Darko is a titan of the flooring world, involved in the industry’s leading innovations. Apart from founding Välinge Innovation in 1993, he initiated and managed the development of the world’s first laminate floor in the late seventies. He also developed the first floor with a mechanical locking system in the early nineties and drove Välinge’s wood powder project that led to the innovative Woodura® surface technology that features in the groundbreaking Hardened Wood Floors. Today, he continues to revolutionise the industry as CEO of Pervanovo — recently announcing plans to build the largest wood flooring facility in the world in Croatia. The company also acquired two Croatian veneer mills in Vinkovci and Otok to become Europe's largest manufacturer of high-quality FSC-certified oak veneers for the flooring and furniture industry.
“Over the years, I’ve received many awards, but this one is different,” says Darko Pervan, Välinge Innovation founder and CEO of Pervanovo Invest AB — which owns a majority stake in the Välinge group. “This award was given to me by my peers — other founders and entrepreneurs — and that makes it extra special.”
The Founders Alliance is a collaborative business forum that, established in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2002. From its roots in Sweden, it has expanded to include 50 international founders with headquarters in 11 countries. The Founders Alliance modus operandi is to help founders of global growth companies and large-scale corporations to form long-term relationships that inspire, develop, and enable more — and better — business.
“Darko is an extremely worthy winner of the Founder of the Year Honorary Award, and everyone at Välinge is very proud of his achievement,” says Niclas Håkansson, CEO, Välinge Innovation. “Our company was built on Darko’s vision and drive — and those principles guide us to this day as we continue developing our floor and furniture technologies and begin our journey to become the world’s largest, most innovative, and sustainable flooring manufacturer and distributor in our chosen categories.”
The Founder of the Year Honorary Award is the organisation’s most prestigious. The recipient is deemed to have made a lifelong contribution to sustainable and long-term company building — and is a role model for other founders, businesses, and society as a whole.
About Välinge Innovation. Founded in 1993, Välinge Innovation pioneered a technological revolution for the flooring industry and spearheaded the transition from traditional glued tongue-and-groove to today’s modern click technology. From launching the original mechanical locking system, Välinge Innovation has now been granted over 3500 patents for floor, furniture, and surface technologies and has over 300 licensees across the globe using their innovations. All our technology and concepts are developed at our HQ in Viken, Sweden — in one of the most advanced R&D centres for flooring and furniture in the world. It’s also home to our state-of-the-art flooring production facility and our technical support, testing, and sample manufacturing hub — ensuring innovation and quality to our licensees every step of the way. At Välinge, innovation is engrained in everything we do.