Why Women Chose Tech and Stay There @ WITISweden AW

myway WITISwedenWhy women chose tech and stay there was to be found out by the My Way-project group at NetPort Science Park  in Karlshamn, Sweden, in a task given to them in the beginning of November 2015 by WITISweden. This was a follow-up on a previous task given to the group one month earlier on ‘How to increase the numbers of WIT (Women In Tech)’. The MyWay-project is aimed at adolescents in the age 18-25 that are interested in a career in Digital Media Tech. It’s a diverse group in gender, age and ethnicity.  The result was presented at the WITISweden (Women In Tech International) AW at our sponsor, the tech meetup space FooCafé in Malmö, Sweden. And with us this night were also participants from our new and second sponsor the IT-consultant agency WEBSTEP.

The two major questions they worked out of in the fist task were:

1. How a tech company attract, develop and keep women in/to tech jobs?
2. How can women be attracted to get into tech jobs?

The 7 areas identified that they focused on were how:

  1. stereotypes within tech can be changed
  2. schools pedagogy, increase tech subjects and give all equal opportunities for learning tech may change
  3. to create a company culture that is beneficial for all
  4. to create commercial and recruiting ads directed to women
  5. Equal pre-requisites, opportunities and conditions can be created for men and women at work places
  6. to push forward and show role models of women in tech
  7. to increase the insight and knowledge about the opportunities in tech to parents

MyWay WITISweden RecrutingTwo major topics  were further explored and the suggestions to tackle them were

  1. How can advertising and recruitment ads be created more specific to target women?
    1. Consider what attracts or repels women to apply for a job. Eg. put the actual skills needed, and don’t exaggerate and be unrealistic. And that the company is looking for a human and not a superhero. are less likely to apply for a job when they have less than 70 % of skills required.
    2. Make the ad easily accessible by using social media eg. Facebook, LinkedIn etc
    3. Image of the company by mentioning how its working with gender issues, why it’s important with WIT at the company etc.
    4. Role models Make women from the company visible in different settings eg. ads, conferences etc.
  2. How can equal prerequisites, opportunities and conditions be created for women and med at the work place?
    1. First and foremost the issue with inequalities between women and men need to be addressed and spoken of. A major problem is the unawareness subjective understanding of learned conditioned that forms our behaviors. For example, a study by Mckinsey.com shows thas less men than women recognize and realize that women face different challenges than men at a work place.
    2. Engagement needed to solve the problem. It doesn’t get solve by itself.
    3. Increase sense of coherence for women at the work place. Lack of coherence is a reason that about 50 % of the women leave tech according to Harvard Business review.
    4. Increase support from managers and increase chances for career development
    5. Importance of role models for women to enter the tech business
    6. Diversity in teams
    7. Equal pay

It seems like the majority of the issues is stems from the culture at the company, and needs to be dealt with.

Suggestions for questions to ask for companies to increase the numbers of WIT are

  1. Where in the company can women be found?
  2. What talents/skills does the company support women to develop?
  3. Does the company support women role models?
  4. How is the physical and psycho-social work environment?
  5. Does the company guidelines for equality at the work place have an effect?

Plenty of more to read can be downloaded in the slides and paper from the presentation. It’s all in Swedish but the solution might be Google translate. If there is anything that’s unclear and/or if you need any further information contact the MyWay-project in links provided in the texts.

Summing it up: To increase the numbers of  WIT is a question for both women AND men, and not an issue for women. Everyone is to gain from increased WIT and diversity at the work place. Numbers as high as 36% increase in equity has been shown at businesses that has a a great diversity.

IMG_3807After the pizza and beer break sponsored by FooCafé and WEBSTEP we continued the discussion and the community shared their own experiences by being a WIT. They were also several men in the audience and the discussion was hot at times, but very concrete, honest and constructive.

The reasons why women in the WITISweden community got into tech were in short

  1. Role models
  2. Support and encouragement from parents, primarily father
  3. Teacher inspired
  4. Gaming
  5. Had to solve a tech problem
  6. Wanted/needed a job

And why they stay in tech is because it’f FUN and they’re passionistas for tech and programming! Like problem solving.

The major wish for the next meetup was to have someone from Netlight, the IT-consultancy agency that was chosen as “Work Place of the Year in Sweden 2015” for companies with more than 450 employees, to be talking. And that’s how it will be.

I’ve arranged, thanks to Vanja Tufvesson, HIQ, and initiator and founder of Pink Programming, that Isabella Arningsmark from the award-winning Netlight will be presenting at our next AW, January 13, 2016.

But first and foremost I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016!

My very best,






Cathrin Frisemo



StartupDojo @FooCafé, Malmö, Sweden Season4; Episode4

The last Dojo of 2015 took place at FooCafé November 26th. A last minute change of inspirational speaker due to sickness, was nicely handled by one of the Dojo crew-members David Degbor, Real Mobile. He shared some of his wast knowledge on how to use FB and collect big data to increase sales in your startup. This was also a part of the Big Data week that took place wide world during the week. In the spur of the moment his talk was decided to be recorded so please excuse the at times lack of quality of the sound. Part 1 and Part 2.

