Recently I took part in a 2 week long case challenge hosted by a management consultancy company in Stockholm. Working in groups, participants were divided based on universities with me (and Reuben from this class!) being placed together with two other engineering students from Uppsala University. With six groups of students in total, and three companies participating, each company had two groups working separately on their case.

The task that was presented to us was (in true management consultancy fashion) to propose initiatives that would enable a fully circular value chain within the studied company. During the case, we had regular discussions with employees in leadership positions at the studied company, in addition to a group mentor, with whom we could inquire about our focus areas, existing/planned efforts within sustainability and other related questions about their work etc. This was essential to our work, and having an experienced mentor during the process helped us considerably in dividing our problem as well as how we should structure the initiatives and our presentation. 

In actually tackling this problem, we began with holistically studying the company’s value chain and their current work in order to truly understand what they do and what processes are employed. Following this, we drew up their current value chain (taking extra care as to mapping out material/energy flow in & out) and studied this alongside illustrations of fully circular value chains to identify what areas needed changing. Subsequently we looked at these focus areas and discussed possible initiatives and projects that could improve upon these. After that we researched individually in order to establish the viability of these initiatives as well as tweaking them to better suit existing opportunities in the focus markets. Having all of this, we created a presentation highlighting how we reached our focus areas, what the most essential themes of these were, and our identified initiatives and enablers. We also identified several KPI for each initiative, a necessity in order to track progress and see the degree of success for the initiatives. The presentation of our studies and initiatives were done to a jury with company representatives and to the other groups.

This was an immensely learningful experience for me, as it was the first time I participated in a real case challenge, let alone one of this size and on an actual company with a current problem. Besides learning about problem solving methodologies and case work, I think that my main takeaway is effective teamwork and how to combine knowledge in different areas. It was also interesting to see how our proposed goals and initiatives were continuously iterated as our understanding of the market, company, existing challenges as well as possible solutions grew. Lastly, it was exciting to gain an understanding of how business focused problem solving practically works in terms of what you’re expected to produce (e.g. concrete recommended initiatives and necessary enablers etc.)

Addressing the relevancy to this course, I think there are several ways this ties into entrepreneurship and startups. To begin with, problem solving skills are highly relevant within entrepreneurship, and having to make decisions within areas where one might not be an expert is expected. Presumably, these problems are commonly very nuanced and multifaceted. This case also made me realize that while you can’t be an expert at everything, often you still can (and have to) make educated assumptions to build upon, while still being ready to change these assumptions if new information arises. Finally, and related to what Serdar has said in previous lectures, our work really highlighted the importance and possibilities of utilizing friends and connections when solving problems! Someone you know might work in a relevant area and could help you out on a 5 min phone call. In our case, once we started asking around we were surprised to learn that everyone in our group had several connections to people working with sustainability, and we used these connections to ask questions and understand our problem as well as possible solutions better. Even if they work in a different area, solutions may often be transferable and applicable on your own problem.

I hope you found this insightful, thank you for reading!

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In search of valuable feedback from investors and customers regarding our venture we reached out to Emma Buratovic. We wanted to get her take on our venture seeing as her knowledge and experience both regarding this course and ventures in real life are very valuable. By networking on LinkedIn we set up a zoom-meeting this monday. Our team prepared some questions that we wanted her input on.

Some of the questions were:

  • What do you think about our venture idea?
  • What data and information does a real investor want?
  • How should one go about when making financial projections?
  • How careful should we be with using ML and AI?
  • What do you think about our niche?
  • What do you see as our biggest challenge?

Our most valuable takeaways from our meeting were her thoughts on our financing and the use of new technology. She shared important thoughts on the customer segment that we aim to pursue which we hadn’t thought of. We also got some input on our price model which now has been revised. We were reminded of the importance of having an agile business, especially in the starting pits. We will continue with our iterative business development process by reaching out to more people. 

It was very reassuring to hear from her that at this stage Hidden Dreams would continue to pursue our venture idea. 

Overall it was very rewarding and helpful to speak to an industry professional. Her competence and experience are invaluable to us. We also learned a valuable lesson in the importance of networking. There are so many people in our surrounding that can provide help.

Team Simpel

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Hi guys!

A few days ago I attended the UK Startup Conference 2022, the same event Emilia and Svea attended. You can check out their blog posts about it here: https://intopreneur.com/?p=5252 & https://intopreneur.com/?p=5250. They summarized the event fantastically but I would like to add my own thoughts and takeaways.

The event started off with an insight into the UK startup scene through a discussion between various investors and startup-founders. 

