With the Ideon Mentorship Program we want to connect the experienced leaders in the park with entrepreneurs who want to learn how to grow their business. The mentors, the experienced leaders, have serious scale-up skills to teach and important connections to offer to the right mentee. By helping each other they can both grow and who knows – it could be the start of something fantastic! Here’s your chance to get to know one of our fantastic mentors, Charlotta Falvin!
I’ve worked with so many great entrepreneurs and seen fantastic companies grow. Being a mentor at Ideon gives me the opportunity to meet and inspire a new bunch of great people.
Charlotta Falvin has a Master’s degree in Business administration and economics from Lund University. After she graduated she has had many positions as consultant and manager at various companies, one of them being Axis Communications. She has been the CEO of Zi Corporation, Decuma AB and TAT AB, a company that started at Ideon.
She has been part of the Board of Directors of more than ten companies, like MultiQ International, Axis Communications and INVISIO Communications and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of seven companies like Barista Fair Trade Coffee, Ideon Open and Teknopol AB. Currently she is Board Member of companies like Net Insigt, CLX Communications and Bure Equity.
During Skåne Innovation Week, we gathered some sharp minds to envision the future with us. Together with Andreas Bergh, Lund University, Olof Dellien, Arm, Martin Gren, Axis Communications, P-A Hedin, Sigma Connectivity, Jeanna Kimbré and Johan Svenér, Sony and Henrik Wiberg, Volvo Car Sverige we talked about future trends, challenges and opportunities. We were guided through the day by the amazing Trine Grönlund.
If you believe in a good future, does that mean that you are naive? Andreas Bergh from Lund University talked about how scientists talking about dystopian trends are often seen as more serious compared to the ones talking about opportunities in the future. “Some say cities will be crowded and the countryside will die out, but development is not linear, some will accelerate and others will decrease”, commented Andreas.
“I will probably be the fool in the room but I predict the future to be good! said Olof Dellien, Design Centre Manager and Director of Engineering at ARM. He envisioned a future where we use technology and AI for prevention, like within Medtech where sensors will diagnose you before you get ill and AI can be used to create targeted medicine, just for you.
Another trend that was discussed was the shift from a tech focus to a human centric way of thinking when it comes to future solutions. “We like to talk about poetic intelligence, or quiet tech.
People want to be immersed in technology, but they do not necessarily want to see it,” said Jeanna Kimbré, Director and Head of Design Centre Europe at Sony. “The digital and the real, privacy and openness need to work really well together. Moving into the future we need to think of the Kendo – the look and feel,” said Jeanna.
Henrik Wiberg from Volvo Cars continued and talked about an increased customer focus and the changes in business models within the company; “To prepare for the future diversity we will pivot to where we make it less complicated to own a car, like offering a subscription model.”
Are we being naïve when it comes to AI?
Trine Grönlund asked the question if we are naïve when it comes to automation and AI, should we be more cautious?
“We can’t fight the future, so why not think of it in terms of #cobots rather than man vs machine”, said Olof Dellien from ARM on the question if robots and AI will prove to be the biggest threat to humanity in the long run. Martin Gren from Axis agreed, “we have AI everywhere and still we need humans to go through large amounts of big data. Diverse and creative thinking will always complement algorithms.”
Collaboration is key
The panel of speakers were in agreement that talent attraction, internal processes and partnerships are key if you want to create the future. “Finding innovative ideas within an organisation is not the problem, Martin Gren from Axis said, “it’s finding the time, money and commitment in an organisation to make them happen”.
“Why should we all try to innovate new things, when so many great solutions are already here? No company will survive without partners, said P-A Hedin, Head of Medtech & Senior Director Sales at Sigma Connectivity. “The technology is rarely the problem, within Medtech for instance, legal issues is one of the reasons why the development here is slower compared to other industries.” Johan Svenér Vice President, Research & Incubation & IoT Business Group Europe at Sony agreed, “We work with new ideas in open innovation and with partners to test them out.”
The only way to predict the future is if you can invent it
So how do you predict the future? Well according to Andreas Bergh, Lund University, the only way is to be a part of inventing it.
So, let’s get to it and create a better future, together!
“I am happy I didn’t know about all the hard work it would take, even if I am glad for the results today”. This was said by Jon Hauksson at our Sharp Minds Session last week. During this breakfast, we met with Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel and Anders Bengtsson, one of the investors in the company. The conversation focused on the ups and downs of Storytel, the relationship between the founders and the investors and what attracts an investor to a company.
“This image is from 2005, very early in our journey. We borrowed a corner at the Storyside stand to showcase our product, then called Bokilur. You can see me and Jonas Tellander, co-founder and CEO of Storytel. We later bought Storyside in 2013.”
Storytel was founded in 2005 by Jonas Tellander and Jon Hauksson, but the company was called Bokilur back then. Jon explained that they had plans to work together with Audible as a partner in the Nordic countries, but the deal was cancelled at the last minute. “We were sad about it for a while, like four hours, and then decided to start our own company”, Jon said with a laugh. “Jonas was working from Switzerland and me from a basement in Staffanstorp and I was getting bored so I went to Ideon Innovation to join the incubator and get an office”, Jon explained how the company ended up at Ideon. “We have our head office in Stockholm today, but some development is still done here in Lund”, he commented.
How did Anders and Jon meet?
“Jonas Sjögren believed in us and invested in our company for many years, but finally he asked us to find other investors and that is how we met Anders,” Jon explained.
“I met Jonas Tellander and Jon at a meeting with Connect Syd. They were on time, which is a very good start,” Anders said. He went on to explain that even though he didn’t know much about streaming services, he was familiar with the publishing industry and he saw that digitalization was coming. This, combined with the opportunity to invest together with two other angel investors from Connect, made him decide to invest in Storytel. Another important aspect for Anders was that he believed in Jonas and Jon and that they were well prepared and had a balanced forecast.
What is a good investor like?
Today, Jon does not have an active role in Storytel, he has instead moved forward as an angel investor himself. Anders still has interests in Storytel and comments that he enjoys the service very much and listens to quite a few audiobooks, especially thrillers. Does Jon have any advice on what to focus on when looking for investors?
If you are looking for an investor, make sure that they believe in you, was the message. “You don’t want investors who only see you as a money maker, you want people who believe in your company and idea,” Jon said.
What do the investors look for?
“I am interested in a long-term relationship when I invest, but I also look at the management and the forecast of the company” Anders explained.
He also said that if you can, you should invest in 8-10 companies to spread the risks, otherwise venture capital funds might be a better option. He too, focused very much on the person behind the company before he made a decision to invest.
“If I like the idea, then I start to look at the person or the team in the company. They have to have endurance, that is the most important factor for me”, Jon said.
Do you want Jon as a mentor?
If you want more business advice from Jon, apply to the Ideon Mentorship Program! He and four other Sharp Minds will meet with five lucky entrepreneurs in 1-1 sessions and the program is open for applications for all Ideon companies with the mindset to grow. Apply here!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the upcoming Sharp Minds Sessions:
September 11 with Staffan Gestrelius, co-founder of Qlik, and Charlotta Falvin, renowned CEO and Board member.
November 20 with Pierre Elzouki, co-founder of Scalado and Martin Gren, co-founder of Axis.