Three entrepreneur teams were finalists in this year's Young entrepreneur contest. One contribution was about a self-opening box for lifejackets. Studies show that many lifejackets stay in the box at a shipping accident, and the idea of the new box, that will go into production this summer, is that the box opens by itself and releases the life jackets if it ends up in the water.
The other entrepreneurial contribution was about helping the crew of a ship fighting a fire. Today it is difficult for the crew to get close to the source of a fire and stay there in order to extinguish the fire. But with a help of water mist, the invention creates a barrier between the crew and the fire, which gives both protection and an escape route.
But the winner was the third final contribution, Cargo Planner. It is an online-based software, developed by Erik Törnblom, which helps shippers and others who handle large volumes of goods to fill and load containers in the most efficient manner possible.
- One of the biggest polluters is the air, unused space, travelling the world in a container, Erik Törnblom inventor of Cargo Planner said.
Tips for a successful entrepreneurship
Several of the speakers during the day shared their advice for how to succeed as an entrepreneur. Here is a selection.
- You have to count. Count on everything. If you don't walk around with a calculator in your pocket, you have to be brilliant and count in your head, Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO of Stena Line AB.
- You have to be able to go from macro perspective to micro back to macro within a sentence, Carl-Johan Hagman again.
- There are very many that collaborates, but few that runs. As an entrepreneur you have to run, Lena Lindblad, R&D Director, In-tech.
- Make sure to have saved money and plenty of time during the first years, Cajsa Henriksson, Vattenlimousinen and winner of the shipping's young entrepreneur prize in 2013.
- Write a clear partnership agreement and have a clear division of labour, Cajsa Henriksson again.
- Build a culture and organization that can handle new challenges, Eric Hjalmarsson, CEO Thor Shipping.
The Shipping's Entrepreneur Day was arranged by the student organisation Sjösektionen at Chalmers University, Swedish Shipbrokers Association, Swedish Shipowners' Association, School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers department of Shipping and Marine Technology and the shipping paper Sjöfartstidningen. The moderator Berit Blomqvist from Shipbrokers Association attracted laughter when she recounted a conversation she had with a businessman from China.
- Gothenburg, is that close to Donsö? the businessman asked. A question that bear witness of the small islands importance for the maritime sector.
The Minister´s thought on shipping
Sweden's former Minister for Infrastructure, Catharina Elmsäter Svärd, and the current Minister for Infrastructure, Anna Johansson, were seen during the day and Anna Johansson said during hear speech that she perceives shipping as an industry of the future.
- I am convinced that by being a little edgier and a little more agile in adopting the climate challenge, Swedish shipping will be able to create major competitive advantages compared to international shipping that also will need to adapt to meet environmental challenges, Anna Johansson said.
That you can earn money from investing in environment was confirmed by Lars Höglund, CEO at Furetank.
- We have made money on all environmental investments we have made over the years, Lars Höglund, CEO Furetank.
And there were more voices heard during Shipping's Entrepreneur day.
For instance, Lena Apler, founder of Collector.
- Women entrepreneurs are too few, it is no coincidence that I won the award two years in a row, there are too few to choose from. There is lot of talented young women right now, but still it is a few years ahead. It takes too long. Lena Apler, founder of Collector and named the Sweden's most powerful female entrepreneur in 2015 and 2016.
Text and photos: Andreas Kron