Lixea’s experience as a startup – here is their best advice

Lixea’s experience as a startup – here is their best advice

Publicerat 6 April, 2022

Lixea has established at LignoCity, a location where their new pilot plant can grow. As a start-up, their greatest tip to others is to get the essential technical and commercial skills in-house right from the beginning and outsource specialized support, such as accountancy or legal expertise.

Lixea has developed a patented process that, with the help of new, cheap, and environmentally friendly solvents, so-called ionic liquids, converts wood waste and agricultural residues into high-quality materials and building blocks for environmentally sustainable chemicals, and fuels.

Knowledge, network, and industry floors

Since 2017, Lixea has developed from a lab research phase to a successful start-up company. Now, the company has eleven employees, five of which are employed in Sweden where Lixea just finished building a pilot plant.

“The fact that Lixea chose the region of Värmland to establish the pilot plant is largely due to collaboration between several regional actors, including Paper Province, Sting Bioeconomy and Business Värmland. LignoCity, which works to commercialize sustainable processes and products with a focus on the wood raw material lignin, means conditions for Lixea to scale up. Partly thanks to proximity to knowledge and a large network of contacts, partly due to the availability of raw materials,” says Krisztina Kovacs-Schreiner, CEO at Lixea.

“The motivation for contacting LignoCity was the need of understanding what we really need. Anything from electricity to wastewater and where to put the ventilation. Also, the fact that LignoCity can grow with us made us see the potential within these four walls.

Great recourses

For Lixea the network in Värmland, Sweden, has played an important role.

“One of them is the cluster organization Paper Province, which provides an amazing network where we can feel the love and support from the region. We are also embedded with Sting Bioeconomy and several EU organizations with focus on the bioeconomy.

In addition, local innovation-supporting actors such as Närsam and Business Värmland, have contributed to Lixea’s growth.

Tips to start-ups

Being a start-up means both exciting opportunities and big challenges.

“Something that would have been good to know from the start was how crucial it was to make sure we had enough understanding of all the legal and environmental regulations and restrictions”, says Krisztina Kovacs-Schreiner.

“Having solid back-end support, such as accountants, lawyers, technical and commercial advisors are key along with an extended local network. So, the advice for other startups is – try not to do everting yourself, focus on your key deliverables, but find reliable and trusted subcontractors and outsource as much as you can.”

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