Strong collaboration between UI and HR on Startup Social 

Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, and Ragnhildur Helgadóttir, Rector of the University of Reykjavík, and recently signed an agreement on increased collaboration between Reykjavik University and Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre and the University of Iceland on the social growth space. Startup Social.

Startup Social is intended to highlight and promote new solutions that support the UN's sustainable development goals and solve the pressing challenges of our time. There can be solutions relating to health care, welfare technology, improved education systems and gender equality, for example.

"It is important that the university community joins forces when it comes to urgent solutions to contemporary challenges, and we are really pleased to see Reykjavik University come into the project with such great energy. Reykjavik University has been a partner in Startup Social ever since the accelerator first took place in 2018, but now comes in a much stronger way than before," says Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland.

"We are proud to have been part of this project since 2018 and are delighted to further strengthen HR's involvement. Universities play a key role in finding solutions to the challenges we are facing. For RU, it is also important that all students, including those who are not in the technical field, have the opportunity to learn about innovation," says Ragnhildur Helgadóttir, Rector of Reykjavík University.

This year, ten start-ups were selected to participate in Startup Social working on a wide range of solutions, from food and construction circular solutions to solutions designed to enhance entrepreneurial skills among children and provide girls with ADHD with an easier path to increased opportunities.

"We have recently established a partnership with MITdesignX for the next three years on their involvement in Startup Social while MITdesignX handles four two-day workshops over a 16-week period, from the end of August through early December. The increased participation of Reykjavik University will be extremely useful in this co-operation, and we welcome the fact that the co-operation is intensifying between years," says Pia Hansson, director of Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre and the University of Iceland.

Startup Social The teams are currently participating in the third MITdesignX workshop so far this semester, under the guidance of Svöf Grönfeldt and her partner from MITdesignX. This is the second year in a row that KLAK performs the accelerator; KLAK has many years of experience in innovation and the development of business ideas in Iceland.

The final day of Smart Speech 2022 will take place in Gróska on Wednesday 7 December and everyone interested will have the opportunity to find out more about the teams that participated this year and their important solutions.  

Hallur Þór Sigurðsson, Assistant Professor at RU's School of Business Administration, Kolfinna Kristínardóttir, Project Manager KLAK – Icelandic Startups, Ragnhildur Helgadóttir, Rector of HR, Auður Örlygsdóttir, specialist at Höfði Peace Centre, Pia Hansson, Director of Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre, Svafa Grönfeldt, founder of MITDesignX accelerator, and Katrín Sif Oddgeirsdóttir, Business Relations Officer and Project Manager at HR.