Sön 14 jul / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

NOME – tailoring start-up companies through cutting-edge support

Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship (NOME) matches the needs of start-up companies with the experience from world-class mentors at the Nordic arena. The highly skilled mentors with their extensive experience and willingness to boost and advance the development of the Nordic Life Science field are the core of NOME. The network was launched 2016, and funded through the Novo Nordisk foundation and operated by Accelerace in collaboration with local partners in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

The aim of NOME is to further position the Nordic countries as one of the leading life science regions. By supporting promising start-ups with a flying start through unbiased and free of charge advice from senior mentors by matching the needs of the specific venture. Highest possible quality and increased speed to market are the core values and distinguishing features of NOME companies.

The international perspective is important for life science companies and NOME provides access to experts from all the Nordic countries. The mentoring program at MIT in Boston using “team mentoring” process is the inspiration to NOME. Where each company has 2-4 mentors selected upon their current needs, providing advice e.g. investments, technical expertise, market introduction and pricing.

The local partner to NOME in southern Sweden is Medicon Village Science Park. Kerstin Jakobsson, Executive Vice President at Medicon Village is proud of what the program can provide the selected start-up companies with: “By joining the program, the ventures get access to world-class mentors – with the right skills to match the need of the company and in addition free-of charge. “

The partners of the NOME program cover the Nordic region and together constitute a large proportion of incubators and science parks within the life science area. Medicon Village Science Park has been a partner since the expansion of NOME outside Denmark. The founding mentor at Medicon Village is professor Carl Borrebaeck, a serial entrepreneur of biotech companies such as Alligator Biotech, SenzaGen and Immunovia. Carl Borrebaeck has been responsible for the further recruitment of world-class regional mentors such as Yvonne Mårtensson, Peter Benson, Rolf Ehrnström and Arne Ferstad. Together with 34 additional mentors recruited into NOME, they represent an impressive set of experiences that they are happy to share. As a founding mentor prof. Carl Borrebaeck say: “It is very exciting to see how the journey of promising new start-up companies can be accelerated and time-to-market can be shortened based on the elite NOME mentoringship. This is what truly distinguish the NOME concept from other endeavors. In addition, NOME provides me with an opportunity to expand my personal network particular in the US as well as in the Nordics “ he states.

Sara Ek, whom herself has a vast experience from academic research as well as entrepreneurship being one of the founders of Immunovia, is leading the operation of the Skåne node of NOME. With the assistance of the Lund steering group, Carl Borrebaeck, Ulrika Ringdahl (Deputy Managing Director Invest in Skåne) and Kerstin Jakobsson, she is evaluating new ventures to find candidates suitable for the NOME network. “The frequency of the mentoring sessions is mutually agreed upon by the company and the designated mentors. The 3-4 mentors, often from two or more Nordic countries, provide tailor-made support through their unique experience and expertise during the sessions. Also, the program is flexibility and the duration of the support can be adjusted to the individual need “ she explains.

Currently, two companies from the southern part of Sweden are enrolled in the NOME mentoring program, SAGA diagnostics and Cellevate. Through NOME, they will get the opportunity to further sharpen their business models.

In addition, NOME offers biannual boot camps for selected ventures. These provide possibility to interact with US-based mentors and to understand the financial market in US. Last November, SAGA Diagnostics had the possibility to join the trip to New York and the CEO Lao Saal was more than satisfied by the outcome. “The NOME US cohort visit was a valuable experience and successful. I made excellent connections to US mentors and potential business partners and collaborators in NYC”.

You are welcome to contact Sara Ek (sara.ek@mediconvillage.se), local project manager for NOME at Medicon Village Science Park or Valentin Lubbe (val@accelerace.dk), main project manager for NOME at Accelerace, if you are interested in the NOME program. You can also find additional information on www.NOME.nu