the performance of blood cultures in detection of microorganisms causing sepsis. The most important factor in reducing mortality rates and hospital-related costs in patients with sepsis is to start effective antimicrobial treatment as soon as possible. Effective antimicrobial treatment is only possible with detection, timely […]

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“Novel treatment of psychosis is a highly unmet clinical need”

Sophie Erhardt, professor at the Dept of Physiology & Pharmacology at KI  together with Lilly Schwieler, senior researcher, Dept of Physiology & Pharmacology want to discover a drug candidate that will decrease overactivity in dopaminergic projections in patients with neuroinflammatory-induced psychosis. Sophie is receiving support from KI Innovations START team and we asked her a […]

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“Reduce workers´ exposure to harmful volatiles emitted from goods”

Gunnar Johanson, Senior Professor and Researcher and  Urban Svedberg, Senior Researcher  are working at the institute of Environmental Medicine,Unit of Integrative Toxicology  at Karolinska Institutet. Gunnar and his team aim to reduce workers´ exposure to harmful volatiles emitted from goods. Gunnar and Urban are receiving support from KI Innovations START team and we asked them […]

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“Smart clothing that can detect prolonged periods of muscle inactivity”

Paul Ackermann, Orthopedic surgeon and Senior lecturer, Orthopedics, MMK  and Robin Juthberg, PhD-student and MD, Orthopedics, MMK are looking at new innovative ways to address the ever growing problem of muscle inactivity. Paul Ackermann is receiving support from KI Innovations START team and we asked him a few questions about the journey and learnings so […]

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We help you with :

  • Market analysies and customer interaction
  • Questions with regards to patent and copyright
  • Legal conditions
  • Regulatory
  • Business Model and Business Plan
  • Identifying a suitabel financial plan
  • Team & business development
  • In some cases, we also support development of basic prototypes to be used in the dialogue with investors and other stakeholders.

How do I get started?

The process starts with you submitting a project proposal – please download the Idea Description Form – KI Innovations . There are instructions on the form. The activities within the START program are free of charge mfor any researcher or student at Karolinska Institutet and all information is handled confidentially.

The START program always begins with your filling in the

Idea Description Form 

All the activities in the program are free of charge and all information is handled with confidentiality

What happens then?

We schedule an inventor meeting where you will meet one of our experienced business coaches. In the meeting we go through your project and aim to identify the most critical issues. We also help to classify your product – is it (for example) a drug, a diagnostic tool or a medtech device? Incoming projects are discussed at an internal decision meeting. Within projects that are granted support we engage external experts who help to increase the value of the project. These experts are financed with money from Sweden’s Innovation Agency, Vinnova. During your time in START, you also have the possibility to participate in seminars, workshops and short courses.

Still have some questions? Or maybe you’d just like to get started.

Get in touch


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