Growing pains

How one entrepreneur doubled turnover

Growing pains: How one entrepreneur doubled turnover

Spinab Stålpartier i Norr is a true success story and in just six years they have made a reputation for themselves that has reached the architects of Sweden’s most luxurious department store as well as the jury members of the prestigous Gazelle Award. This year, they have doubled turnover while maintaining a healthy profit margin and staff cost levels. CEO Ulf Isaksson and production manager Rickard Bergström believe that a long-term focus and collaboration with Luleå University of Technology and LTU Business are two keys factors to their success.

Construction companies, architects and glaziers from all over Sweden turn to Spinab Stålpartier in the North for premium quality steel products and cutting-edge knowledge of special solutions for both interiors and exteriors.

Ever since they first start six years ago, the focus has been on growth and innovation. Therefore, the business development program Fast Track, which is run by Luleå University of Technology and LTU Business, felt completely right.

“Fast Track is great for us and we wish a similar program had existed when we started the company. It would have made things much easier.” – Ulf Isaksson, CEO

Ulf Isaksson says that they have previously collaborated with the university for product development and student dissertation projects. In parallel, they took help from LTU Business’ advisors for business development. Fast Track took it all to a whole new level.

– Fast Track is great for us and we wish a similar program had existed when we started the company. It would have made things much easier.

– What makes the programme really stand out is the exchange with the other participating business leaders, the direct access to researchers and students with technical excellence, combined with a designated coach with business know-how, says Rickard Bergström.

“We want to continue to be innovative”

Ulf Isaksson and Rickard Bergström.

For the steel company in Öjebyn, long-term focus on quality and innovation is an obvious strategy for competing with foreign suppliers. When Conny Hökfors, who is a business developer at LTU Business, suggested Fast Track, and Ulf Isaksson had just recruited Rickard Bergström, well then the timing felt perfect.

– Of course, we want the business to grow financially, but also for Piteå and Norrbotten to have more jobs. We want to create new job opportunities that do not compete with existing companies and industries in the region, but we strive to find new niches, says Ulf.

Conny Hökfors, business development manager at LTU Business, has extensive experience of navigating collaborative projects for companies seeking a university partnership. Small and medium-sized companies in northern Sweden are strongly in focus at LTU Business.

– In our daily contact with entrepreneurs, we often come across those with the aspiration and potential to grow – those companies are critical to the competitiveness of a region. Being able to offer these trailblazers an opportunity like Fast Track is incredibly rewarding and valuable to us, Conny concludes.


Spinab Stålpartier i Norr manufactures tailor-made windows, doors and production solutions in steel. The company has 18 employees and is based in Öjebyn, Norrbotten. The company has recently commissioned the luxurious NK department store in Stockholm and was named a gazelle company by Sweden’s leading daily industry newspaper, Dagens Industri in 2019.

Fast Track is an eighteen-month-long business development program for growth-focused small and medium-sized companies in the rural northernmost area of Sweden (Norrbotten and Skellefteå). The program was launched in the spring of 2020 and is arranged by Luleå University of Technology and LTU Business with support from EU/ERUF, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Region Norrbotten and Skellefteå Municipality within the project Collaboration for Innovation and Regional Growth (SIRT).

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