Interview date: 11 July 2014
Interviewed by: Tanja
Klak Innovit is the incorporation of two merged companies Klak and Innovit.
“Klak was founded as an innovation centre, which emphasised on education for entrepreneurs.
Klak operated Business Accelerator – a fast track program for new companies. Klak offered consulting to small and medium sized companies and hosted various networking events for different groups. Klak was also an incubator centre and hosted in its offices many different companies in different industries.” (Source: http://www.klak.is/english/)
“Innovit was an independent centre for innovation and entrepreneurship, for energetic and ambitious people with good business ideas. The main emphasis was placed on supporting university-educated entrepreneurs and start-ups, which were formed inside Icelandic universities. To this end, Innovit established a collaboration and service agreements with the University of Iceland, Reykjavik University and the School of Business at Bifröst University, ensuring the access of students at those universities to Innovit services, free of charge, from when they commence their studies up until five years after graduation.
Innovit’s operations have been diverse, but rich emphasis was placed on building an open and creative venue for imaginative and well-educated people, creating a positive and encouraging environment for people to gain experience and succeed in their field.
Innovit’s operations have been divided into four main areas of support:
- Free office space for start-ups
- Consultation, education, talks and courses
- Summer jobs focusing on innovation
- The annual Innovit entrepreneur’s contest
Innovit was founded as a limited liability company run in the public interest, its operational structure is therefore comparable to, for instance, that of a private university. Innovit was majority-owned by its three founders, in addition to which the Federation of Icelandic Industries and the New Business Venture Fund own part of the company. The founding entrepreneurs of Innovit are Andri Heiðar Kristinsson, Magnús Már Einarsson and Stefanía Sigurðardóttir.” (Source: http://english.hi.is/innovit )
1. Name: Diljá Valsdóttir
2. Email address: dilja [at] innovit.is
3. Phone number: +345 6977055
4. Your title in the company: COO
5. Company Name: Klak Innovit / http://klakinnovit.is/ / kt.440500-2690
6. Industry: Entrepreneurship / Consulting / Accelerator
7. Company years in operation: 2013 as Klak Innovit. The two merged companies Klak was established in 2000 and Innovit in 2007.
8. Type of company: Non-profit Private Limited company (“Einkahlutafélag” (ehf)
9. How many employees does your company have: 5 full time and 1 half time employees
10. Annual turnover: (not provided)
11. Description of company: Entrepreneurship centre with various projects run annually. The projects include: Startup Reykjavik, Startup Energy Reykjavik, Gulleggið (“The Golden Egg”), Seed Forum Iceland, Nýsköpunarhádegi lecture series, Startup Weekend Reykjavik, GEW Iceland, NIMMP and others. Each project is sponsored by different sponsors.
12. Company Mission: To help entrepreneurs execute their ideas.
13. Description of social / environmental mission: “We aim to be community based.”
- They offer consulting/mentoring and bring in experts in their respective fields.
- They also meet with anyone that requests it, free of charge
- The Gulleggið project involves 10-12 volunteer students (they manage the entire project).
14. Would you call yourself a social entrepreneur or social enterprise? Not sure.
15. How do you interpret the concept of social enterprises? An organization that is not only profit focused, that connects to the community and gives back.
Questions related to the definition
16. Does your company have a clear social and/or environmental mission set out in their governing documents? Not sure. Originally Klak was intended as a profit making company from consulting for startups and Innovit’s mission was non-profit focused to assist students from the Icelandic universities to establish businesses.
17. Does your company generate the majority of their income through trade? (51% and above). If not, how much? All projects are funded via grants (for specific projects listed in 11.) from companies. In addition 5-15% comes from the owners: the Federation of Icelandic Industries, the New Business Venture (NSA), Nýherji, the University of Iceland and Reykjavik University.
18. Does your company reinvest the majority of its profits back into the social and/or environmental mission? (51% and above), if not, how much? There is no profit, funds raised are used directly to cover the running (salaries) costs.
19. Is your company autonomous of state? It is part owned by the universities (which is state owned).
20. Is your company majority controlled in the interests of the social and or environmental mission? The employees and board are community focused, as well as the people from the related funding companies. Their aim is to create a startup ecosystem in Iceland by connecting companies, individuals and government agencies.
21. Is your company accountable and transparent? (Transparency – corporate actions are observable by outsiders) They have statistics for each of the projects they run, for example the number of applicants for the Golden Egg competition. There has been no need to share financial information with the public, but as per all Icelandic companies they submit their annual financial results to the tax office.
22. Who are you clients / focus group?
Clients: sponsors / companies
Target group: entrepreneurs, individuals and startup teams
23. What KPI’s (key performance indicators) or measurement tools, if any, do you use to access if you are meeting your social impact according to your mission? (E.g. Number of users, number of engaged users. Etc.)
1) In their annual Christmas card they include their statistics of success rates for the year.
2) Annual survey (for Innovit before the merger since the merger it´s on hold, called the “Innovit Economy”): income, number of entrees, investments, turnover of companies
3) Impact report: number of attendees, number of ideas
4) After each project they send a survey to the participants rating their experience
24. As per 23, what type of social impact have you created through your products/services (e.g. assisted 1,000 people access to health care they won’t have otherwise).
Social enterprise sector
25. If a social enterprise umbrella body were formed, would you be interested to know more about it and possibly join as a member? n/a
26. If a company comes to you with a social / environmental mission, what kind of support do you currently offer them?
All people that come to them get a 30 minute meeting to discuss their idea. Thereafter they may assist them to them how to move forward either through connecting them with someone, or suggesting a project.
They have had people come to them with a non-profit focus, they would assist by looking at their business model and would usually emphasis a means for them to create some kind of income.
27. Is social enterprise relevant in Iceland?
“Yes there is allot of potential in Iceland due to the wealth in the country with regards to natural resources, energy, gender equality and good educational system. There is easy access to people, to talent and experts. It is pretty easy to get a meeting with someone. We are concerned about many of the matters.”
28. What support would we need to encourage more of social enterprise in Iceland?
A network. Industry focused.
29. Can you recommend a company (NGO) that you may know of that has a social and/or environmental mission?
Companies from Energy start-up Reykjavik
Note: Social Enterprise Iceland does not in any way imply that the interviewed company is a social enterprise. The definition for social enterprise in Iceland is still work in progress through these research interviews. The purpose of sharing these interviews with the public is in alignment with our values of transparency as we share our process of discovery with those who are interested.by