Pitches for the night were 4 to be, and first on the floor was me as a stand-in for my colleagues and Christian Fernlund, pitching on how #DigiTechStuffSe is developing and asking to people for feedback and to join for a working group for the event to be in a year.
Christian had visualized one of the tracks, Leadership, by using Minecraft.


We took a break for pizza and beer sponsored by FooCafé, before continuing with was pitched by  founder Kyle Hoang, and is an app to for exchange of digital pictures between strangers. Eg. if you’re running a marathon and someone in the audience takes a picture of you, the aim is to get in contact with you through their app using advanced face recognition, localisation services etc. and then they can sell/share the picture to the you or persons that are on it.

Spys.io was pitched by the CEO and co-founder Jacob Berglund, that also is the founder of the successful startup company Unified Remote. The service at Spys.io collect all your data in one location, help you to visualize, and understand it. The idea sprung out of all the unused data they’ve collected at Unified Remote.

IMG_3754Pausbox, an organic snack-box that you may subscribe to either as a “homebox” or for businesses as the “officebox”. The founder and owner Dustin Wellbaum pitched and looked for advice on how to move forward and for investors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We concluded the Dojo and the year that had been with some great feedback from the community. Encouraged to continue discussions and networking with each other online in the Startupdojo Facebook group, until we meet January 28th 2016 again, we left with warm wishes for a nice Christmas- and New Years break.

Happy Holidays and see you again 2016!


/Cathrin  Frisemo

Always keep a watchful eye on what your competitors are doing!

by Mikael Drakenberg

eye-232316_1920The idea of analyzing what is going on in the world, is based on a system established by the military. But more and more companies use this civilian tool to help the company handle things that might cause trouble for the company if you don’t act quickly and handle the situation in a proper way. This tool can be used as a part of the companies crisis management or business development. This kind of analysis is often very important for a company and is used as part of the material the board of governors consider before they make the final decision.

In a global world where businesses compete for new orders, all businesses small and large need to keep a watchful eye on the world and what your competitors are doing. The way we used to do business has changed. Now everything and everyone is online. This means that everything changes much faster now than the time before the Internet.
This is why all businesses should have specialists employed or hire them for a shorter periods to help your business keep a very close eye on what is going on among your competitors, or other things that might affect your business.

One trend that i can see clearly here in Sweden is that several specialized companies like Lerdell Investigations have been established to help different types of businesses or political parties keep a watchful eye on the world, and what different competitors are doing. These kinds of corporations do not recruit new employees openly, and they are not active on social media. So, if you want to know anything about these businesses you need to dig deep.
Another global trend that i can see is that more companies and organizations are focusing on the future. Several books have been released on this subject. When i take a closer look at what different actors mention, one thing always appears and that is climate- and environmental issues, but also issues related to we will live and work in the future.
Due to the climate problems, a third trend is now very important, and that trend is about how we travel and how we move goods in a way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Several different researchers have written books about different global trends, and three trends they focus on are: (1) how we live, (2) how societies are formed, and (3) how we do business. To be successful with your analysis you will need to be based on both printed sources and electronic sources to find this valuable information.
The purpose of analyzing your surroundings is to give your company a clear picture of what is happening, and how this may or may not effect your company here and now. This kind of analysis will answer questions about what is happening outside of your organization and how this might influence the possibilities to reach the goals your organization has established.

Mikael Drakenberg
Freelance writer

About the Author

Mikael Drakenberg Mikael Drakenberg är fil.kand med huvudämne statsvetenskap, och biämne är juridik. Mina huvudområden inom juridiken är Offentligrätt, Förvaltningsrätt och Internationell Humanitär rätt. På grund av internationalisering och globalisering så påverkas också arbetslivet, vilket innebär att vi jobbar äver landsgränser. Då påverkas vi också av andra länders regler och lagar. Därför har jag kommit att intressera mig alltmer för lag & rätt på nätet, och har på egen hand läst in mig på de regelverk som tex handlar om upphovsrätt, straffrätt (förtalslagstiftning) och lagstiftningen om trakasserier och kränkningar på nätet då dessa ser så olika ut i olika länder.

StartupDojo @FooCafé, Malmö, Sweden Season4; Episode3

IMG_3298Yet another amazing StartupDojo kicked off October 26 at FooCafé, and as usually there was a big crowd of startup entrepreneurs. The StartupDojo crew at place starred me, David Dagbor and Victoria Palyenkova. Missing was Erik Starck. This evening we tried out a new concept with short inspirational startup speakers on two different topics but in the end there were some similar messages in the talks – follow your path and use your gut feeling!

IMG_3299Andres Rearte, a music producer from Los Angeles now living in Malmö, that also has a wast experience from sales- and marketing talked on “Ready, Fire, Aim” – about taking action – don’t wait, do it!. Keep focus on what you’re good at, your strengths, and find someone to do what you’re not so good at. His ABC is: A Knowledge, B Balance, C Team. Sales is a necessity for success of your startup and business, and you have to find a way to like it, some stuff you just have to do. If it’s just impossible for you, hire someone to do it for you. Good health is a foundation to run your startup so get good habits with eat, sleep and exercise. And remember to be grateful for what you have.

