torsdag, november 19, 2015

Meet Sanna Nilsson of Codarica

Sanna Nilsson and Codarica won the Swedish final of Creative Business Cup 2015.
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. Their answers will be published here at Esbribloggen within the next week. We talked to Sanna Nilsson, the CEO and co-founder of Codarica, a Stockholm-based startup that creates fun coding games for kids. Yesterday, November 18, Codarica represented Sweden at Creative Business Cup, one of the featured events of Global Entrepreneurship Week, and successfully made it to the top 12 finalists. Follow Codarica on Twitter: @CodaricaHQ

Hi Sanna, where did you draw most inspiration from while starting up your business?
Before we even started Codarica we applied to a handful of startup competitions to validate our business idea. At the competitions we met a lot of inspiring people – both entrepreneurs doing the same thing as us, but also mentors and jury members. We could network with all different kinds of people, both the ones who had done the startup journey once, twice, or even more times, but also new startups with energy you could live on for a whole week. When we started Codarica, these were the people that inspired us to move along with our idea and actually start a business.

I think it is very important to surround yourself with people who give you energy and inspiration - especially if you are on the verge of starting your first business. It is very scary to do this the first time, but I can promise you that it is the first step that is the scariest. By meeting people who are also just about to start a business, and people who are 18 months ahead of you, you get that very needed courage to take the first small step into becoming an entrepreneur. It’s so inspiring seeing people throw themselves into the unknown, just to make the world a little bit better.

What personal strengths have been critical for your success?
I’m stubborn, competitive, a dreamer and naive. I think the mix of these skills is what makes me an entrepreneur at heart. I have this unrealistic picture of the grand things we could do with our company, and by aiming high we don’t settle for less. We are never satisfied with just being satisfied, and we never ever give up. We have had our dark times as well when we all felt unmotivated, which is probably the case for all entrepreneurs. But you don’t give up on your dreams, so you keep on fighting no matter what. Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who work their asses off for it. There’s no other formula for success than that.

What was the greatest challenge you have experienced in your entrepreneurial career so far?
Being an entrepreneur is challenging yourself on a daily basis. What’s been the greatest challenge is to keep pushing yourself to go out of your comfort zone - and also understand what that comfort zone actually is!

What is your view on Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)? Do you think an initiative like this can boost entrepreneurship worldwide?
Yes! I think GEW is great to highlight entrepreneurs, startups, and all the great initiatives out there to help us grow our companies. Creative Business Cup is a part of GEW and we participated as national winners, representing Sweden. This allowed us to go to an international event to pitch for people that we might not have met otherwise. There are so many of these kinds of initiatives that exist just for us entrepreneurs so that we can run better companies – what’s not to love about that?


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