Last Saturday, I went to the Startup day which has been presented in class. The event was organised by the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship. Rasmus Rahm, the executive director of SSES, explained that the goal of this day is to educate with the oldest way of knowledge transfer: stories. That is why, during all the day, we will be able to participate at different conferences where entrepreneurs will tell us their stories. I will summarize the 5 stories I heard.
The first story was the story of Sydney Lai, the head of business of Audacy, a space communications service provider. She works in two subjects: space and virtual reality. She explained that both lead us to explore a new universe, that’s why it’s really interesting for her.
She gave us the keys to succeed in building a “space start-up”:
- Theory of constraints: You have to identify the series of tasks and their link. Then to move to one task to another you have to complete the previous one. It allows you to be sure to not forget important tasks.
- Milestones: you have to be transparent with your investors or future customers. Therefore, you should give us the access of what you have already done and what you plan to do after.
- Team: instead of having a structured hierarchy where the CEO is at the top, all members of the team should be equal.
Then, she explained challenges in virtual reality. There are 3 main challenges:
- Find the investment
- User adoption
- Retention: pain killer Vs Vitamin trad
The conclusion of her story was: “Build things that allow people to explore.”
The second story was the story of Sofia Appelgren, founder of Mitt Liv. Mitt Liv means “My life” and was created in 2008. Mitt Liv is a company which wants to open doors for people with a foreign background by providing them training, mentoring and recruitment.
For her, the most important for a startup is to run a business with strong values, clear ideas and lots of ambition. Then she speaks about judgement. She is fed up because we judge people for where they come from and not on what they are, that’s why she had the idea of Mitt Liv. For her, we need to know who we are and we need a new way to judge people. She explained that human is programmed to prefer people who share the same value, hobbies, it’s our unconscious. Most of our decision are taking emotionally. 99,99% of our daily decisions are unconscious, and 11 decisions are made in 1 sec when we meet a new person. Moreover, she explained that we all have prejudices. Therefore, we need to become more open-minded.
Then, how to use all the diversity in a peace environment? What future skills leaders will have to use this diversity? First, they have to be aware of the world around them. Second, they have to be aware of their own prejudices to avoid them.
To conclude, she used a quote from Steve Jobs which explains that when you will understand that people not smarter than you will succeed in doing interesting things or business, then the world around you will change.
The third story was the story of Elina Berglund Scherwitzl, the co-founder of Natural cycles. Natural cycles is an app which provide a contraception without medicine. Indeed, it uses your temperature to show you if there is a risk of pregnancy or not, so you can know it every day. She had this idea because after her wedding, she wanted a natural contraception before having a baby, so they started to work on it with her husband.
She explained that during the development of their app, they had problems with the regulation, but they continue to work on it. Finally they have been certified the only contraceptive app.
The conclusion of this story was: “If you fail, be tenacious it’s the most important thing.”
The 4th story was the story of Nikolaj Koster, who works in Spiri Drive. The goal of this start-up is to build a powerful mobility solution. For them, the future for the mobility is described as:
- A service
- Self driving
Problems they want to solve are:
- Emissions of transport
- Utilization, nowadays most of car used are not fully used (lots of seat are unused)
Solutions they provide: share an electric self driving car. They want to gather people who are going in the same direction.
The last story was the story of Niklas Laning, the founder of Daily bits of. He has created lots of start-ups and learnt a lot about them. Therefore he gave us the 3 main dysfunctions that a start-up should avoid:
- Making it about ego, because it leads to a bad communication and a lack of trust, so the start-up will not survive. It also attracts wrong people who just want to become the leader instead of people who really want to work for the start-up.
- No talk no walk when it comes to diversity. Diversity is difficult to manage so it’s easy to avoid it? However, you should exploit it because it can lead to increase productivity and creativity.
- Making it about long hours. You should avoid to spend all your time for your start-up, it’s important to do something else too.
Link of the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1635420090096271/