Packbridge helps startup companies find business opportunities in the packaging industry
Packbridge currently has over 180 member companies and is a non-profit organisation which is probably the largest of its kind in Europe. Packbridge was founded in 2010 and has grown very quickly. Our base is located in Malmö, but we have activities throughout the Nordic region. Internationally we have many well-established partnerships, including a number of MoU agreements with companies and organisations in Asia. We also participate in various EU-funded projects.
Top Packaging Summit by Packbridge is a major annual packaging conference. Last year, at the summit, we offered a large number of startups the chance to present their concepts to our network and the response was very positive from all sides. This has given us a taste for more, and we are now investing heavily in linking our industry with companies that have new and exciting ideas. We are currently running The Packbridge Challenge, a competition in which the winning entry will receive SEK 50 000.
What’s behind the challenge? It’s simple. We know that our members, industry, startup companies and society all benefit from effective matching.
Both members and startups benefit
Within this area, Packbridge has identified the potential for startup companies or entrepreneurs with ideas that could usefully be applied in the packaging industry. We are confident that Packbridge members will benefit greatly from our bringing them together with startup companies and entrepreneurs. And similarly, it is of great interest for these companies to find partners in the industry. Packbridge can help businesses to save resources; we can also facilitate potential outsourcing and help with matchmaking. For Packbridge the Triple Helix concept is a key driving force, and we can match companies within all of these areas.
Through our network and using our expertise, we can facilitate and streamline the creation of contacts and quickly pave the way for effective collaboration.
We help the industry to develop
Packbridge is a neutral base, one that helps to drive and develop the industry and open new doors to an industrial world that many startups are not familiar with. Companies that are quick to see this soon find many interesting opportunities to further develop their businesses. As an organisation we believe in open innovation and cross-border collaboration. It is essential that more intelligent ways are found to connect larger companies to smaller companies with good, innovative ideas.
In line with the European Commission’s view
At the end of last year, an explanatory memorandum was issued by the Ministry of Enterprise which described the EU Commission initiative for startups and expanding businesses. One of the concluding paragraphs discussed proposals to create additional opportunities for startup businesses via links with business partners, tendering opportunities and by providing assistance to ensure the right skills are recruited. It also stated that existing clusters and ecosystems should be connected and that startup businesses should be linked to business partners via new routes. And as the European Commission has realised, there are great opportunities for startup businesses linked to cluster activities. Packbridge can facilitate, push, motivate and inspire. We can identify problem areas and find solutions by ensuring that the right connections are linked together in our value chain.
The current situation!
However, there are problems and some of these became clear when we contacted all the incubators in Sweden and asked them what they felt could be linked to the packaging industry. The results were disappointing, to say the least. Clearly the packaging industry is not getting the attention it deserves. This is one of the biggest industries in the world, sometimes there is talk of it being in the top 3, and it is also an industry in constant change with huge innovative potential. In Sweden, the industry employs well over 20,000 people and turnover is around SEK 75 billion. There is a lot to be gained here for startups and entrepreneurs alike, but greater awareness of the possibilities is clearly needed.
Innovative and intelligent ideas can arouse interest in all sectors of the packaging industry. One area where opportunities are particularly large is in the area of locally produced foods; a segment that is growing strongly and where the need for effective packaging is greater than ever. Here two realities collide; the packaging industry is traditionally driven by large series, but the locally produced food industry needs small series and the opportunity to put their own “personal” stamp on their packaging. Digitalisation and the IoT are other interesting areas, as are new materials and the interaction between product and packaging. Active and intelligent packaging solutions are predicted a bright future, and here too there are lots of opportunities.
There are all kinds of interesting niches for startups and we want to be a part of resolving the problem by putting the focus on the situation and ensuring that companies are matched correctly.
Packbridge cannot solve the obstacles in terms of the development of legislative and regulatory frameworks, but we can certainly be on your side and help make things easier for startups and entrepreneurs. There’s a lot to be gained. One key conclusion of the Ministry of Enterprise’s memorandum is the need for linking with the right partners, including investors, business partners, universities and research centres.
Contact us if you have any questions.
Mobile: +46 760 181209