Some key points that they brought up was:

  • 30 billion dollars in investments in startups is a new record for the UK.
  • Increasingly more founders are women and people from underrepresented groups.
  • Green-tech, edu-tech, sub security, healthcare-tech, law-tech and communities for startups are a few of the thriving sectors in the UK.

They also touched upon weaknesses and how the UK startup community can improve:

  • More government support.
  • Lack of seed funding.
  • Lots of potential from universities – innovation needs to be captured and supported.
  • Entrepreneurship and coding/programming should be included in standard education.
  • The UK needs to become better at taking their companies across the national border to become global market leaders.

Next up was a ton of startup founders that shared their experiences. What I could take away from their stories was that a startup should focus on key things about their business, and not be too fixated on solving every customer’s problem. I think startups have to balance what smaller details a customer wants and what the products are set out to solve.

To add on to that almost every founder talked about scalability. Your product or service needs to have an inherent scalability factor so that your business can grow. Preferably in a way that they can be accessible globally. 

They also touched on tips for getting funding to your startup. You HAVE to be in fundraising mode at all times in order to grow your business. Even if you’ve just landed funding from an investor, you have to look forward towards the next investment opportunity. The key is to be passionate and persistent. More practical tips were that you need to know the venture capitalists you are approaching and if your company is a fit for their portfolio. Metrics are of the greatest importance in a pitch; show how much capital is needed, which are your customers, your market, your business plan. 

They also touched on the subject of finding the right co-founder. Jose Cayasso (a sort of a startup guru) said this: “Your relationship with your co-founder is like a marriage without the fun stuff”. I thought that was a really clever way to describe it. In a startup company you will have serious and uncomfortable discussions with your co-founder every day and sometimes it will be very hard for both of you. So finding the right business partner is like finding the right life partner.

All in all it was a great experience to be a part of as a newcomer to the startup scene.

Until next time,


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Hello you!

Last week I attended a webinar discussing the skills supply for industrial investments in the North of Sweden. This was a webinar hosted by IVA’s (Kungl. Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademin) student council. The attendees included Peter Larsson, a coordinator for social change at company establishments and expansions in Norrbotten and Västerbotten, a Vice-Chancellor at Umeå University, a representative from ABB, students as well as other representatives from IVA. 

The main discussion points were how the skills supply for industrial investments is managed today, as well as how we can get more people to move to smaller cities in Norrbotten and Västerbotten. We discussed the problem of when startups or big industries decide to move to smaller cities, not looking at the workforce and competence in that city. In Sweden we’ve started to see many examples of this in the past few years. For example Skellefteå was not able to meet the demand of Northvolt’s workers, creating shortages in housing and schools. The reason I found this webinar relevant for this course is because we are trying to learn all sides of starting a business, and I’d like to argue that skills supply and worker demand is a very important part of this. 

Allow me to try to retell what I’ve learnt from this webinar. First off, the student council had conducted a survey trying to rank the importance of various factors for when people move to a new city for a job. They came to the conclusion that closeness to family and friends is the number one priority. Followed by salary, closeness to nature, comfortable working hours, working environment and “the feeling that the work makes a positive change for the world”. Nothing groundbreaking (to be honest) but still good to have statistics on. 

Even though these things were the main factors, there were ways to get around them. One way is good infrastructure and easy commuting. Something Norrbotten and Västerbotten lack right now, but have great future aspects of. The other way was a hybrid format. Being able to work from home makes a huge difference, and is something that more and more companies are beginning to offer. Personally, this is something I would appreciate!

Another important lesson learnt is how to get people to stay in the cities. The most efficient way was said to be to capture the students studying at universities. Currently there’s no problem getting people to study in for example Umeå and Luleå but if they don’t get offered internships during their studies, they will most likely move somewhere else after graduation. The internships should not only be offered from big companies, but also from the small local start-ups and businesses, so that all parts of the local clusters thrive. 

In about five years, cities like Skellefteå are expected to be independent. Some workers from Northvolt will probably have created their own start-ups, built families or in some other way contributed to the city becoming self-sufficient. Peter Larsson estimated that when there are 100 000 residents in Skellefteå the city will work for itself, but before reaching such a number, it is required to market and target people to convince them living there is worth it. 

I think we all know, by now, that there are many factors to consider when starting a company. Seemingly, there has to be a balance between what the companies are willing to pay and do for their employees for moving, as well as the benefits for the company to choose that place. We’ve learnt a lot from doing the marketplace simulation for these last quarter, however these factors have not really been discussed. Perhaps the skill supply to new geographical locations could even have been a relevant factor to include in the Human resource management in the simulation. What do you guys think? Feel free to leave a comment! 

