Louise Eriksson – Founder and CEO of Vint

Louise Eriksson - Founder and CEO of Vint

Taking breaks. I go running or working out once a day, I try to take the weekends off. Doing these small things helps me solving problems and seeing things from a new light – you’re never productive if you get stuck.

Louise Eriksson is an entrepreneur and adventurer from Sweden. She recently made the move to launch her third business in the US with headquarters in San Francisco and currently serves on the board of 2 Scandinavian media companies.

Louise started her first company at the age of 19, have had one business acquired and today owns the biggest b2b ad-network in Scandinavia, a business she started and ran as CEO for the first 5 years. Louise is an avid adventurer. She has climbed some of the highest peaks in the world, visited some of the most amazing dive sites and is an fearless athlete.

Vint, Louise’s latest venture, aims to create a healthier and stronger world by enabling personal workouts for everyone, by providing a peer-to-peer platform for passionate athletes to provide on-demand personal training. Vint closed a $1.8m seed round pre-launch in January -14 from some of Europe’s most prominent VCs.

Where did the idea for Vint come from?

I´m the founder and CEO of Vint, a P2P fitness app that connects you with curated, avid athletes and instructors across the city for your own personalized workouts. Vint lets you schedule unlimited private or small group sessions at your convenience in over 15 activities.

I got to thinking about how I´ve been spending my time. Turns out that as an experienced runner and athlete, I’d been spending up to five hours a week helping friends train or find venues for their sports hobbies, and that number didn’t even include my own daily workouts. I wasn’t a certified professional, but was still high in-demand and wasn’t the only athlete who was frequently recruited to help out friends. Then it hit me: this was something that people needed, but more importantly wanted. So I drafted up the concept of Vint in her head: a company to connect passionate, athletic individuals with athletes or curious newbies looking to take it to the next level. I brought the idea to to my favorite tech guys in Sweden who were so amped about that they wanted to get to work right away. Completely on board and excited to combine her career with her longstanding passion for fitness.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I divide my days and weeks in to blocks: HR/Sales/PR/legal etc. For each block I create a to-do list, so If a task comes up that does not belong to the block I’m currently in, It goes on the list.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Ideas and being creative is what´s most fun with my work. We work in a fast pace environment and by staying a small team we can try things out fast. Bringing ideas to life is the easy part – making them work is the hard one.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m excited about how tech makes people healthier. On-demand and tailor based services gets people moving which is amazing.

I’m also impressed by the movement and happenings in healthcare through online services, and last but not least, and especially to no-ones surprise, the AI development.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Taking breaks. I go running or working out once a day, I try to take the weekends off. Doing these small things helps me solving problems and seeing things from a new light – you’re never productive if you get stuck.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I probably had more than 15 jobs before the age of 18. Working in stores, as a soccer trainer, as a croupier, as a sales manager, a riding teacher… All of them have taught me how to work with clients, how to solve problems and how important it is to build and keep your network. I started my own business by the age of 19, a online shop that was acquired 2 years later, and since then I’ve been my own boss. I don’t consider any of them the worst, but being around drunk people trying to get them to count their cards is definitely challenging…

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I´d have more mentors around and work on my skill to ask for help (it´s really hard!)

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

See the bigger picture. Don’t let the obstacles on the way get in your way.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

To scale without spending too much money is hard. We’ve been able to work around the big spend with influencers, ambassadors and a referral program which is helping us spread our brand and offer. This is one of the major challenges for a consumer facing brand and you need to be smart and creative in such a competitive market.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

At the age of 24, 6 of my 15 employees at my current start-up left the same month. They were poached, sick, had to leave for another country – etc. All at the same time. The group left felt discouraged and the numbers plumed. I was so tired and felt betrayed and sad. To my solution I booked an off-site weekend. I hired 3 ppl before leaving and invested heavily in internal culture and feel. After 3 months we we’re making better sales and revenues than ever before. A long story made short with tons of valuable lessons in it – one if them: don’t take it personal.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Go out to businesses and offer them to clean (both internally and externally) their unused supply of technical products: computers, phones, printers, keyboards etc.

Sell them second hand and share the revenue with the companies. As a corporate client I can choose to donate my share to charity or keep it in the business.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I play horse polo. Funnier fact: I suffer from Misophonia. I suffer real bad. Yes. Check it out. It’s a thing!

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I love on-demand services that makes my life easier: postmates, sprig, lyft, uber. I also tend to use smartnews as I do not read enough newspapers and articles. It keeps me up to speed.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Singularity is near. Because it is.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

The only blog or similar that I really tend to follow is

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/
http://deliciouslyella.com/

Connect:

https://www.joinvint.com/
Vint on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joinvint
Vint on Twitter: @joinvint

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