The start-up evangelic

Attended the Stockholm Start-up Day 2013 event. It was really fun and the event was well organized with a good flow. It is great what people are trying to do for Swedish entrepreneurship. Not that there is a lack of really good entrepreneurs in Sweden, but the general mindset of most people is still to get a good job and not venture where people has never ventured before. I do like the culture they are trying to foster. And the event is great for meeting and talking to likeminded people of course.

For a person like me who has been doing some start-ups already and has experience dating ten years back there was not much new information to be gained from the talkers – except learning from their presentation skills. A lot of talks were rehashes of truisms like you need to have a great team; you need to foster a great culture etc. I wrote a mean haiku in the midst of those talks

Start-up evangelics,
Clapping their hands to nothing,
Just do it already.

I wish that the speakers had ditched the old advice giving presentations and actually presented a more detailed view of a certain aspects of the process of their startup like exactly what did they do to get a great team or foster a great culture. Those in depth reflections are immensely more interesting than – things I have learned in my life so far concept copying. I would have liked more talks from people that were in the process of starting up than people already finished – lessons learned tend to fade quickly.

Not to say there was interesting talks at the event – the four that stuck with me where: Chad Hamre of Ethical Ocean who gave a no slides straight up talk of him starting the company and had everyone’s attention at the end of the talk, Magnus Engervall of FlexiDrive who daringly gave lesson about economics rather than talk about his start-up – kudos for that – and Ida Östensson from Crossing Borders and Josefina Oddsberg from Bee Urban that gave great honest talks about their businesses without the superficial glossiness that can get to be a bit too much some time.

The best event of the day was the Start-up hot seat where two investors talked to three start-ups in an interrogative style. It was interesting to see how the different persons reacted and viewed their companies and how that differed from the investors view. All start-ups described themselves as the xx for xx. The investors however went straight to two things: metrics and selling points. I got more out of this 24 min session than anything other during the day. I wished there was more of this.

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