tisdag, oktober 04, 2011

What a week!

Martin Kenney, Randy Mitchell och Sara Modig.
Last week ESBRI organized the annual Sweden-U.S. Entrepreneurial Forum together with the Swedish Ministry for Enterprise, Energy and Communications and the U.S. Department of Commerce. This year for the 8th time. About 650 participants in Stockholm, Umeå and Gothenburg shared their knowledge and discussed with our great delegation from the United States.

The delegation was led by Randy Mitchell from the U.S. Department of Commerce. So first of all I would like to express a big thank you to Randy and the others in the delegation. Particularly to John Backus, New Atlantic Ventures, Kimberlie Cerrone, Tiatros, Clare Fairfield, Concerto Ventures, and Erik Straser, Mohr Davidow. All of them took a week out of their busy schedules to participate in this year’s Forum.

Yes, I know this post might seem like a speech at the Oscar’s, packed with “thank yous”. Nothing to do about that.

To cover all the good ideas that were presented would make a post that is too long, so I will just mention a few here and come back in the future to write about some more. I would like to suggest that you read previous posts on this blog (if you know Swedish or trust Google translate :)) and look at the Twitterfeed #sweus from the Forum.

One thing that I always want to stress (and have stressed before on this blog) is the importance of the acceptance of failure. Several of the speakers did address this. A “smart” failure is perfectly fine in for instance Silicon Valley. The important thing is that the entrepreneurs show that they have learned from the failure. And in this context the failures are often that the start-up is dismantled, it is not a bankruptcy.

Another topic that was discussed, at the different forums, is the role of the large companies. They are important as customers, as vehicles to take the small companies to larger export markets, and also as exit markets for start-ups that have received angel and VC funding. Given how many leading global companies we have in Sweden, hopefully some of them can take this role in the future.

Besides the speakers that travelled with us for the whole week, we also had a number of speakers who contributed greatly to the Forum. In Stockholm on Monday 26th: William Stewart, U.S. Embassy, Anders Flodström, KTH, Sara Öhrvall, Bonniers, Martin Kenney, University of California at Davis, Tazeem Pasha, U.S. Department of Commerce, Elisabeth Thand Ringqvist, Företagarna, and Catharina Håkansson Boman and Sara Modig from the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.

In Umeå we had Håkan Boter, Umeå University, Anna Olofsson, Umeå municipality and Stefan Nordin, Umbio.

In Gothenburg we had Martin Lackéus, Gothenburg Schools of Entrepreneurship, Chalmers and Gothenburg University, John Sjölander, Burt AB, Martin Skoglund, Wood & Hill Investment and Timo Lehes, Chalmers Innovation Seed fund.

A big thanks to all of you!

Programmes and power points from the Forum can be found on the Sweden-U.S. website. Within a week you will be able to watch video clips from all the presentations made in Stockholm on ESBRI’s web-TV.
EDIT: An article on the Forum day in Stockholm has now been published.

Finally, I would like to thank all the participants that came to the Forum, our main partners Tillväxtverket and VINNOVA, our partners Hamilton and PwC, our regional co-organizers and partners Dare, Umeå University, Umeå municipality, Chalmers, Gothenburg university and Västra Götaland Region, our network partners Företagarna and Venture Cup, and our media partner Entreprenör magazine.

And last but not least my team at ESBRI did, as always, a great job in creating “a world class forum” (a quote from one of our American speakers)

Without all of your support and encouragement there wouldn’t be a Forum.


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