Hi Tanmoy, could you start by telling us what the word innovation means to you?
The word ‘innovation’ for me is when you have an idea – it can be anything in your mind; a product or business or whatever – about how things should be and you pursue that idea.
The EIT champions innovation and entrepreneurship through various activities, with the aim of supporting Europe’s competitiveness at global level and growth. Why do you think these two areas are so important for Europe’s future?
I think we need innovators to drive development forward. I think research is key in everything we do. I come from a university background, and innovation and research is what pushes development forwards.
You’ve worked in different places around the world – Brazil, Africa and your current company is Swedish – so you’ve got lots of international experience. Do you think Europe can rival the US and the Far East in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation?
Absolutely. I work a lot in the States so I think we can definitely rival them, but we need to have better incentives and not just in terms of venture capital. For instance, stock option plans. Give employees appealing incentives to keep them in our companies. Make it easier for people to relocate. For us as a company, we’re not just scouting for talent in Sweden or Scandinavia or even Europe – we want to be able to attract people from anywhere in the world. And we have to have a process where it’s very smooth for us, as ventures, to enable us to compete with other parts of the world. I think it’s very crucial.
Have you got quite an international team at Greenely?
Yes, we speak 10 different languages at our office. We’re 9 full-time employees, with a total of 15 people in the company. Diversity is key to building a united culture in our team.
And that leads us to Greenely as a business. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and also what inspired you to set up Greenely?
In 2013 I started my Master thesis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Our job was, together with a consultancy firm, to create a smart city concept for a city in Sweden. I had travelled to Kenya, Brazil and looked at urban planning and how we could make cities more efficient, and I wanted to bring IT into that. So we created a city concept and we saw that there was a lot of potential in the field of energy visualisation. We wrote a business plan for a competition, got to the finals and took it from there.
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