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Yesterday, I went to an event that completely re-evaluted student-company meetups for me. Organized by Drivhuset, the gathering brought together Uppsala’s most innovative start-ups was with students and alumni.

The event was called “TeamUp 2022” and it took place here:

It took place on a web-based platform called Gather Town – an online world where each attendant participated virtually through controlling a little pixelated character. It looked like games like Habbo and Blipville. When signing into the platform I could customize the appearance of my character and its clothes. I tried to make him look like me but added a pair of oculus rift goggles, because why not.

Then in the world I could walk around as my character approaching other people’s characters, which was interesting. When my character was next to another character our live videos and microphones was shared between each other in order mimic a real person to person talk. We could talk and see each other like in face-2-face. This was cool.

At this event there was a ton of startups looking for talents like software developers, data scientists, UX-designers, marketing, business developer as well as engineers and they offered everything from thesis work to co-founder positions. This made me realize that there is a lot of opportunities for us industrial engineering and management students out there – we just have to look up a bit from our studies.

As I virtually strolled around in the hustle and bustle, I came across my fellow classmate @Alexander Sundquist who was also astounded by this computer-generated meetup.

Together, we talked to Brandon who is doing his thesis work at the startup NitroCapt. NitroCapt adress the agriculture challenge of Artificial nitrogen fertilizer production today accounting for close to 2% of global CO2 emissions, and being a major emission source of agriculture. Their solution is a 100% fossil-free and emission-free nitrogen fixation where air and water are the only raw materials. They were looking for competencies like business developers and industrial engineers to expand their business and production – an impressive journey ahead.

So, let’s round up this post with two key takeaways from my experience at the event:

  • this was an interesting and innovative way of meeting up online. I’m curious to see how the meetup event solutions evolve in the future
  • there is a colossal amount of innovative startup ideas out there. If you want to try working in a startup now during the studies, I would really recommend looking into startups in Uppsala. Reach out to Drivhuset or UIC for more info.

To summarize, this was a great event with lots of interesting companies and students. I’m glad I went and think I’ll go next year again.

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For the last four summers, I’ve worked as a sailing instructor at KSSS. It is a challenging work in many ways, both physically and mentally, and demands constant reflection of one’s role as a leader and co-worker. Last weekend, I attended a two-day course KSSS hosted about leadership, mental health and self-realization.

Starting Saturday at 8:45, we met at Klubbarnas Klubb at Beckholmen. We talked about summer coming up, what weeks all of us will be working and the plans we had for Valborg. After mingling and a presentation by Stefan Rahm (Club Director at KSSS, board member of the Swedish Olympic Committee), we began talking about ourselves as leaders. What kind of leader am I? How do I actually want to be perceived by my subordinates? The presenter of the hour, Thomas Gross (rhetorician, leadership consultant and sailor), claimed that the answers to those questions are as many as there are leaders. Because each and every one of us is different, our roles as leaders are and should be unique. I, for one, prefer bosses with a great ability to listen and negotiate with its employees. Some of my peers may like more hierarchical and determined leaders. The thing that every leader should have in common though, according to Thomas Gross, is the skill to be personal without being private. Getting to know the way your colleagues want to operate, their preferences and personalities as well as mediating your own is the key to successful leadership. If you’re able to master this, you can provide exactly what your organization need both individually and as a group.

Later on, we had discussions about mental health. During my years with KSSS, I’ve worked with colleagues suffering and also met countless of children with special needs and mental health issues in different forms. It is a huge burden to carry when someone confides in you with personal information like that, and it is easy to take on too much responsibility for their sake. I’m not educated in any way about mental health, so I can’t and shouldn’t rely on my ability to heal or help someone suffering. That is something I will try to remember, and remind myself that the only thing I actually can do is to listen, comfort and encourage them to seek help. We also talked about things that improve one’s own mental health. Some of those things were already known to me, like exercising regularly and sleeping enough. One thing I will try to implement more in my everyday life though is to lower the expectations I set on myself. I need to prioritize my life better and accept that not everything can be done perfectly.

After a good night’s sleep, I returned on Sunday. This day was spent discussing improvements we could do to our organization and how certain situations need to be handled. The majority of the day though was spent discussing and planning exercises to do during summer to further improve our leadership skills. Like, what do I as a boss do when one of my subordinates is slacking? The right answer to that depends on what kind of leader you’re asking, but one of the suggestions was to improve your own presence around that person to nudge them into the right direction subconsciously.

