POC is a brand that is distinctly individual. The aesthetically minimalist lines and sharp appearance of their apparel and protective gear are easily recognizable, and after visiting their HQ in downtown Stockholm it’s not hard to see where this approach stems from.
An old red-brick, ex-industrial building with towering window panes is where the bulk of R&D, marketing, design, purchasing, and the financial staff are housed. Inside, is a bright and modern open plan workspace with a relaxed atmosphere and a gentle buzz, as clusters of smartly clad employees from various rolls discuss ideas and approaches. It’s clear that everyone here has a passion for design and safety that runs a lot deeper than simply churning out snow or cycling gears. Aside from the staff in Sweden who predominantly focus on product development and innovation, POC have another two main offices in the US and Austria who concentrate on sales.
Globally, POC are a 100 strong, split relatively equally through their main bases with around 33 working in Stockholm. The team crosses over into both bike and snow, with the majority of staff having an avocation in one of those sports, which apparently injects fresh ideas into both disciplines, bolstered by feedback from athletes on the world circuits, such as Robin Wallner and Zakarias Johansen of the Ibis EWS Team.
Co-founded by Stefan Ytterborn who, until a few years ago, was the company CEO, POC laid their foundations in the snow sport sector back in 2005 before expanding into mountain biking in 2008, noting that the two markets were similar in terms of location and with participants eager to wear protective gear. Road cycling then followed with POC aiming to shrink the disparity between bike and snow.
After a morning nosing through products, old and new, and discovering what makes POC tick, a certain Mister Soderstrom turned up. Pens, paper, and computers were swiftly ditched in exchange for a lunchtime thrash through the local trail playground of Hellasgården.