IMG_3326Steve Jennings, a serial entrepreneur and is now focusing on building better business by participation commerce in the newly founded company Better. It’s about participatory innovation and an interface to engage and have a dialog with new tools that they’ve developed. And is still developing. One of the big companies that are on board is LEGO, the Danish brick building toy company. IKEA is another one, and more companies are to be presented.

After two engaged and inspiring speakers the Dojo startup pitches begun. Purpose of the Dojo is to help startups to get started or to move on if/when they are stuck in moving their startup further. It’s all by entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs helping each other in different ways, depending on the need. The five pitchers were:

1. Niklas Höglund pitched the idea about the #DigiTechStuffSe that’s about combining, in collaboration with others that are interested in the world of hard and software tech, an totally new, groundbreaking event next fall. This will be built around smaller events taking place the year to come, with different perspectives on Digitechstuff such as from Women In Tech, Leadership, Startups, Lifelong Learning etc. More to come soon but you can already now start following #DigiTechStuffSe on Facebook.
2. Anton Liljegren was up next talking about how his startup is building a platform to have a rating system for e.g. kite instructors, and where instructors may talk to each other to help you improve e.g. your surfing. It would also be a CV/base for instructors that travels and for people to find one that has a good reputation. Reviews are peer based.
3. Kiran Mysore from DataCrew was looking for help to define a target market that would benefit from his platform that consolidates data from large public databases.
4. Victor Bonilla was telling about process made with his robot that is to be used in schools for interactive learning. More to come. Congrats to the steps moved forward!
5. August Bering  showed us his new device for putting on your drumsticks to bring with you in your pocket and by connecting it to e.g. Garageband on a MAC. Your will then get the full experience of playing the drums by only adding the pocket size devices to the drumsticks. He calls it  FreeDrum He got an immediate response from Andres, that was to help him to further develop and help with marketing and sales.

Pitches were followed by meeting each and one of the pitchers for personal feedback and help to move forward with their startup. After some pizza and beer, made possible and I include a big thank you to Michael Tiberg, founder of FooCafé for sponsorship, we continued all gathered together for some final summing up and for the pitchers to tell their next step to be taken. We wrapped up the evening and once more concluded that it had to be considered as another successful evening at the Dojo, and people were still there when I left at a little bit after 9 pm.  (Official ending is 8 pm)

Next startup dojo is as usual the last Thursday of the month, in November that is the 26th at 1730-2000, at FooCafé. This will also be the last Dojo for this year. Will I see you there?

At the keys with all the best to you,


/Cathrin Frisemo

How to increase the numbers of WIT (Women In Tech)

IMG_3519How to get more WIT (Women In Tech) is a trending topic, and also a necessary topic to be raised and discussed for various reasons. Seems a bit odd that there is a need for it being 2015. On the other hand Swedish women were first allowed to vote 1921, i.e. less then 100 years ago! And until the beginning of the 1970’s women incomes were added on their husbands, and tax was paid tax on that. Seriously!

Well, so from that perspective a lot has happened but it’s moving way too slow. The reasons are many for the low level of women in tech overall, but seems nonlogical since women are about 50% of the Swedish, and also out of the global population. In Sweden, 60% of the students at universities are women, they get higher grades and higher level of degrees, so there it’s nonlogical from that perspective as well. And I find it very interesting that the first computer was programmed only by women.

I was unaware of this being an issue since I’ve always followed my own path, raised with “you can do whatever you want, just put your mind to it and you will get there”. But at the Geek Girl Meetup Oresund, in Malmö, Sweden last fall the issue caught my attention, and it was made even more evident with the attention raised and spread through social media. When visiting California this spring I met up with the president of WITI (Women In Tech International) that has been around for 25 years, and I decided to start a Swedish chapter. Used to running networks, I know it’s usually better to get involved in already existing networks, than to start a new one on the samt topic.

IMG_3511 So far we’ve had several lunches and November 3rd we had our first AW (AfterWork) sponsored by the tech meetup place FooCafé in Malmö, Sweden. The guest speaker for the night was Silvia Trevellin, a developer at Pixelant, telling her story with the topic “You change your career, and your life, if you truly believe you can”. She moved to Sweden from Italy with her husband, and realized that the only way she could get a job was to train for a career as an developer and to learn english. And so she did! A very inspiring talk and some major point she made was:

  • Find a mentor, or even more than one that can support you in different areas
  • Set your goals, and let them be realistic
  • Recognize your abilities and work on that
  • Find online resources
  • Team up with your mates and share your experience
  • Don’t be afraid  because failure makes you strong
  • Review your resume and be awesome
  • Go to interviews and learn from them

The discussions that followed ended up in setting the topic for the next meetup Decmeber 1st – How to recruit more women to your tech company and why it is important.