This course taught be very much about myself, personally and professionally, and my fellow coworkers. It broadened my understanding of the meaning of being a leader and gave my a lot to think about. Reflecting about what kind of leader I want to be, and how exactly I become that person, is something I will do while preparing for this summer’s work.

RS Quest
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Today, countless tech-startups are focused on building digital platforms and solutions and at the center stage of these ventures are algorithms. These algorithms facilitate millions or even billions of decisions every day – ranging from search-engine algorithms deciding what shows up on your Google-search to personal-preference algorithms giving suggestions on what clothes you should buy. In this way, they make life a lot easier for you. But many people still have a negative association to algorithms and in this blog post, I will explore the reasons behind this distrust and what is being done to prevent it.

Before I continue, it’s important to highlight that this blog post is largely based on the tech-startup Wolt’s “Algorithmic Transparency Report” (Wolt, 2022). It sparked my interest and gave me the idea to write this blog post.

Back to the point, the distrust of algorithms is mainly due to their lack of transparency (which is stated in the report mentioned above). People are generally unaware of how algorithms work and what role they play in the daily workings of today’s companies. For some, the idea that an algorithm can tell what your favorite type of food is or what concert you are most likely to go to this summer is seen as scary. It’s almost as if someone else is deciding these things for you, isn’t it?

This is why it’s important to talk about and promote algorithmic transparency, so that people can understand what algorithms are and how they are implemented by the majority of today’s companies. In the report by Wolt, there is a reference to a draft on digital rights by the European Commission, stating that:

Everyone should be empowered to
benefit from the advantages of artificial
intelligence by making their own, informed
in the digital environment, while
being protected against risks and harm
to one’s health, safety and fundamental

I put “making their own, informed choices” in bold because it relates to algorithmic transparency and the whole essence of this blog post. The only way we can reassure people of the safety and benefits of algorithms is by being transparent. Explaining why we use algorithms, when they are used and also when they aren’t used. It’s really as important to know that when an algorithm is suggesting the best search result for you, the same algorithm is also hiding other results from you.

In the end, the only way we can build an equal, fair and democratic digital environment is when people are aware of algorithms and their role in facilitating countless decisions every day. Only by being informed can people understand their own presence in the digital world and how algorithms use your activity to infer things about you.

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This evening me and Emilia Björnfot attended The UK Startup Conference 2022, this was a 2-hour event with 22 different speakers all talking about startups.

The event talked a lot about the UK startup scene which was very interesting since I’ve mostly read about the Swedish start up scene. They mentioned the big government support for the startups in UK following the pandemic, they went on to mention that this is something that all major startup areas today have one thing in common: they all had large government support.

Another interesting thing they mentioned was how hard it is for startups to find their first funding and the need of the first investment. This was interesting since we had a visit from Emma Buratovic from Hidden Dreams this week who works with these types of investments and talked in more detail about the process of choosing which ideas to invest in.

Finally they also mention how important it is that opening a bank account is relatively easy which was interesting since I was what Serdar shared on LinkedIn, regarding how hard it is to open a bank account in Sweden. 

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Today I attended the UK Startup Conference 2022 along with Svea Fredriksson. The event was held via zoom, therefore we decided to attend together to enable a discussion in order to gain a deeper understanding.

The funding has increased for startups and there are million startups in the UK at the moment. They started off by talking a bit about why the UK is such a good place for startups. According to the speakers the UK offers a benign environment that supports startups with good networks that give support to startups. They have a good regulating framework especially around data and so on, which guide the startups. It is also very easy to open bank accounts. I wanted to compare this to Sweden where it is apparently (according to Serdar) quite hard for foreigners to open bank accounts. The process of actually registering a business on the other hand is, according to Drivhuset, relatively simple.  

Lastly it is also a very ”mixed” or diverse country where many different perspectives meet and mix. This is a very important point, as different perspectives, I belive, can find different hidden possibilities.

When asked about interesting sectors to look out for is fintech as well as lawtech. They referred to the excellent and world-class Universities which help strengthen that platform in the UK. This is really interesting, showing how the whole society acts as the basis for how the startup market will look like and how important it is to not only work with investment opportunities, but also have a well functioning society.

Next, Valeria Vahorovska talked a bit about one of the challenges about startups. She talked about priorities and balancing the group. This I believe resonates very well with the challenges we are facing in class. Our group works very well, but everyone has quite a big workload and trying to prioritize can always be difficult. 

Some other founders also talked about scalability. They talk about very early understanding the customers in order to attain the reach they want through the optimal value proposition. They also talked about always iterating and always improving. My main takeaways from this is that you are never done, you constantly have to convince your customers 

All in all, the conference was very insightful and there were an abundance of speakers who all shared their views. I’m happy I attended!

