The award ceremony was organized by the Swedish economic journal Veckans Affärer and retailers, in cooperation with VINNOVA and Almega. 160 guests gathered at the ÅF Group's headquarters in Stockholm on the 23rd of November to listen to Marcus Wallenberg, Jan Björklund and a number of other exciting speakers. The chief editor of Veckans Affärer, Pontus Schultz, held the seminar. A future panel of four students had the opportunity to both answer and ask questions to the speakers.
ÅF’s CEO, Jonas Wiström, welcomed everyone and talked about how the discussions went when ÅF and Veckans Affärer made the decision to institute this award. The main motive is to raise the innovation issue and to highlight new important role models.
The Swedish Innovation Award was given for the fifth time this year. The Swedish Innovation Award highlights an innovative person or group that created, developed or stood behind a Swedish innovation that has achieved commercial success.
The winner of the Swedish Innovation Award 2011, Swedish Rebtel, challenges the big telephone players about the international mobile telephony with the internet connection on the mobile phones. Rebtel was founded by the digital serial entrepreneurs Hjalmar Winbladh and Jonas Lindroth 2006 and is now the second largest provider of mobile VoIP (Voice over IP) for Skype. In just five years, Rebtel has created a customer base of 13 million users that with their mobile phones made more than one billion minutes international calls last year through IP. This year's turnover is expected to reach $ 60 million; a figure that in a few years is expected to double.
The Student Innovation Award was given for the third year in a row and is supposed to be given to a person or group, at a university or college, who created an innovative product or business.
This year, the Student Innovation Award was given to Pamoja Cleantech, with one of the Swedish founders in the lead, Peik Stenlund. Pamoja Cleantech is an international project that aims to facilitate the technology transfer of the environmentally energy production to East Africa in order to attract sustainable entrepreneurship.
The jury consisted of: Lena Treschow-Torell, IVA, Chairman; Anders Snell, Billerud; Charlotte Brogren, VINNOVA; Jonas Wiström, ÅF; Ulf Lindberg, Almega; Pontus Schultz and Jill Bederoff from Veckans Affärer.
Other nominees for the Swedish Innovation Award was Cellavision, Aerocrine, Vällinge Flooring, Dice and Scania. Other nominees for the Innovation Student Award was Skovik and Acabo Games.