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How A 20-Year-Old Entrepreneur Convinced Web Summit and Business Sweden to Include Him in Their Programs


After winning Creative Dragons with not much more than a business plan, Hannes Rydell managed to get some really big names to invest in his business idea. About 6 months later someone suggested that he should apply to the ALPHA startup program at the world’s biggest tech conference, the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. However, their company was still in the very early stages and no one thought that they even had a chance of getting into the program. But Hannes decided to still submit the application and later got a request to get on a video call with Web Summit to further showcase his company.

Two weeks after the call and one of the best presentations of his life, Hannes was notified via email that his company had been accepted. “I was thrilled and flew down to Portugal by myself,” Hannes recalls. 

When he was there, Hannes bumped into Business Sweden which is what you would call the Swedish export council. They work by taking companies to international status. Hannes did the same presentation in Portugal and, just like that, became one of the youngest CEOs ever to be a part of the Business Sweden “Going Global – Leap Accelerator Program”.

Knowing the Right People and What They Want to Hear

Almost all of Hannes’ success has come from getting the right people to listen to him. He believes that the skill of getting other people to buy into his ideas is the most valuable of all as an entrepreneur and so far, he has been pretty good at it.

According to Hannes, “When you´re a young first-time entrepreneur you usually don’t have a lot of credibility, money, or connections to show others. But the good news is that you don’t need these resources yourself, you just need to find other people who have them and that are willing to give you access to some of it. This can be achieved through either investors, mentors, or partnerships. The hard part is to get that first-person onboard, when you have overcome that first step, the spiral will just keep going up and up.”

 Many people may think that it’s hard and almost impossible to get successful entrepreneurs to help them but Hannes is proving by experience that it’s actually not.

He advises, “As long as you´re able to communicate the right things and display a high level of knowledge in the areas that you’re talking about your age will actually become the one factor which stands out the most and make you a lot more interesting to potential investors or mentors, etc.”

Taking Advantage of Youth to Meet the Right People

Hannes talks about young age being the biggest advantage that entrepreneurs have if they know how to position themselves in the right way. He now aims for helping other ambitious entrepreneurs get past the initial stages of starting a business. It is after he realized that there is a crazy amount of ultra-successful entrepreneurs out there who are literally searching for entrepreneurs that they could help because most likely somebody did the exact same thing for them. However, they won´t help everybody and it´s vital to communicate the right things to them in order to get them on board. He advises that “The more you talk with these people the more you understand what they want to hear from you, how you should present your ideas, and what type of numbers they need to see, etc.

In conclusion, you have to learn to speak the language of these successful entrepreneurs and if you´re able to do this at a young age, your potential of building a strong network in the business world is limitless.

(Syndicated press content is neither written, edited or endorsed by ED Times)

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