After 7 years, on the General Meeting in May 2023 you handed over the chairmanship in CTR to Hans Andreasson, and took a board member position instead. Why, and why now? Tell us about the background to your decision!
The decision reflects our strategic vision for CTR. It allows me to contribute in a different capacity while leveraging the expertise and fresh perspectives of our new board. Together, we are well-positioned to achieve our goals, drive innovation in translational contract research, and pursue future opportunities.
You are a “serial entrepreneur”, starting with PMC in 1986. Every time you start a company, you say “never again”, but then you end up starting another one. How come, and why?
Overall, as a serial entrepreneur, you embody a combination of passion and stubbornness that repeatedly drive you to start and build companies. The enjoyment of the process, curiosity, desire for change, and focus on supporting your coworkers’ professional development contribute to your identity as a serial entrepreneur.
Could you elaborate on your thoughts on this? What kind of personal characteristics do you need to have, to become a successful entrepreneur?
First of all, you have to enjoy the building of companies. Serial entrepreneurs typically have a strong passion for building and creating new ventures. They thrive on the excitement and challenges that come with starting and growing businesses. The process of conceptualizing an idea, developing a business plan, assembling a team, and bringing the idea to life is something that you find fulfilling and enjoyable.
As I mentioned before, you are often driven by a deep curiosity and a desire to explore new opportunities. You may constantly seek out novel ideas, technologies, or market gaps that present potential business opportunities. Your curiosity fuels your entrepreneurial spirit and motivates you to keep starting new ventures.
You often have a strong desire to make a meaningful impact on the world. You see entrepreneurship as a vehicle for driving positive change, whether it’s disrupting existing industries, solving societal problems, or introducing innovative products and services. As a serial entrepreneur, you likely have a vision for how you can make a difference and create value through your ventures.
A hallmark of successful serial entrepreneurs is their ability to build and lead high-performing teams. You may recognize the importance of nurturing talent and providing opportunities for your coworkers to grow and develop professionally. By creating a supportive work environment, offering mentorship, and investing in your team’s skill development, you empower them to reach their full potential and contribute to the success of your ventures
You have been active and faithful to the Life Science sector since 1986.
In your opinion – with the experience you have – what needs to be done to further strengthen the Swedish life science sector?
For me, it is to:
Bring the new Swedish inventions to the healthcare market to improve global health
Sweden has a reputation for excellence in pre-clinical research and product development. But we also need to focus on bringing those new inventions to the health care market and improve global health.
Provide incentives for funding for SMEs
Over the years, many discussion platforms have been created, but we must also provide incentives and funding for small and midsized enterprise companies.
Promote professional pride and quality within Life Science
I have been actively involved in supporting the life science ecosystem in Sweden. Through my consultancy work and board positions, I have contributed to the creation and maintenance of Swedish infrastructures for life science research and development. This involvement further reinforced my belief in the importance of promoting professional pride and quality within the industry.
Looking back at your own professional life – what are you most proud of?
In one sentence, I would say – contributing to translation of science into treatments that improves healthcare
Let us end this interview with a final question. What are the best – and the worst – memories from being a serial entrepreneur?
The best memories are when the teamwork has created 1+1=∞.
The worst memories I keep in a little black book with the title “If I get rabies, whom I shall bite”
Thank you Bengt for sharing!