What do you do if you have lots of different business ideas, wondered one student at a round table conversation with entrepreneur Saeid Esmaeilzadeh at the Fredrika Bremergymnasiet upper secondary school.
“Try them out,” was the entrepreneur’s quick response. “Think about which target groups would be interested in your product and make simple prototypes for those target groups. Test a prototype and see what works.”
The questions kept coming when Prince Daniel’s Fellowship visited Fredrika Bremergymnasiet and Södertörn University in Stockholm. HRH Prince Daniel visited the school and university with entrepreneurs Cristina Stenbeck (Kinnevik), Anna Omstedt Lindgren (MedUniverse) and Saeid Esmaeilzadeh (Serendipity Innovations). Leo Razzak moderated the panel discussion.
Prince Daniel and the entrepreneurs generously shared their own experiences and advice with the students. The panel members agreed that we learn a lot by presenting our idea to others. Their message was: Don’t keep your idea to yourself if you want to develop it.
The panel also advised the students not to wait until their product is completely finished, but to meet with customers when it is 60–70 percent ready. And it’s OK to “lie a little” – to say that you have a finished product even if it’s not actually finished. Then you get it ready quickly and take it to your next meeting with the customer, just like Microsoft did in its first meetings with IBM.
The next school/university visit will be in Kiruna on 18 December.
Participating entrepreneurs in Stockholm on 17 October:
CRISTINA STENBECK, KINNEVIK
Cristina Stenbeck is a member of the boards of Kinnevik, Babylon Health and Spotify. She has in the past served as Chairman of Kinnevik and as a member of the boards of companies such as Zalando, Tele2 Millicom and MTG.
Serial entrepreneur Saeid Esmaeilzadeh is one of the founders of Serendipity Innovations, which creates new innovative companies based on leading academic research. He is also an adjunct professor of materials chemistry at the Stockholm University.
ANNA OMSTEDT LINDGREN
Anna Omstedt Lindgren was one of the people who started the recipe website Tasteline. She was a co-founded of the Swedish physician’s network MedUniverse and now serves as its CEO.
About Prince Daniel’s Fellowship
Prince Daniel’s Fellowship is a long-term collaboration between Prince Daniel, IVA and prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders. The project was launched in 2013 with a vision for more young people to choose entrepreneurship. By sharing their own experiences and concrete tips, Prince Daniel and the other inspiring figures want to encourage young people be have the courage to start their own business. The project wants to contribute to a culture that fosters entrepreneurship and a more accepting attitude to risk and failure.
Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/Stella Pictures