Niclas Ahlström joins FundedByMe as Country Manager for Finland – Helping the Company to Maintain its Lead on the Nordic Crowdfunding Market

Niclas Ahlström joins FundedByMe as Country Manager for Finland – Helping the Company to Maintain its Lead on the Nordic Crowdfunding Market

FundedByMe is without a doubt a global company, having over 56,000 members from 166 countries. After Sweden, Finland is the biggest and most important market for the company and the team believes in its potential to grow even further. Thus far Finnish entrepreneurs are leaders in receiving cross-border investments.To capture the growth opportunities even further, FundedByMe is now proud to welcome Niclas Ahlström as the new Country Manager in Finland! ”We are very excited about having Niclas on board” says Daniel Daboczy, CEO at FundedByMe.

Daniel Daboczy adds “Finland is a very interesting market where FundedByMe has been very successful earlier. We have successfully closed many campaigns that became international successes plus a few that picked up some VC funding after having being on FundedByMe.! With Niclas in the team, joining our big network and working with Kristina Pääkönen (the previous Country Manager for Finland) we are convinced that we can grab even bigger market shares and prove why FundedByMe is the leader in crowdfunding on the Nordic Market.”

“What makes me suitable for the position is my understanding of the operations but also challenges from both perspectives – I have been an entrepreneur, taking on everything from restaurants to real estate, but also worked as an investor getting deep insight into projects within different fields. I think that the FundedByMe team is fantastic, which I feel very excited about becoming a part of” Niclas Ahlstöm says. Academically, he has a masters degree in International Management from Hanken School of Economics and has lived in London, New York and Milan, giving him a broad international experience.

Ahlström says that he always has had an interest in Crowdfunding and that he is fascinated about the way it changes the financial market and makes it easier for communities to get involved and support ideas they believe in. It minimizes the time that investors have to spend on due diligence – instead they can focus on the product or service itself and entrepreneurs no longer need to spend as much time on pitching. In addition, he strongly believes in crowdfunding bringing in expertise and experience into startups. ”Receiving money is one thing, but receiving smart money is even more important – investors are involved and can help out.”

When asking about what goals he has for FundedByMe, Ahlström says that he wants to spread the word about the company, letting more people know about their possibilities to get involved by investing in startups and starting their own ventures. ”What gives FundedByMe an edge on the market is the global approach, since the investor base is international.” He says that the Finnish economy needs strong mid level companies that can generate growth and new jobs. “It will become a win-win situation for all involved.”

The Crowdfunding market is becoming more regulated and Ahlström says that it is hard to make projections about the future. However, he is certainly positive about its growth. “If we are able to create a gigantic investor pool all around the world, where people can pool into projects everywhere – the market potential is huge. People are no longer tied to their physical position”. Ahlström says that his biggest challenge is probably making the investor pool grow.

Niclas Ahlström also adds what personal qualities he will bring to FundedByMe. ”I’m a team player who loves meeting new people. I come with an open mindset and I’m here to learn more. Also, I’m a good networker and I hope to bring in more people to the startup scene, taking crowdfunding and FundedByMe to even higher heights in Finland.” He finishes with a laugh after saying ”I’m a nice person, I’m easy to work with”.

 

Career on Wheels – AddSeat

Career on Wheels – AddSeat

“AddMovement has built an innovative and strong business helping people with disabilities to live a more mobile life. Now we are aiming for an international expansion”

– Marit Sundin, CEO AddMovement

The number of people in the EU using wheelchairs on a daily basis sums up to 7.6 million. However, technological improvements within the industry are needed. Marit Sundin, CEO of AddMovement, has created AddSeat – improving the life quality for people sitting in wheelchairs. FundedByMe is honored to participate in Marit’s success story – now being live as a loan campaign on FundedByMe. Check it out here!

Marit, how long have you been working with AddMovement and what have you done earlier? 

I have developed AddMovement since 2011. Before that, I have been working in the industry with a number of innovative projects. Since I have been using a traditional wheelchair since the age of three, I have daily been reinventing current solutions in order for me to become more mobile. Looking for solutions allowing me to be more efficient in all situations, everything from sports to carrying my children, have made me an expert. In other words, I have really explored the market and now I have successfully filled a market gap.

What are your plans for the company after the campaign closing? 

My plan is to take the company to the next level by successfully accomplish our development plans – to continue being a leading product on the market, both in Sweden and on the international arena, and still maintain an efficient balance sheet.

One thing I have learnt from working with AddMovement is that business innovation combined with passion for what you do is the foundation for having a stable development. The funding will help us to reach an executive audience at the events, reaching out to people who would benefit from using the AddSeat.

Recently, we have been overwhelmed with international requests for our product and we are still in the process of identifying new markets. Our international customers have shared valuable thoughts regarding special adjustments that would improve our product. For that reason, we also want to be able to use the funding towards implementing these changes. As a result, we would be able to offer more extensive product flexibility and mobility to our customers.

What are the biggest challenges with AddMovement right now? 

The biggest challenge is to convince people to make the investment of buying the AddSeat. There is no doubt about customers wanting the product, the problem lies within taking the financial step to invest in it.

There is a huge difference between Sweden and other countries. Sweden has a very safe social system where people with disabilities are given equipment for daily usage. Unfortunately, my product still falls under the category for leisure, meaning that it is not yet subsidized.

However, in other countries people are more willing to invest in products like ours, this due to the fact that they are not used to subsidized products within this area. We have taken many steps to convince authorities to change the categorization of our product. We strongly believe that the product has what is required for this change to be made. When reaching that goal, the Swedish market will expand enormously.

Have you received any external funding so far from other sources?

Yes, “Almi”, which is a Swedish Agency helping businesses in their creation process, has provided us with start capital.

Your loan campaign just went live – what is the plan for the next 45 days? 

We have many meetings planned with potential lenders and journalists. We are in contact with Dagens Industri and Dagens Nyheter to proudly tell people what we have accomplished. We want to make sure that people, today using wheelchairs, will be informed about how AddMovement can improve their daily life.

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What are your expectations on this process? 

Primarily, I want to spread the word about AddMovement and the knowledge about AddSeat internationally – both to individual buyers, but also broaden the knowledge to big companies. In addition, I am very excited about receiving loans since it will enable me and AddMovement to do more and reach the goals I am striving for. Crowdfunding is more than funding, it brings you ambassadors and spreads the word about the business. The campaign has been live on FundedByMe for three days now, and many people have already now shown their interest. Crowdfunding can help me reach my goal!

You have won many awards – tell us some more! Did any of them make you especially proud?  

In 2014, I became the Swedish Female Innovator of the year, which was a great milestone for me, since I have put lot of effort into making my ideas into a company. I got a lot of publicity and some commitments followed, which of course has been very fun. Also, now in September ”Tekniska Museet” in Stockholm will have an exhibition for children to be inspired to create and innovate. AddMovement and the AddSeat will be presented at the exhibition which I am both proud and excited about. It shows that any has the possibility to change our society a little bit and it encourages people to take the next step into making it real.