Master's students in innovation and entrepreneurship get the opportunity to write their theses abroad


Six students in the Master's programmes Innovation and Industrial Management, and Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg were in January 2018 awarded a travel grant from Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture, to write their Master’s theses abroad. Below follows a presentation of the scholarship recipients and their research areas.

Levi Östling and Vincent Thermaenius

Programme: Innovation and Industrial Management

Today, over two billion people across the globe do not have access to basic financial services, which constitutes a problem of so-called financial exclusion. This is a problem that is most severe in low-income groups in developing economies such as India. Although several initiatives by governments, NGOs and micro-finance institutions have been directed at increasing financial inclusion, progress has been slow. However, the recent emergence of the FinTech sector and FinTech start-ups in particular, has now been proposed by many to possess large potential to solve the problem of financial exclusion. Not much is known about this relatively new sector, and especially how it relates to financial inclusion, there is a great opportunity for a case study to investigate what role FinTech startups may actually have. At the same time, Bangalore is a cluster of FinTech companies which makes it an interesting city for our study. Therefore we will travel to Bangalore for 6-7 weeks to interview several companies in the FinTech industry to investigate what role they actually play in the development towards increasing financial inclusion.

Ida Lönnfält and Josefine Sandqvist

Programme: Innovation and Industrial Management

The study aims to assess how blockchain technology can be used in supply chain management in a practical sense. Since the fast fashion industry is an industry with high reliance on an efficient supply chain, there is an interest in examining the use of blockchain as a way for creating more secure, transparent and traceable supply chain. It is already established that blockchains has great potential, but there is a gap in the literature regarding how it can actually be applied. We will interview people at fast fashion companies’ headquarters in e.g. Sweden, Spain and England, as well as closing the loop by interviewing people from their suppliers in Asia. This will be connected to literature and interviews with experts about the characteristics of different types of blockchains, in order to analyze how blockchains can be applied in supply chain management.

Philip Steen and Sebastian Misurák

Programme: Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship

Start-up investments through syndicates are a common way for financiers to share both costs and potential risks. Rarely have these syndicates involved both Independent Venture Capital firms and Corporate Venture Capital firms. IVCs tend to be more short-term profit driven, while CVCs focus more on acquiring skills they lack. Historically IVCs have had a hostile view towards CVCs, sometimes not even acknowledging them as a legitimate VC form. However, in recent years the landscape has started to change, and these kinds of syndicates have started to become more common. We want to examine why. With the help of the Sten A Olsson Scholarship we aim to spend part of the spring semester in Silicon Valley, conducting interviews with VC firms, to get an inside perspective on why the IVC-CVC syndicate landscape seems to be shifting.

The Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture

The Sten A. Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture yearly assigns two millions SEK towards scholarships to master’s students during their thesis writing. During 2017 the Sten A Olsson foundation gave out 39 scholarships of SEK 25 000 each. The scholarship allows students to visit international companies and universities and to create their own international network whilst working on a research based master thesis. The recipients of the scholarship should operate within the foundations prioritized research areas, Culture and Health as well as Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Find out more about the Stena A Olsson Foundation here