This Tuesday the yearly Anders Wall-lecture was held in Uppsala. It is a huge event which fills the beautiful University house with around 1700 people. As last year’s project leader of the arranger Entrepreneurs Academy, I naturally felt an urge to attend this year’s show. The peculiar Swedish linguist and comedian Fredrik Lindström was once again the presenter. Warm in his clothes this year, he did a great job. The first speaker was extraordinary Percy Barnevik, who put up quite a show, using a projector and admitting he was really “an old dinosour” – well I agree, but a very important one! What he has done so far, and the goals he has put up to actually make the world a better place with Hand-in Hand, is incredible!
Then it was time for Gustav Söderström, Spotify, who was also very inspiring. Talking about his path from studying engineering, to Yahoo in Silicon Valley, to teaming up with Daniel Ek and starting Spotify. It was interesting to hear about their challenges and how he had dealt with them so far.
Jane Wagerud talked about her way from California to Sweden, doing what she enjoys the most; building start-ups and developing companies. First an Angel investor and then being a more active investor in Teach-heavy companies. Ashkan Pouya and Saeid Esmaeilzadeh from Serendipity are two really cool guys who have had great success in creating a portfolio of, investing and developing, innovation based companies from Academia.
Lastly, there was a discussion with three “young Entreprenurs”, among them Mai-Li Hammargren with her innovative “Mutewatch” (a silent vibrating, sensoring wrist watch). Sammy Ben Abla, and Oscar Lundin, founder of Ung Omsorg (Young care), which organize young co-workers to make the day a bit brighter for the elderly at retirement homes in Sweden.
The re-occuring message from the speakers was: “Find what you have a passion for and don’t settle before you do” (i.e. be an entrepreneur because that is the best way to happiness, although hard work).
Afterwards very nice food and wine at one of the University student houses close by, where it was great to catch up with acquaintances from Uppsala and talking to some of the speakers. I was so inspired by the lecture that I actually started contemplating if I was doing the right thing – not being an entrepreneur anymore but working at a big, well established company. Cause I really enjoyed it, I was so motivated to work for myself and the team of my business, I could work around the clock. The thing is I really like my new job as well.. but who knows what happens in the future?
Victoria, The Crown Princess of Sweden handed over the prize of “This year’s Uppsala Student” (and the receiver gave a fantastically funny speech talking about the Crown Princess condition and giving her his Student house flag to put somewhere in her travels…
Anders Wall’s favorite magician Seth Engström of course attended the event, here entertaining me and friends at the reception. I’ve seen him quite a few times now, and he is just awesome.