IMG_3540Leaving the event, a colleague called me with a project she’s running, MyWay, for unemployed adolescents focusing on digital media tech. They needed a topic to take on so they got working on how to increase WIT, and the result was presented to me a week later. They had only worked on it for a day and a half, and I must say I was very impressed with the result they had come up with. The two major questions they worked out of were:

1. How a tech company attract, develop and keep women in/to tech jobs?
2. How can women be attracted to get into tech jobs?

The 7 areas identified that they focused on were how:

  1. stereotypes within tech can be changed
  2. schools pedagogy, increase tech subjects and give all equal opportunities for learning tech may change
  3. to create a company culture that is beneficial for all
  4. to create commercial and recruiting ads directed to women
  5. Equal pre-requisites, opportunities and conditions can be created for men and women at work places
  6. to push forward and show role models of women in tech
  7. to increase the insight and knowledge about the opportunities in tech to parents

Suggestions that they came up with were plenty and interesting and they will dig deeper into it and present the results at WITISweden AW, December 1 st at FooCafé. I look forward to see the results and will share it in the blog post from the event.

Enjoy you day and remember your fika!






The Digital Entrepreneur

by Kenneth OE Sundin

Digital Life

The Digital Entrepreneur is NOT necessarily an IT-nerd. The Digital Entrepreneur is a person who has identified a number of key factors on how to use IT in development of new Business Models.
Building a business based on digital tools and a skill in how to use ICT in your specific business sector is more or less a question of winning or losing. It doesn’t mean that “everything” is ICT – but no matter if you own a local Flower Shop or a web-shop selling plastic flowers you need to consider  the use of ICT. How you can use it, how your customers use it, how your competitors use it and how all the other players in the market use it.
It is also very clear that ICT is “THE” key factor in internationalization of your business. The fact that a majority of the population in almost all regions of the world are online from time to time indicates that the net and all kinds of services available are bringing people together, shrinking the globe.

Some use the expression web-entrepreneurs but I prefer “The Digital Entrepreneur”.

The Digital Entrepreneur:

Finds Business Opportunities – using ICT
Scanning the web as a way to keeping a watch out on the market, new trends and new ideas is for some of us as obvious as waking up in the morning.
We know that “copy the winner” always has been a great way to develop your own business. On the net you can find tons of great ideas by just studying how others do.
Remember to not only view your own sector but learn also from totally different sectors. Implement what others do into your own business model – and you will notice a change and your customers will keep on coming to you instead of moving to more “up-to-date” competitors.

Creates the base to reach them – using ICT
Just take one example on how we work with finding prospects and turning them into customers and after that build the customer relations.
Instead of just “having a system” to be able to work up a market you have gone trough sophisticated CRM systems to now have fully automated web based systems. Buildings lists with auto responders to always be “just in time” with the best offer is popping up in all kinds of business sectors.
The combination of developing the product or service and in the same time the digital support for running the business process is critical. Not just the products, not just the use of ICT – but a combination.

Finds Partners and Colleagues – using ICT
Earlier it was required from us all entrepreneurs and business owners to visit fairs, go to local events and all kinds of physical meeting to increase the network and from that find out who could be a possible partner.
Now you can easily manage that process from your desk in the evening then the family has gone to sleep. Networking and building relations over the net has become so easy and accepted by many of us. Of course a face to face meeting is always the best – but there is not an either/or but a both/and.

  • Scanning in social media and web networks
  • Starting the relation using digital forums and tools
  • Getting closer in personal video calls

Maybe leads to a final meeting IRL to close an agreement – but the whole process can definitely be web based.

Identifies Prospects and Customers – Using ICT
It’s always a “depending on that kind of Business you are running” issue here.
As I have been in the Business life for a long time I remember where we actually studied telephone directories and bought pre printed address labels from database companies. A lot have happened in this part of our businesses.
Using search engines, studying web pages, reading posts in social media are all possible ways to find a specific type of customer you are looking for.
By offering these groups of potential customers a number of different ways to learn more about your business and your products will make them come to you instead of the opposite.
You have got them some levels down the sales funnel and can focus on the motivated prospects instead of spreading out your resources on all levels.

Delivers Products and Services – using ICT
We still have to send a box with bearings with DHL, UPS or someone else of the logistic companies. But how we create the order, how we secure the payment, how we keep control over the delivery etc., is totally changed compared to the traditional “Industry era”.
We now use third party partners and by using ICT all of the involved stake holders can focus on their part of the delivery chain.
If we move over to digital products and services it is even more simple. We are often hearing the word “Disruptive businesses” and here is definitely one area for that.
It’s not only SaaS, Software as a Service, it can also be KaaS – Knowledge as a Service as we transform knowledge and experiences into digital products. eBooks are good examples of that – but today we have so many more Medias and ways of distribution to choose from.

