Linn Gerhardsson’s idea for improving safety in outdoor environments came to her during her final year project. Already at this early stage, her paths crossed with a coach from LTU Business. Two years later, she’s an award-winning entrepreneur, about to launch her own product line Alarmwear. But her journey has been a challenge and anything but straight.
– It’s amazing to see a dream unfold into reality. The moment I held the actual prototype in my hand – something that started with a real need that I experienced myself – it’s an incredible feeling.
Linn Gerhardsson is an engineer with a master’s degree in product design. For her thesis, she chose to investigate safety in outdoor environments, resulting in a report and a first prototype of a runner’s belt with a built-in assault alarm. Lisa Mujagic, idea coach at LTU Business was onboard as supervisor throughout the project, supporting Linn with guidance on idea development. As Linn completed her thesis, Lisa also encouraged her to apply to LTU Business Summer – Impact Lab, an idea and business development programme.
Through LTU Business Summer, Linn had the opportunity to verify the idea through market research and expand her knowledge within business development. Johan Bergström and Sandra Uddeskär, both professional idea coaches, mentored her throughout the programme.
– In LTU Business Summer I made new friends and tapped into practical skills and knowledge that added to my academic degree; How to make a business plan, how to assess and compare markets and business models, how to reach customers, how to raise capital. Having support from experienced mentors was very valuable to me, says Linn.
In 2019, Alarmwear was awarded Skapa-priset, Sweden’s number one innovation award. Since then, Linn has focused on finding a scalable production process, developing the marketing communcations and sourcing investors. Alarmwear is set to launch in the winter of 2020.
Linn hopes that by sharing her story and hard-earned lessons, more students feel inspired to take the first step and explore their ideas:
– My first advice is to start with examining the market for your idea – the more thoroughly you do this, the better in the long run. Turn to idea and business development professionals such as LTU Business or Almi for guidance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help where you feel like you lack knowledge. Finally, be brave and take a chance with your idea – it will be a fun and educational journey no matter that it leads to in the end, Linn says.
Boost your time as a student with inspiration, insights and connections to help your ideas reach their potential and find your inner entrepreneur. Diversity is where the best ideas are born and we’re here for you no matter which programme you study, if you already have an idea or simply feel inspired in creative and innovative settings.