An accompanying social problem solved in Snjallræði

Optimism and positivity floated over the waters in Hátíðarsal Gróska on Wednesday, December 7, when the final day of Snjallræði took place, and nine start-up companies presented their projects, all of which are aimed at solving the surrounding social problem. For the past 16 weeks, a group of entrepreneurs has participated in the growth space (e.incubator) Sjjallräði and received education and training from national and foreign experts in the field of social issues and innovation, as well as meetings with experienced mentors who have followed them for the last few months.

Each team presented for 3 minutes and then answered questions from the "sharks" Svana Gunnarsdóttur, CEO of Frumtak and Kristjáns Schram, founder and owner of Instrúment.

Examples of start-up companies presented on the final day include Fort, which works against muscle atrophy in long-term patients, Sara – a girl with ADHD who promotes increased awareness of the manifestation of ADHD in girls, and BioBuilding, who are developing Icelandic hemp concrete.

The final day marked the graduation of these start-ups who have dedicated themselves to solving society's challenges with ingenuity and a strong vision for the future, and it will be exciting to watch them in the future.

A large number of people made their way to Gróska, but the presenter of the day was the comedian and former mayor Jón Gnarr. Among the guests could be seen Þór Sigfússon, managing director of Sjávarklasan, Hrund Gunnsteinsdóttir, managing director of Festa, Jón Atla Benediktsson, rector of HÍ, and Lóu Bára Gunnarsdóttir, marketing director of Origo. People agreed that the event was successful and managed to fill people with hope and optimism for a better world.

Kolfinna Kristínardóttir, Snjallræð project manager: "It's good to see this interest in social innovation and great to welcome over 150 people here today. The teams made a lot of progress during these 16 weeks and I am very happy with the results".

Sjjallräði was founded in 2018 by the Höfða Peace Center and now took place for the fourth time. KLAK – Icelandic Startups takes care of the growth space in the collaboration with MIT DesignX and the focal point is workshops where experts from MIT come to the country and share their knowledge.

The goal of the growth space is to promote innovation that tackles contemporary challenges and is thus an important platform for social start-ups.

The project is supported by the City of Reykjavík, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Labor Market, the University of Iceland, the University of Reykjavík, Marel, Origo, the Ministry of University, Industry and Innovation, Landsvirkjun and Deloitte. Other partners were the University of Akureyri, the Iceland University of the Arts and Festa.