Develops Customer Relations – using ICT
I have already mentioned how we can start relations with prospects, customers, partners and other using ICT. Today we can see all kinds of ways that Businesses uses to tie customers closer and to keep them.
We have had “Loyalty programs” in different versions for a long time – but now you don’t need to be American Express or British Airways to run such systems.
Even the smallest Solopreneur business can now benefit from all kinds of automated customer relations systems. We are getting more and more used to hear expressions like “passive income” – there the process from finding and getting customers also let us keep them and sell again and again to them.
With Affiliate agreements you also see more and more of “cross-selling” – selling other businesses products to your customer segment and vice versa. Sometimes it can actually work as a “self-playing-piano” once you have set up the systems and prepared the web sites involved.
The dream vision is the Digital Entrepreneur resting with a drink besides the swimming pool – only checking the bank account every now and then. However – most of us still have to work hard for a success – but it is within the reach for all of us.

Becomes a Global player – using ICT
All said above is of course considering the fact that the market is not limited to the local/regional market. If you start to think about what you can offer to an international market – your business can really take off.
In this perspective we also understand why more and more of the startups we see are so called “Born Globals”. They don’t even consider a local market. The target group is spread all over the world. Sometimes limited by language and sometimes by national specific laws and other conditions – but still so easy to reach from your home office desk.
Still you need to set the alarm clock for a video meeting with the other side of the Globe, but communicating and meeting others are not a problem anymore.

We can all be Digital Entrepreneurs on a Global Market! Don’t wait – start now! 

About the Author

KennethKenneth OE Sundin is an experienced serial entrepreneur and has also been working in many different IT companies and related business in more than 25 countries. In 1999 he was awarded as one of 500 most successful Entrepreneurs in Sweden. Additionally, Kenneth OE is a business coach and lecturer in entrepreneurship programs in several Universities. The focus for the moment is the SME Academy Network – a global network based on SME-related projects and activities.

Kenneth OE Sundin
SME Academy (International)
SME Academy (Swedish)
SME Academy on Facebook

Startup dojo @FooCafé in Malmö, Sweden; Season 4, Episode2

StartupDojo300px 2Finally the last Thursday of the month, and that means Startup Dojo time @FooCafé! Seemed like it was a bit more crowded than usual this time, and the numbers of women are increasing. Great news!

At several occasions lately I’ve met men that are troubled with why there are so few women in tech overall, but particularly that women at the startup meetups, like hackathons etc. are difficult to find and attract. This is very interesting to me since when I reflect over it, I realize that I have quite a few women in my networks that are both in tech and startups. My intention and hope is that by being part of the crew, I will bring more women to the dojo. And also by running WITISweden, taking part in some coming events in tech and by networking I will help increase WIT.

Now, back to the dojo. The dojo is all by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, and with the objective to help more people become (successful) startup entrepreneurs.  

IMG_1901First up and out on stage was Andres from Los Angeles that recently had moved to Malmö. With his extensive background from the music industry in LA and the US, he offered help and to connect via his networks for those that were interested. What a great and welcomed offer! He will also be the guest speaker at our next dojo. Hidden resources and talents everywhere!

Daniel was the  next person to pitch with the startup Lean Law Support  and that works with e-commerce solutions. For now they were located at Think, an accelerator in Helsingborg. Their challenge right now is to find people and businesses that are interested in e-commerce and need different solutions for challenges that they have in that area such as e.g. automated customer support claims function, access to how to solve legal issues in e-commerce. Are you one of them?

CoolDog and their two founders then took the floor. They have a device and an app that comes with that, to be used to keep the dog safe a hot day in the car. They are looking for help to do the prototype.

Jonas at Oumworld was next, and has developed a database for big data on health, a “One You”. The uniqueness is that you own and control your health data. All of your health data that is accumulated by your usage of various health apps are in one file, and only you have access to it. On a non-identifiable level it may be used by front-end developers and app-developers. They’re looking for companies that want to try it out to get cases.

Mustafa that is one of the founders of YouCollide, and that we met last time at the dojo, was back on stage. They’re still looking for a Java-developer to speed up the development of YouCollide. They already have big, corporate customers that believes in them and want to try it out.

IMG_1909August Beiring then demonstrated FreeDrum. It’s a device that is put on drumsticks and that fits in your pocket so you easily can bring them with you wherever you go! Check out this first cool videoclip. What’s your spontaneous reaction? 

After the presentations the presenters went to their designated spots in the room to meet with the rest of the participants that could chip in from different perspectives on the pitches made. All this while grabbing a beer and a pizza slice at the same time that was sponsored by FooCafé.

We then gathered all back together again and had another 45 minutes to go, where each of the pitchers shortly summarised their take-away from the night, and it was made sure that they now knew what their next step was to move forward in their startup. 

When finishing off another successful night by that the dojo team also wanted to move the dojo forward, so next time there will be a couple of inspirational talks to start with and the pitchers will, if they want, be recorded by their own device, so they can bring home all the information and feed back they get at the dojo. So this is what to be expected and experience at the next dojo, with some more news that is to be announced the 29th of October at h1730 – 2000. Hope to meet you there. Welcome!







Death of the Dinosaurs and Survival of the Fittest in the Digitized Age

IMG_1855“Death of the Dinosaurs and Survival of the Fittest in the Digitized Age” is how I want to summarize the report “Internationalization by Digitization – Prerequisites and success factors for digitization of Swedish businesses international marketing and sales” that was released by Business Sweden Friday, September 18th 2015.

