6th of February, KI Innovations new office was filled up with students and researchers curious to learn from a passionate entrepreneur, Thereseia Silander Hagström. Her entrepreneurial journey started because of her passion for health and medicine. She shared her experiences of being an entrepreneur in a very honest and open-minded way as well as insights from an accelerator program organized by Vinnova in Silicon Valley.
She started her first company already as a student at KTH. Today she is the co-founder of Eatit, tackling the problem of one in five people being obese in Sweden. Their mission is to revolutionize the obesity treatment by a first-line evidence-based lifestyle dietitian intervention.
The learnings were many. Here is a list of Theresia's top advice for people who wants to start their own entrepreneurial journey:
-"Do not wait for the right idea and do not love the idea you have"- It is easy to wait for the right idea. However, there might not be the perfect idea that will end up as the one. Usually, you have to start somewhere and learn along the way.
-"Learn what cool things to say no to and do things in the right order"- As an entrepreneur, it is easy to chase all the opportunities, although there is no time for everything- therefore, the focus is key.
-"Be sure to solve the program that's worth solving"- It sounds easy, but it is not as trivial as you might think. Be sure to start as early as possible with finding the customers and make sure you ask them if your idea solves the real problem- it is usually not as easy as you think.
- "If you´re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you might have launched too late". Let your customers be your guide to improve your minimum viable product.
-"Run into the wall- or just think too much"- Be sure to dare trying out ideas. It is easy to get stuck in thoughts of what if... Instead, don´t think so much about what happens, dare to try it out. Worst case, you learned something along the way.
-"Act local, think global-make sure to close the loop first". Make sure to try your business model on a smaller scale before thinking about how to scale the business. In that case, you will figure out what works and what does not.
As Theresia mentioned herself. Pay it forward is her way to thank the people who gave her advice along the way. We are very thankful that Theresia came to us at KI Innovations to share her experiences with us. Maybe someone else dares to start their own journey!
Alina Frieberg for KI Innovations
KI Innovations nyttiggör forskningsresultat inom life science genom att utvärdera och verifiera projekt med kommersiell potential samt stödjer den affärsmässiga utvecklingen till bolagisering eller licensiering. Karolinska Institutets innovationssystem erbjuder utbildning, professionella nätverk, finansiering, expertkompetens inom entreprenörskap och affärsutveckling samt inkubationsmöjligheter för projekt och företag inom life science. www.karolinskainnovations.ki.se