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Hi everyone!

Yesterday I participated in an event at a company that mainly operates within the niche of digital management consultancy. In less ambiguous terms, this means that they primarily help companies grow their digital presence as well as their online sales success. Practically, this includes work such as UI/UX tweaks to increase conversion rates and order volume, SEO, increasing the amount of visitors through Google Ads and similar services, etc. 

This particular event was centered around digital growth strategies and providing a general overview of the primary areas within that. While this perhaps isn’t strictly within the realms of startup and entrepreneurship, I thought that I’d share a summary of what was presented as developing these skills and understanding the area better may still be highly relevant and applicable when trying to develop and grow a small company or startup dependent on an online presence. Within this text I’ve bolded some key words, highlighting their significance within a digital growth strategy.

To begin with, a digital growth strategy is commonly divided into smaller and more tangible parts by describing transactions through a simple equation:

Offering + Traffic + Conversion = Transactions

The three first parts make up the main topics that I’ve written about below. By choosing to improve one, or several, of these, the transaction volume should increase, meaning higher revenue. 


The most essential part of a company’s offering is developing a well-thought out value proposition. A value proposition should be a statement summarizing why a customer should choose your product or service, instead of that of a competitor. Initial development of a value proposition can be through an outside-in view, where potential customers are first identified, then their needs are mapped to support a hypothesis on how to create value by addressing these customer needs. By using an inside-out view instead, the analysis is inverted and starts with value creation.

Following this, customer groups should be segmented based on common attributes that define a need for a different type of customer-company relationship. It should also be known what customer group is the most important, as well as if other stakeholders need to be adressed. 

The information from this customer mapping process should then be used to identify how your company creates value by addressing the customer needs. In markets with heavy competition, core value drivers and differentiating aspects should also be thought-out in order to coordinate these with the correct customer groups.

The single most important point of the offering and above paragraphs is making sure that the company’s value offering is aligned with actual customer needs.

Traffic Acquisition

Traffic can be divided into two main categories, organic or paid. Organic traffic is composed of people visiting the site through non-paid sources, e.g. a “normal” Google search or visiting the website url directly. Paid traffic contains website traffic from paid sources such as ads, or placements on other websites. 

Increasing the organic traffic is usually done through what’s referred to as SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Primarily, SEO focuses on improving the actual website content, the foundation and UX, as well as external links. Some perks of using SEO is that it usually brings good ROI as well as organic traffic being the majority of web traffic. 

The customer journey is usually divided into four stages, with the primary internal goals below.

  1. See
  • Create brand awareness, create broad and emotional connection
  1. Think
  • Engage and drive relevant traffic
  1. Do
  • Generate action and profit (conversions)
  1. Care
  • Re-engage customers (create loyalty)

When tasked with improving this part of the digital experience within a project, this company usually work in the order of:

  1. Current state analysis
    1. Define a starting point using available metrics
  2. Identify improvement areas
    1. Simultaneously, identify quick wins that can be implemented immediately
  3. Formulate a tactical growth plan
  4. Implementation support

In the beginning, work also centers around the key question “How can client X increase traffic and conversions through channel Y?”.

Finally, it’s important to note that using marketing channels can be divided into push or pull activities, depending on the platform and type of ad.

  • Push marketing
    • Try to create an interest in your brand/product
    • E.g. platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook etc.
  • Pull marketing
    • Try to “catch” customers that are already interested in your product/a similar one
    • E.g. specific search terms ads (Google, Yahoo, etc.), customized embedded ads.


This company usually works with another company that specializes in CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) that usually assists in projects needing this type of work. Basically, they focus on tracking digital footprints in order to investigate customer behaviour and where they “bounce” (choose to exit the website), convert, and do other things of interest. Using this data they detail a funnel from how a potentially interested person leads to a fulfilled order, identify which part has the highest bounce rate, and then start addressing that specific section of the website responsible. 

The data supporting their analysis usually stems from Google Analytics, click maps, scroll maps, user session replays, etc. Sometimes, exit intent polls are implemented on a website in order to ask users bouncing how their experience could’ve been improved.

A final thing mentioned on this part was that Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion can be used very effectively when implemented in website design and CRO. These principles may seem basic and somewhat obvious, but actually implementing them in a skillful way commonly yields highly noticeable results in terms of increasing conversion rates.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures from this event due to me sitting somewhat far back in the room.

I hope you found my post insightful, thank you for reading!

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