The report put light and words on what for me, that for many years have worked both in the digital and analogue world, has been oblivious for several years. In my book “WIFL – Your guide to the digital work life” that was published 2 years ago, I for e.g. wrote about new business models that Prof. Michael Rappa, Inst Adv Analytics, NC state Univ,  summarized already 2006. Somehow it’s kind of a mystery to me that the business models are not yet more widely spread and used in businesses in Sweden. At least they’re not according to this report. And the slow rate of adaption to a digitized work life still surprise me. Seems like many businesses still think that it´s a fad and no need to be there.

Sweden has a high level of digitization and so far has always been ranked in the top-10 of using e.g. Internet. Sweden is known for advanced technological knowledge and companies like e.g King, Mojang and Spotify were founded here. The startup-scene in Sweden, with cities like Malmö and Stockholm, is ranked in the top 10 in the world. So what’s happening with well established Swedish businesses that have been on the cutting edge for many years? As well as for the rest of the business world in Sweden?  Let’s see what the report says.

IMG_1825Swedish businesses have lost 20% ! of the global market share! I was stunned by the numbers presented at the release of the report in Helsingborg, Sweden. A city that has come very far in the digitization mindset and for example have free WIFI throughout the whole city.
The report is based on four parts; literature studies, in-depth interviews with 6 successful businesses in internationalization by digitization and a questionnaire that was answered by 150 small- and medium sized businesses in March 2015, of which 82 % were product suppliers and 12 % service suppliers. It doesn’t say though how the businesses were selected, how many businesses the questionnaire was sent to; neither does it say why the businesses didn’t answer. So in one way, this puts my hope up a little bit  that it´s not as bad as it seems. Or is it?

It’s stated in the beginning of the report that digitization has a global impact and on all business life, and that it will have an impact on how to make business and future competitiveness. I would say that it’s already happening. The future is already here, and we’re right in the midst of the transition from the industrial age to the digitized age. And both worlds co-exists and there is a need to deal with it – now! Then is too late, the businesses will die the death of the dinosaurs. Only the fittest will survive, meaning that the businesses that re-think, think new and adept to the new conditions and opportunities in the digitized business life will survive. That is agile, innovative organizations that moves quickly and adapt fast to change.

Digitization happens parallel with globalization, and that also include internationalization of people and businesses. Just by connecting to Internet you´re going global and international right away, and it opens up a global market and talent pool. That too means increased competitiveness. And it’s only a click away.

IMG_1828Marketing and sales is highlighted in the report with focus on website, content marketing, e-mail marketing and digital newsletters. Google has more than 90% of the market for Search Engines (SE) in the Nordic countries. SEMarketing and SEO, e-commerce and online marketplaces are also extensively written about in the report. In 2015 the top three social media in the Nordic countries are Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. Tumblr ranking as number two was a surprise to me, since I would have guessed that LinkedIn would be one of the three. The use of mobile devices as first screen of doing most of the online activities are rapidly increasing. Approximately 30 % of m-shopping was made through a smart phone.  Only 2% of the businesses say they work digitally with big data to acquire knowledge about their international target groups and customers, with the purpose to increase relevance in marketing and sales. Omni channel marketing is highly stressed to be used by the report.

So, it’s stated that there is a need to fast adaption of new and digital business models and organizations to create sustainable competitiveness to survive in the tougher competition to come. Businesses need to be able to adapt a new mindset and not to get stuck in old-fashioned ways of handling the new and digitized business life. The management needs to be digital competent and have to recruit digital competence to their business. New positions need to be introduced in the organizations and a new mindset has to be formed in the organization. “An adapted digital business model is a prerequisite for increased turnover and revenue”.

IMG_1830Here are some more numbers on internationalization by digitization from the organizations in the report.

  • About 10 % are internationally present.
  • SEO and e-mail marketing are the most used digital tools for international marketing (about 40%).
  • Digital Communication systems are the most used digital tool used for international sales (about 30%).
  • High competitiveness and low digital maturity are the two most pronounced challenges to use digital technique to expand to global markets.
  • Lack of capacity and competence within the organization are marked by about 40% of the organizations to hold them back from expanding by digital channels.
  • Low digital infrastructures and low digital maturity in other countries are the biggest challenge to businesses to handle.

In the replies to the open questions most of the companies respond that the face-to-face meetings are still crucial in the competitiveness and to success in international marketing and sales. The more complex the product is, the more need for face-to-face meetings. Small- and medium sized (SMEs) businesses within traditional industries are seen as risking to be left behind within digitization, with possible effects on international competitiveness in the long run. To increase the digitization for internationalization and globalization of businesses, Business Sweden points out two major areas that may be of importance:

  • Educational training of staff to increase digital maturity.
  • Financing of digital investments, especially for SMEs.

So to sum it up, these are the major success factors for businesses to use to internationalize by digitization

  1. Do digital homework Map your digital prerequisites for your international business.
  2. Develop an international digital business model Challenge your existing business models and plans for expansion to see what kind of new business opportunities on an international market may be created with digital procedures.
  3. Take on “Big Data” Get in to the world of opportunities in the world of digital analytics.
  4. Work with Omni channels Include your digital channels in your analogue work.
  5. Strive for digital symbiosis Integrate digital technologies, channels and tools in your operative work with internationalization.

