Endurance is the key to success – Jon Hauksson at Sharp Minds Sessions

May 14, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon

“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.

Bokilur

“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!

Want to know more about Jon? Then read our article, Meet our Mentors – Jon Hauksson.

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.

Meet our mentors – Jon Hauksson

May 3, 2018Ideon35, News, WeAreIdeon

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! Meet our first mentor – Jon Hauksson, co-founder of Storytel and now angel investor!

Jon Hauksson has a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Lund University. In 2005 he co-founded Storytel Sweden AB together with Jonas Tellander who is the current CEO. In the beginning, the company was called Bokilur.

“This image is from 2005 when me and co-founder Jonas Tellander were offered to borrow a corner at the Storyside stand to showcase our product. Later on, we actually bought Storyside”, Jon explains.

Bokilur at a fair in 2005
Bokilur at a fair in 2005

Until recently, Jon was the Technical Manager of Storytel. During the last couple of years Jon has been acting as an Angel Investor for many startups and has now stepped down from the operational role in Storytel. Some of the startups that he has invested in are Delibr, Elobina, Dream Troopers AB (where he is also a Board Member) and Beatly.

About his role as a mentor in the program, Jon has this to say:

“I am in the program to share, meet interesting entrepreneurs, learn new things and hopefully find companies to invest in.”

So what are you waiting for? Apply for the program today!

Sharp Minds Sessions with Jon Hauksson and investor Anders Bengtsson

Want to know more about Jon and his journey with creating Storytel? Then don’t miss the Sharp Minds Session on May 8th! Here, we will hear the story about Storytel and how Anders Bengtsson came to invest in the company. What has the relationship between entrepreneur and investor been like? What was it that grabbed Ander’s interest in the first place? How are Jon and Anders collaborating today? This and more at our first session May 8th at Edison Park. Sign up here!