This Monday I was invited to a mingling event at the head office of Northvolt, via the female engineer network Malvina on KTH. Northvolt is a start-up within the energy sector, aiming to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory. The founders of Northvolt have their backgrounds in Tesla, and working there they got the idea to start a company for large-scale manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries in Sweden. There is no battery factory like this in Sweden today but with our well-developed industries and low energy prices, it is a very good country for this. The thing that I found very interesting with Northvolt is how this startup is determined to grow into a fullscale manufacturing company within the coming five years.
Northvolt focuses a lot on product development of their batteries, but they do not really innovate anything new. What they do know is that the future demand for lithium-ion batteries will be huge, as our society will use more renewable energy, electric cars and home storage systems for energy. They know there will be a market for these batteries, and now they rush through the start-up phase in order to start their production on time to meet this growing demand. In some way, it reminds me of the simulation game that we have been playing in this course. Their strategy is to offer the greenest batteries on the market since they predict that a competitive advantage in for example the electric car sector will be to offer products with a low lifecycle CO2 emission. They will do this by keeping most parts of their supply chain in Sweden, where they can have full control on their emissions and ethical standards.
I was super inspired by this event and I felt like joining this type of company would be a great way to be an intrapreneur, since none of the employees at Northvolt follows an established “know-how” at the moment – they all get to discover how they shall work to contribute to the success of Northvolt.
In the entrance of the office, there were pictures of the future factories of Northvolt. Having this very clear goal visualized on the wall felt inspiring, and I noticed that all employees were proud of the company they are developing together!
Wish you all a good day!
Hi everyone! Good work with the presentations today 🙂
Yesterday I went to an event arranged by Start-up Stockholm. It was a 60 minutes course in sales for start-ups, mostly focused on B2B sales. I want to share my key learnings from this course with you:
- Make sure that you express what you can give your customers in terms of creating value for them. And always introduce yourself in terms of what value you offer rather than your formal title. An example that was brought up was that the course leader himself says that his job is “to help people start companies”, rather than saying that he is a business advisor. This should be a top priority in your elevator pitch.
- Start to sell via your network. Make sure that all your connections know that you have started a new project/business and see if anyone knows someone that would be interested in what you offer.
- When selling for a start-up, you have to be able to handle all the noes. Because you will not sell to everyone, but keep up the good faith and keep on selling! (And in case your product/service doesn’t sell, that is a clear indicator that you need to change strategy.)
Start-up Stockholm arranges a variety of lectures and also offers one-on-one counselling for start-ups. I did not take any picture since it was such a small class.
As Serdar talked about in the first lesson, many successful startups begin by identifying a problem of their own and find a way to solve it. This is exactly the story of Natural Cycles, founded by Elina Berglund Scherwitzl and her husband Raoul. They were looking for a natural contraception but did not find any good alternatives on the market. So, with their backgrounds in Physics, they created an algorithm that uses the fluctuations of body temperature during the menstrual cycle to predict ovulation and fertility. The app Natural Cycles contains their algorithm and it is the first app to be certified as contraception.
I started using Natural Cycles two years ago, when I was looking for a hormone free contraception. I use a basal thermometer to measure my body temperature every morning before I get out of bed, enter my temperature in the app and let it calculate if the day is green (not fertile) or red (fertile). Natural Cycles update their software often to make it more user friendly and whenever they ask for feedback from their users I tell them what I think.
Overall, I think this is a brilliant product as it is easy to use, hormone free and a way for women to get to know their bodies. I would definitely recommend it to other women!
If anyone is interested to try it, this link will give a 10 % discount.