The six businesses that successfully have internationalized by digitization and that were in-depth interviewed in the report are Aleris, Bemz, Benify, Envirotainer, iZettle and Scania.

IMG_1832The presentation of the report was followed by presentations of three successful businesses in Helsingborg that has digitized and internationlized their businesses; Skånska Byggvaror, Fieldly and Gents, and well as the co-working and event space MindPark. Impressive concludes the presentations.
It’s cooking in the startup scene in Sweden and it’s really awesome. A new business life is emerging and it’s happening right now and in a fast pace. I spend most of my time in the startup-ecosystems in the Greater Copenhagen area, south of Sweden and Stockholm and I can tell that the entrepreneurial startup mindset rules. One of my favorite places to hang out at is at the Startup-dojo at FooCafé in Malmö.

I hope that this report will be an eye-opener for businesses in Sweden to digitize, to internationalize and to think global. It’s a prerequisite for businesses to survive and in the long run to sustain the high level of living conditions Sweden still has. There is knowledge to do it, and it has to be done in an economical way by the use of Swedish natural resources, that is the people living in Sweden. That includes developing conditions for sustainable good leadership, creativity and health in an environmental friendly digitized world .

Thank you Business Sweden, Helsingborgs City and Tillväxtverket for a great start of the day.

My best,





Cathrin Frisemo





Why companies should embrace online communities

smiley-24923_1280A large part of our social life has moved online where people are engaging through digital communication whether it a social media platform or a chat application. Online communities are playing an increasingly important and valuable role in how companies interact with and respond to their customers. Having a loyal community for your product or service can contribute greatly to the success of your business.

Following are some key reasons for both why and how in today’s digital world, companies should focus on building, engaging and listening to their online communities.

Co-Creation and Co-Innovation
Online communities are usually heterogeneous from several angles but mainly having different needs and preferences. By focusing on the dialogue that’s taking place in the community about their products or services, companies are able to create what the consumer really wants. The communities give the opportunity to test the product to a select few before even launching it mainstream. The key thing here is not only listening to proponents and active participants, but also to unhappy customers. It’s the unhappy customers that push the companies to innovate and co-create.

Global presence and Global reach
Today anyone with a pc/laptop, tablet, mobile and Internet access is able to engage online. This gives the companies access to pretty much the whole world. In the history of business, it is the most powerful time. But with great power, comes great responsibility and which is why its paramount for the companies to pay attention to its community and actively engage with them.

attitude-to-life-256607_1280Organic marketing and Earned media
However much paid media produces a more rapid return than earned media but it also requires a continuous flow of funds to function. Earned media gives manifolds results than paid media and requires effort to build the base and reputation. Having said that, earned media can be repeatedly free and has a much stronger impact as it’s coming directly from the consumers. Conversations are happening online and companies need to organically take part in the conversations of their audiences.

Collective learning and Collective evolution
Learning is inherently a social act where participants talk amongst themselves and the talk leads to learning. Learning is an active process and requires learners to process and synthesize the information. With social media, the learning is happening online where the information is shared and people are discussing, responding and reacting to the information. The social media way of learning keeps information always current, trends are being set and we now know in real-time what the world thinks about a particular incident. This helps shapes global, national and corporate policies. Companies can bring major cultural shifts with the information they have access to through social learning.

Brand loyalty and Brand promoters
Brand loyalty is when a consumer identifies with the brand, uses it to express herself and would recommend to others. All brands want such loyal customers. Online communities and social media are used as a means for brands to communicate their values and for consumers to help affect the brand narrative. By maximizing brand loyalty strategically, companies can create both loyal customers and organic brand promoters.

Companies need to commit to authenticity and build deep and strong connections with their consumers and there has never been a better time and way it can be done without building and nurturing its online community.






About the author Simran Jindal – A fellow Cebra on the digital savanna whose is amazed by the world of possibilities we live in. She Can be found at LinkedIn.

An ordinary week in the startup world in south of Sweden

thank-you-490606_1280A big Thank You to all pioneers in tech for simplifying my life most of the time. Sometimes though all this tech stuff in daily life complicates  and make me really stressed when not working as supposed to, or at least, the way I want and expect it to. After a great weekend spent relaxing on the beach (and yes it’s possible to be at the beach in Sweden :-)), reading The wellnes syndrome and The Sell, Monday kicked-off working from home. It went by in an intense but, nice and in a comfortable pace until I realized, by chance, that two unknown devices was connected to my computer. Totally surprised I got pretty stressed out, but thanks to social media and great colleagues and friends that replied instantly to help out I got it all sorted out quickly. How can you live without social media in work life? And especially as an entrepreneur, startup or business owner? Beats me!

IMG_1473Tuesday came with a trip to Karlskrona starting with a luncheon meeting with a colleague from NetPort SciencePark in Karlshamn, at the MarineMuseum. Beautiful and relaxing view as you can see on the right picture.

