tisdag, november 24, 2015

Meet Michaela Holtz of Zeifie

Michaela Holtz. Foto: Björn Mattisson.
During one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) engages millions of people in an active celebration of entrepreneurship. ESBRI is the country host for the Swedish GEW efforts. As part of our work with GEW, we asked some profiled Swedish entrepreneurs, and a couple of our GEW partners to answer a few questions – about their entrepreneurial journey and about GEW. So far, we’ve talked to Alan Mamedi, Sanna Nilsson, Caroline Walerud and Nils Nilsson. Now it’s time for Michaela Holtz, the CEO of Zeifie. Zeifie is the safety app that will alert not only friends and family in case of emergency, but also people nearby. Last week, Zeifie was listed among GEW’s top 50 startups in the Startup Open, a global competition to find some of the most promising new startups in the world. Michaela Holtz is on Twitter: @HoltzMichaela

Hi Michaela, what is your definition of entrepreneurship?
To me, entrepreneurship is a mindset. It is a problem solving attitude that builds on creativity, passion and curiosity, and it has business in focus.

Where did you draw most inspiration from while starting up your business?
The inspiration for Zeifie comes from a deep understanding of the pain and the problem that we are trying to solve. It is such an important problem and the pain is felt by at least half the world population on a regular and daily basis. This has also made it impossible for me to give up, even though at times I have felt like I had no other choice. The importance of Zeifie has given it kind of a driving force of its own.

What personal strengths have been critical for your success?
Well, I’m not a success yet :). But my personal strengths as an entrepreneur have to do with accepting failure. I try, fail, learn and repeat. And that is due to being stubborn, a little naive and having a bit of stamina.

What is the greatest challenge that you have experienced in your entrepreneurial career so far?
I have experienced many challenges. In fact, the adaptation to challenges is part of being an entrepreneur. But most of Zeifie’s challenges have had to do with raising capital. It is a time-consuming and difficult task for all startups. And being a female entrepreneur does not help. But then we decided to do a crowdfunding campaign instead, and it was a great success! We reached the goal in less than three hours…

What is your view on Global Entrepreneurship Week? Do you think an initiative like this can boost entrepreneurship worldwide?
I think this kind of initiative is very important for many reasons. It gives entrepreneurs a chance to learn from each other, create partnerships and find inspiration and energy.


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