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Mr. Niklas Zennström works as the Chief Executive Officer, General Partner, and Founding Partner at Atomico Investment Holdings Limited. He served as a Co-Founder of Skype Technologies S.A. since 2003 and served as its Chief Executive Officer since 2003. Mr. Zennström started his professional career at Tele2. He served in various business development roles including launching and being responsible for get2net and as Chief Executive Officer of the He later co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of KaZaA. After that he founded and served as Chief Executive Officer at Joltid. He also co-founded Altnet. He serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Skype. Mr. Zennström serves as a Director at Rovio Entertainment Oy, Skype Technologies S.A., and Bohemian Wrappsody AB. Mr. Zennström has a Dual Degree in Business and M.Sc. Engineering Physics, Computer Science from Uppsala University in Sweden and completed his final year at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Source: Bloomberg  Business Week

Zennström's tips on how Sweden can become the haven for entrepreneurs

Tuesday, 23 July 2013
One of Sweden's modern day entrepreneurs, Niklas Zennström, just gave a stalk on radio Sweden on his various entrepreneurial bibliographies and identified that IT engineering and environments are some of his most cherished treasures.

The IT entrepreneur, founder of Kazaa and later Skype, tuned venture capitalist whose summer program on radio Sweden deals with the setbacks that enabled success spoke on a verity of issues that made him one of the youngest billions of the IT engineering generation. He start by giving tribute to his country of birth Sweden and why Sweden is best and how it can even be better for entrepreneurs.

Sweden is one of the best countries to start and run companies, IT billionaire Niklas Zennström identified in his summer chat on radio Sweden on Tuesday. However, the Skype founder also like to list five changes that would make Sweden even better.

An evening with Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström 2010. Image Aaltoes

The talk was over shadowed by peer-to-peer technology though punctuated with music as the IT billionaire narrates his transformation from working for Stenbeck's Kinnevik to becoming an IT man and later billionaire.

Starting from the events surrounding file-sharing site Kazaa, which was sold for a meagre amount despite becoming a leader of half of all traffic on the internet and on his failure of television venture Joltid.

Zennström also talked of his companionship with Jakob Friis co-founded of Skype in 2003, using the same peer-to-peer technology used in Kazaa. He talked about how, two years later he turned down media mogul Rupert Murdoch's bid for Skype, worth Skr6.5 billion and how he eventually accepted the eBay bid, worth Skr23 billion ($ 3.5 billion).

Then he talked about life as a billionaire - of venture capital firm Atomico, currently investing in 60 IT companies around the world, and about the philanthropic foundation that contributes to innovations in environmental protection.

Niklas Zennström has lived abroad since 1996 and developed Skype using a staff programmer from Estonia. But despite his international lifestyle, he stresses that Sweden is one of the best countries to start and run a business.

"Outside of Silicon Valley Sweden and Stockholm area is today actually the best place to start  and run a business. This is followed by Helsinki that has the most really great technology companies, "said Niklas Zennström and honour entrepreneurs such as Ingvar Kamprad, Ruben Rausing, Erling Persson, and his old boss Jan Stenbeck.

He also stresses that the Swedes are good at languages, have good universities, are practical and not particularly bureaucratic, and travel abroad more than many.
"In fact, in recent years, Sweden has been one of the best countries to start, build, and invest in new companies, even when it comes to taxes and regulations, "says Niklas Zennström.

However, he feels that there are still things still to be done to make Sweden even better. This is contained in his 5 list of items he fees need to be attained. For Sweden to really hit a full time entrepreneurial nation, his 5 steps went thus.

  • Encourage young people to apply for engineering courses. There are engineers who create wealth and build the most successful companies.
  • Encourage young people to test on entrepreneurial projects.
  • Encourage students to study abroad.
  •  Encourage people to take up employment with start-up companies. The founders of these companies need to have them best employees. Taxation of stock options for start-ups should be tax-free or at least taxed as capital gains, since these companies often cannot afford to pay the highest salaries.
  • Make it easier for companies in the early years to hire and fire employees, so that entrepreneurs are encouraged to recruit.

As said earlier, Mr Zennström drives with his wife various philanthropic activities that provide financial support to nonprofits organizations working on human rights and climate change.

He says he is personally committed to the issue of the future of the Baltic Sea region. He like sailing, and has both a world title and a victory in Round Gotland on the merit list.
If you understood Swedish language then a full details of his talk could be listen here below

Lyssna: Sommar i P1 med Niklas Zennström 20130723 13:00

by Team

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