On the Promoting Enterprise portal we are talking to the entrepreneurs on the 33 Under 33 list. This Secrets of Success initiative aims to shine the spotlight on a selection of successful young entrepreneurs, documenting their stories in an effort to inspire others to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Today it is the turn of young Swedish entrepreneur Ellen Andreasson.
Ellen is Swedish and has an MSc in Biotechnology from Chalmers University of Technology. Besides her parents, her heroes are the Envue Technologies co-founders and board of directors - Professor Christoph Langhammer and senior researcher Joachim Fritzsche. Her mentors are Jan Alenfall (CEO Callipa AB) and Johan Lundgren (brand and business development consultant).
As long as she can remember, he has always wanted to go her own way. She learned that with her drive and determination she could achieve whatever she set for herself. This established inner confidence and created her entrepreneurial spirit.
Tell us about your business
Envue Technologies AB develops next-generation bioanalytical instruments to empower researchers with solutions to accelerate the development of future nanomedicines. Getting access to entirely new methods and instruments for bioanalysis is important to develop and produce new and safer medicines with higher quality and precision to reduce side effects.
Our unique NSM technology makes it possible to analyse biomolecules without the introduction of biases or modifications in their natural state i.e., we analyse biomolecules just as they are. NSM was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Methods in May this year and highlighted on the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences list of promising technologies in the services of humanity, with potential to make an impact.
Where did you get the idea from and how did you get it off the ground?
Envue Technologies AB is a deep tech spin-out company based on academic research from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. The research project in Professor Christoph Langhammer’s group leading to the NSM innovation was mainly funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The company was founded in 2020 in collaboration between the three inventing researchers, Chalmers Ventures AB, and Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. In spring 2021, a friend sent me the job ad while I was doing my Master’s thesis – Envue Technologies was looking for a business developer to drive the company forward with the possibility to become a key person and co-founder. Although I only fulfilled 1.5 out of 5 stated qualities for the profile I applied for, a few months later I signed the contract to start as the only employee.
How old were you when you first decided you would start your own business?
I was 25 years old and in the last year of my studies when I joined Envue Technologies.
Who did you turn to for help?
I asked for introductions from people in my network as well as continuously reaching out via LinkedIn to people with interesting and relevant profiles for help and inspiration. I was happily surprised by the response and support that I received from senior and experienced people in different fields that took the time to meet me and listen to my journey, questions, and the challenges I face, as well as share advice, contacts, and their stories. I also turned to other start-up founders, as they truly understand the journey and challenges that you face, helping each other has been a crucial part for me.
Describe some of the obstacles you faced as a young person starting out in this business.
Examples of obstacles I have faced as a young person in the tech start-up business are the lack of experience, knowledge, and network to navigate in driving the business. Meeting, getting to know, and connecting with new people in your industry or people that have done a similar journey is very valuable. These people can now or later become your mentors, customers, referees, role models, etc. As a young female CEO, I have also been dealing with imposter syndrome, or a lack of confidence in how to advance in a male-dominated space.
How do you define success?
Success for me personally is a life-long journey divided into both professional success and personal success. Overall success is truly seeing your development both professionally and personally. Being the role model that I lacked as a young person and feeling that you have a positive impact on another person’s life is the best motivation to take actionable steps to meet your goals.
What was the most challenging aspect of setting up your business?
One of the major challenges of setting up a business that I have experienced personally and seen in other start-ups is two simple words: prioritisation and focus. In a start-up, there are always thousands of things that you can do, especially in the very early stage of building the business where you have many roles and responsibilities. Everything from business development including sales, customers, and partners to managing marketing activities with webpages and social media and administrative tasks with financials. Keeping yourself and the team focused and prioritising the daily work is a huge challenge, especially in today’s noisy and distraction-filled world where we are always connected to our phones and computers.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
During my 1.5 years at driving Envue Technologies, I have had the honour to graduate from Google Digitalakademin’s incubator programme for Swedish female entrepreneurs, being selected to an exclusive Silicon Valley-based incubator programme, awarded “Game Changer” and “Top 5 Best Business Ideas” prize in Venture Cup competitions in Western Sweden, and winner of “the Young Idea of The Year” award by the Swedish Federation of Business Owners to highlight entrepreneurial role models. However, it is not these awards, but the people I have met in connection with all these honours that have been the most rewarding part of my journey! Meeting all the fearless, inspiring, energetic, and driven young and senior entrepreneurs that are extremely dedicated and passionate about their business and impact is priceless.
What are the future goals of your business, and how will you go about achieving them?
The vision of Envue Technologies is to be at the forefront of bioanalytical methods to help increase the fundamental understanding of how life works, thereby contributing to new research and results for more efficient future medicines. Future goals, therefore, include selling and developing our first products and initiating pilot tests for customer feedback. To achieve these milestones, we will need to expand the team and secure further investment.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Believe in yourself, test, and try – better done than perfect! Dare to take a chance and accept opportunities when offered an exciting challenge, even if you do not feel ready. Trust that you can always learn along the way and dare to ask for help and advice. Courage does not mean that you are not afraid but that you do it even if it feels super scary. Everything in business starts with a personal connection. So, surround yourself with people you can learn from and continuously engage in building a professional network, if you find someone inspiring, do not be afraid to reach out on LinkedIn and ask for lunch, coffee, or advice.
- Publication date
- 13 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Promoting Enterprise - categories
- Secrets of Success
- Promoting Enterprise - tags