At Hyper Island, we couldn’t be more proud of the achievements of our students and alumni. In some cases, the business idea arises very early on in the Hyper Island journey. And this is exactly what happened in the case of the two founders of SoLucy. Here, we discuss everything from how the idea came to fruition, to how the company has co-created a platform for other students to establish their own businesses.

How did the idea behind SoLucy come about, only 4 weeks into the program?

Nico: When starting my journey at Hyper Island I realized quite quickly that this experience has the potential to give me much more than a great opportunity to explore the creative industry. When entering the “Hyper bubble”, it gave me a sense of freedom in regards to both time and money (due to CSN).

I always had this vision of creating a company that allows everyone to be themselves and this was the perfect moment to start the building process.

The first idea behind SoLucy was to create an agency that mirrors everything we do in Hyper Island to enhance our learning experience. If we had a programming module, the idea would be to find a client and code for them for free, for example.By doing this we would learn a lot at Hyper, we would learn a lot from “clients”, but foremost, as entrepreneurs, we would understand the needs in the industry a lot quicker.

At that point, I knew that we had 18 months of freedom to fail, learn, and build the fundamentals of this company for it to be fully ready for us to step into after our internship.

Tell us a bit about SoLucy.

Erik: It’s all in the name really, The discovery of the Lucy skeleton forever changed researchers’ understanding of how Homo sapiens evolved, and brought hope to find what made us human.

With the Latin meaning of Lucy being “light” and in the urban dictionary: “A girl who you want as your friend, nobody will quite understand you as Lucy does.” It was our solution for a name.

Today, we’re an agency that creates innovative digital solutions, shines a light on critical insights, and provides design, branding, and marketing that understands you and your audience better than anyone—bringing hope about what makes us human.

Solutions + Lucy = SoLucy.

What learnings drove you to where you are now with your company, and how did your Hyper Island experience allow you to transform what you are doing now?

Erik: The core Hyper Island elements of self-leadership and self-awareness really helped us set our course; we could dare to take risks to achieve what’s important for us. We both have a passion for understanding people, making the world a better place and we love the word “relevant”. Can we design relevant value out of human insights (data) for purpose-driven businesses? Yes, we can.

Thanks to Hyper Island I gained different ways and processes to, in creative and innovative ways, solve unfamiliar problems. BTW, Experienced-based learning, is basically what all entrepreneurs are doing. Therefore it felt very natural to use tools and models provided by Hyper Island straight away.

I often say that Hyper Island provided us with a new, common language that if used correctly, allows us to work efficiently, creatively, and become profitable—together.

Nico: I always had a curiosity for human behaviors and found it interesting to see how people interact with each other online and offline. I realized the importance of data and how we can use it as digital proof for human behaviors. So we, as SoLucy, were in this loop from the start ,but really struggled with our angle to the industry and how we can provide unique value to our clients.

For a short period of time I tried the famous “fake it till you make it”, but that quickly flew out the window. It was never a suitable mindset for me, as I wanted to be here to provide genuine value, and I could only do so by staying true to myself and mastering my craft.

Hyper Island gave me all the tools I need to keep on developing my skills and extract the greatest learnings of every experience through reflection.

What was it like to study and run your own startup simultaneously?

Erik: It has been a lot of weekends and evenings with changing priorities It has been scary and tiring, but it’s the best thing I have ever done. I think we worked almost every Sunday since we started school, more because we felt like doing it than it being a must.

We always set out to put school first, and SoLucy second, while doing projects. This was for two reasons:

  1. We believe in commitments being made as much as promises being made.
  2. Double up the failures/learnings. We both set out to do our best and get the most out of our education.

Overall, I would describe doing it simultaneously as a great chance to apply all your learnings, cluster new industry contacts, and utilize possibilities. I have been able to channel pretty much everything I’ve done and learned at Hyper Island, and our projects, into our startup. I think it’s weird that more students aren’t doing this.

Nico: It was an extremely rewarding experience. It enhanced my learning at Hyper a lot because all of a sudden, everything that we did and went through at Hyper becomes tangible and applicable at your company.

When running a startup, alongside studying at Hyper, you also face so many challenges that you wouldn’t experience at Hyper: How to create business cases, how to pitch, how to handle deals, and how to fully implement your deliverables, just to name a few. These are all valuable experiences to go through no matter what job you end up having in the future.

You’re now working with Norrsken, where you are co-creating their Student Innovation Lab. Tell us about that.

Erik and Nico: It was clear to us as soon as we heard about Norrsken that we wanted to work there, as members. We want our brand, SoLucy to be associated with what social impact the Norrsken Foundation enables, and at the same time be in an environment with other people that share our values and goals.

Little did we know that Oskar also was thinking about a platform to establish and move driven students closer to the digital, tech, and impact scene. Even though that guy seems to eat, sleep, and rave “Norrsken”.

Together we have co-created the Student Innovation Lab, where SoLucy has had the privilege to be creators, but also the first batch. Testing our process and providing value to members of Norrsken, SoLucy has developed, evolved, and fueled up with clients, portfolio-worthy reference cases, insights, feedback, and most importantly, a lot of valuable relationships.

It’s a platform that easily could be described as one of the best possibilities for students to establish your startup, freelance career, or agency in the industry and Stockholm today. This is the first published piece about it, yet we have already had students work with us in projects, and received interest from students to join and students wanting to write their thesis about it.

We just hope that the next batch is already writing their mail of interest to us.

Hyper Island
Hyper Island Shape Your Future
Article updated on: 11 March 2024