Patrick Lundgren – Co-founder and CEO of ATLETO

I recommend having the courage and determination to stay on your path, even when it seems hopeless. You should never lose your passion.

Patrick is a co-founder and also serves as chief executive officer of ATLETO, where he oversees the company’s user base growth, partnerships and future revenue streams. Previously, Patrick was partner at the highly recognized marketing firm Agenda Group, where he worked with international brands, such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Ecco. Patrick also served as tournament director for The Danish Golf Federation (DGU), where he brought the world’s number one ranked women’s golfer, Annika Sörenstam, to Denmark for her final career tournament. Additionally, he was a renowned commentator for Eurosport, the most recognized European television sports network.

Where did the idea for ATLETO come from?

I have been living this product for the last 25 years, setting up sports activities for my friends and bringing everyone together. I was initially inspired with how easy people “matched” on Tinder, and wanted to create a platform where the end result was an activity partner instead of romance.

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

I start each day embracing the idea of carpe diem, fueled by my passion for work. Every day is an opportunity to make our product better and build relationships with potential partners who align with ATLETO’s mission. To ensure I am productive each and every day, I center myself by going to the driving range as it helps clear my mind before or after a long day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

ATLETO is very much based on real-life experiences. Having engaged in sports as much I have, one develops an understanding about what shapes a great sporting experience. All of our ideas for starting ATLETO came from looking at the things we love about playing sports. Aside from personal passions, we listen to user feedback and implement new features based on the things they ask for. At the end of the day, ATLETO is our user’s playground

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m interested in the shared economy and how we are utilizing each other’s property to get more out of life. Our tagline “sport together” speaks to this as it resonates perfectly in the progression towards a more social community and away from individualizing everything.

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

I first make a list of everything I need to accomplish and once I have completed that, I communicate with our users to get their feedback and ensure we are on track with what we should be focused on next. I´m a very positive and enthusiastic person that only sees solutions not obstacles.

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

When I graduated from college, I took a summer job selling printer parts. We called a few of our clients to tell them they won a prize, only to learn the “prize” was meant to initiate conversation and would never be sent. Working there for one day taught me that you will never succeed in any aspect of business (or life) without honesty and integrity. Today those values are core to ATLETO and how we conduct our business.

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

I would learn more about UX development and architecting the backend for our product. We had some missteps with early development partners that set us back and if I would have had a better understanding of the technical details this could have been avoided. However, the good news is that we found a great partner in Mustache – our current agency based in Copenhagen.

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

I recommend having the courage and determination to stay on your path, even when it seems hopeless. You should never lose your passion.

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

You need to know what your strong business attributes are and then assemble a solid team of people around you that can better execute where you are less knowledgeable. This level of expertise shared across team members will help grow the business towards success.

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

I thankfully have not had any major failures to overcome. This is because when things don’t go as planned, I choose to move on to bigger and better things rather than view them as failures.

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

I would like to see athletes be able to create their own sports events in the future, taking online connections offline into venues established by the company.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I love to play ping pong, it is both competitive and fun at the same time.

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

Our company uses iOS development tools as well as Parse for our web service and backend. Parse is an easy and intuitive tool to work with, not being rigid and very defined in its structure.

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

My good friend Thomas Wedellsborg’s book, Innovation as Usual, is a must read. It empowers its readers to stay innovative and change their outlook on how to approach everyday challenges.

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

My two biggest idols are my dad and my grandfather. I am also inspired by David Beckham and his charity soccer trip spanning seven continents in 10 days, designed to encourage kids around the world to participate in sports.


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