The concept of Hövding, a cycle helmet that people would be happy to wear – whether they had to or not, was inspired by imposition of a law in Sweden making helmet use mandatory for children up to the age of 15. The project, pioneered by Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, two students studying Industrial Design at the University of Lund, resulted in the concept of an airbag helmet. After a series of awards, including Innovationsbron’s Ideas Grant and the Venture Cup 2006, Hövding Sweden AB was founded.
After the first version of the helmet sold out across European markets and online, the firm decided it was time for something better (though not necessarily bigger). New versions of the helmet are officially released next year, but can be pre-ordered online in the meantime.
So what’s new in version 2.0? The new helmet is adapted for a greater variety of bicycle models, including collapsible and easy-to-assemble bikes. The company guarantees the same level of safety as with the first design, but with better comfort and bike-versatility.
The Business Cycle
This exciting news follows another announcement: that 50% of Hövdings founder group, Anna Haupt, is leaving the company. Haupt has been part of the firm since its initiation in 2006, and been on the board since 2010, but as we know, things don’t always run smoothly and friction and change within a business team is inevitable.
“The CEO of Hövding and I no longer share the same vision for the company,” she reveals to 8till5 SydSvenskan.
“Anna and the management do not share the same opinion concerning the company’s direction. We on the board have struggled with how to deal with this for a long time and tried to find solutions, but we have finally had a discussion with Anna and come to an agreement.”
This isn’t goodbye: Haupt will remain involved in the firm as a shareholder and board-member, although she is relinquishing her operational role.
What path will Hövding cycle down next? Haupt had been working on establishing the firm in the US market, but Johansson admits that this is low on their current list of priorities.
“We are established in fifteen countries in Europe... We have experienced a manifold increase in volume compared to last year. The US is further away...”
We wish them the best of luck with whatever path they choose!
Be sure to read more on both stories at 8till5