1 million NOK to UiB startup Spellbound

Published 21.05.2019
The Norwegian Research Council has awarded the student company Spellbound with NOK 1 million from the STUD-ENT program.

The entrepreneurs behind the startup Spellbound, Audun Klyve Gulbrandsen and Joakim Vindenes were among very few to receive funds from the STUD-ENT program.

The purpose of the program is to help entrepreneurs to implement a knowledge-based business idea. The student company is located in Media City Bergen and was founded by students from the University of Bergen. Vindenes is a PhD Candidate in Information Science at the University of Bergen and Klyve Gulbrandsen is a master student in Media and Interaction Design.

Klyve Gulbrandsen and Vindenes first met when they collaborated during a course about VR at Media City Bergen. They quickly discovered that they had a common interest in the same technology. This was the start of Spellbound, which is a platform for Extended Reality in school. The purpose of the solution is to supplement the usual learning methods with the use of new technology to expand the teaching as well as making it more vibrant and interactive.

Klyve Gulbrandsen and Vindenes have both benefited from using the facilities in the Media Lab at NCE Media, especially the VR rig. As students at the University of Bergen, they’ve had access to the Media Lab through the close collaboration between the university and NCE Media. The Media Lab is open to all students located in Media City Bergen, and it is possible to, among other things, use the technology to test various solutions and concepts as well as attend a wide range of events.

According to the entrepreneurs, being in Media City Bergen has had a great impact on the project.

- In Media City Bergen it is easy to get in touch with others who are interested in the same topics and technologies, says Klyve Gulbrandsen.

As a result of this, MCB was the first place the entrepreneurs initially met. Although most of the companies are competitors in many contexts, there is a unique culture of sharing that contributes to increased knowledge and experience building.

- The companies in Media City Bergen and the events held in the building have been of great importance to our network. We have also benefited greatly from using the technologies in the Media Lab for demos and testing.

Vindenes and Klyve Gulbrandsen have uncovered an opportunity to develop and launch a prototype next year, as the current curriculum will be renewed.

- In conjunction with this, we will work on entering sales agreements and assume a position in the market, and we envision being located in Media City Bergen also in the future.

The University of Bergen has written an article about Vindenes and Klyve Gulbrandsen's startup here: https://www.uib.no/aktuelt/126863/millioner-til-innovative-studenter

Article by Runa Fjelle and Martine Øvrelid, interns at NCE Media.