“It is important to be courageous and learn from your mistakes. That is what leads you to success,” IT entrepreneur Hjalmar Winbladh said as he accepted the newly established SEB A Perfect Entrepreneur award from SEB’s Chief Executive Officer Annika Falkengren at a ceremony in Stockholm’s Concert Hall recently.
“I am honoured to receive this prize, but I reacted to the word ‘perfect’ when I received the call about the award since it is a string of mistakes that got me here,” Winbladh said.
“Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and being willing to fail, that is what makes it possible to become successful. Sometimes it is necessary to tweak the product or business concept in order to get where you want.”
The SEB A Perfect Entrepreneur award distinguishes itself from other awards, since what Winbladh won is the opportunity to take part in launching smartphone app MoMic, developed by researcher Johan Lundin at Stockholm-based medical university Karolinska Institutet.
MoMic, short for Mobile microscopy for point-of-care diagnostics of infectious diseases, is a smartphone app that makes it possible to send a photo of a blood sample to a hospital, which can then do micro-biological screening. Thereby, sick people in poor countries can access world-leading specialists in diagnostics using relatively cheap technology.
“The award is attractive since I, as an entrepreneur, can help other people while showing the importance of connecting entrepreneurship to innovation,” Winbladh said.
Jan Carlzon, a venture capitalist and former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines, is chairman of the jury that selected Winbladh for the prize.
“I have helped award many prizes, but this is what energised me the most since it is not about what the winner gets, but about what he or she gives,” Carlzon said.
The jury used criteria such as entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, solid finances, inspiring business concepts and the ability to contribute to the MoMic project, and thereby promote Swedish innovation and research.