IMG_1475We continued together and met up with some colleagues from various organizations for a workshop at HyperIsland to develop a new educational program on kids and creative media. For long I had wanted to be in a work shop in the HyperIsland spirit and as I anticipated it was creative constructive, fun and the outcome really amazed me after spending three  hours together with people that I met for the first time. Woho!
The evening was spent with a young and very smart woman that I mentor at a computer science program in Malmö, and her family. They had been in Sweden for about 8 years by now after fleeing from Bagdad, Iraq, where her father worked as a journalist and manger for SkyNews for many years. Unbelievable  stories were told to me and I still wonder how they could be still so loving, caring and happy after all they have gone through. Deeply impressed and grateful for inviting me and even more obliged to help this great, smart, stubborn young WIT to succeed. I know she will.

IMG_1483As health is a foundation for existence I decided to finally use my gift card and to explore and treat  myself with a session of facial reflexology that a colleague had given to me a long time ago at StayBeautiful. It was a very interesting experience that when she was pressing specific trigger points in my face and I could feel it in different parts of my body. A lunch followed with an great talk on health before continuing from Lund to Malmö.

IMG_1486Want to expand to the promised land US? was the topic of the event at MINC incubator in Malmö, that’s now a part of the area of Greater Copehagen.
The Swedish entrepreneur Rickard Hansson, CEO at Incentive started off by telling his journey as  an entrepreneur and how he ended up living in Silicon Beach, and that’s also the HQ for Incentive.  To help out to get into the US market, Incetive is working with the award winning Leah Nurik, a marketing and business developer consultant and CEO/Founder at Gabriel Marketing Group. Leah gave us some invaluable tips if, or when establishing a business in the US. Afterwards I met up with some great colleagues before heading home. A journey that needs to be forgotten asap since it took me five! hours instead of 1,5 hours to get back home due to  problems in the train system in Skåne.

Thursday the problems was still there with the trains, but I managed to get on time leaving early for Malmö, to the joint Geek Girl Meetup Oresund(GGMO) and recently initiated chapter of WITISweden, luncheon meeting that I was hosting. Note to one self arriving in Malmö was: check weather report for destination before leaving home. Left a sunny Sölvesborg for a pouring-down-rain Malmö.  An intense, very creative and fun lunch made me forget the weather and even take a picture of our lunch meetup! But I’ll be back since from now on it will be a monthly event having lunch at M.E.C.K, in Media Evolution City with GGMO and WITISweden.

IMG_1503After a nice walk with almost clear skies, it was time finally time for the Startup-Dojo, season 4, episode 1 at FooCafé. The startup-dojo has during 3 years successfully emerged to a talked-about and much appreciated platform for startups in Malmö. It’s for entrepreneurs and by entrepreneurs from a wide range of countries all residing in Malmö for different reasons. This has meant the most to me as written about in a previous post, to move on from my book and concept WIFL (Work In Fake Life) to be the digitized savanna for my next book and concept Im a Cebra that will be launched in Malmö and California later this fall. And from now on I will be part of the Startup-Dojo crew together with the founder Erik Starck, CEO and Founder of Startup-studio, David Degbor and Victoria Paleykova.

IMG_1496The purpose of the dojo is to take your startup/business one-step further and when leaving the Dojo you’ll know what next steps that are needed to be taken. This night four startups pitched www.spheer.com, www.recualizer.com, www.youcollide.com and www.yathra.se . They were then placed in 4 corners to which the rest of the participants could chose to move around and give feedback, contacts and suggestions on how to move forward. We gathered all together to sum it all up and listen to steps suggested to take to move forward. And as always we all had learned, made new connections and had fun.

IMG_1511With the usual beer or soda in our hands, sponsored by FooCafé, we went to the 3-year celebration of the same fabulous place. Michael TIberg, the CEO and founder kicked it off with telling that this was the 777th! meetup! He also introduced an opportunity that from now on they opened up for sponsoring with private memberships among many other news to come, including a big party spring 2016, to celebrate the 1000! tech event at FooCafé.

IMG_1530Erik Meijer then took over the stage and had an incredible talk on Category Theory, The essence of interface-based design. I admit, didn’t get most of what he was talking about, and as I learned after the talk, that most of the 100+ in the audience didn’t either. It made me feel a bit better since most of them were advanced developers and tech people, and I’m not. During the talk I got the humble insight just as I started of this post with: A big Thank You to all IT-pioneers, including my father that started already 1969 as a computer developing engineer at IBM. And it was said that he was insane to work with computers since there was no future in that business. 

letter-146010_1280So, to all you Pioneers in what ever area you’re in; your’re the Person it all starts with, then keep the Passion, know your Purpose, get the right People, solve the Problem, create the Product, look at it’s Potential and then comes the Profit. The P’s and the order that’s necessary for a sustainable success in your startup.

Friday was a busy work-from-home day and preparing for my trip to Stockholm for a startup meetings and attending the Stockholm Tech Fest 1-2nd of September. 

More to come on that in my next post,

Enjoy your week to come!

My best,