Episode 16: Ville Vesterinen - Lessons from a nordic serial entrepreneur - Slush, Grey Area, Swappie - becoming an Atomico angel investor & more

Leap Takers

Jun 24 2020 • 36 mins

Ville Vesterinen (@vesterinen (https://twitter.com/vesterinen)) is a serial entrepreneur from Finland. He is one of the original founders of Slush (https://www.slush.org/) - one of the world’s leading startup & tech conferences, that attracts around 25'000 attendees every year to Helsinki. He also founded Grey Area (https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/greyarea#section-overview) - a gaming company that was backed by Index Ventures (https://www.indexventures.com/), LVP (https://londonvp.com/), Lifeline Ventures (https://www.lifelineventures.com/). Ville also serves as the chairman of Swappie (https://swappie.com/en/), an ambitious young company selling refurbished mobile phones, which just raised $40M in June 2020. He is also on the boards of Maria 01 (https://maria.io/), a 70 000 m² campus for tech companies in the heart of Helsinki as well as on the board of Startup Foundation (https://startup-saatio.fi/en/), the organization that owns various initiatives supporting the Nordic startup ecosystem, among them Slush. Most recently Ville joined Atomico (https://www.atomico.com/introducing-the-atomico-angel-programme-year-2/), one of Europe's leading venture capital investors, as an angel investor to support new aspiring entrepreneurs. Ville also just started his own podcast - The Long Map (http://www.thelongmap.com/), where he explores how to live an interesting life. In this episode, we talk about the origin story of Slush, Grey Area, and Swappie. We cover Ville's learnings from being a serial founder and investor, as well as his tips for other aspiring entrepreneurs in Europe. Show notes: * 02:07 -- Intro - Who is Ville Vesterinen * 03:11 -- How Ville became interested in entrepreneurship & tech * 04:59 -- Retelling the experience of becoming an entrepreneur in the 2000’s * 07:08 -- The origin story of Slush, Europe’s leading tech conference * 10:24 -- Ville’s learnings from starting Slush and tips for founding a conference * 13:27 -- Major milestones and projects that Ville worked on so far * 15:38 -- Location-based games & Shadow Cities * 17:57 -- Swappie, refurbishing and selling second hand iPhones * 20:04 -- Learnings and advice for future startup founders * 24:46 -- Atomico Angel programme and Ville’s investing focus * 28:48 -- Ville Vesterinen’s new podcast - The Long Map * 30:32 -- Ville Vesterinen’s favorite book * 31:38 -- Ville Vesterinen’s best personal investment * 33:06 -- Advice to your 25 year old self * 34:13 -- What courage means for Ville Please follow me on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/leaptakerspodcast/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/TheRemoKyburz), and my Website (http://www.leaptakers.com/), where I post new episodes, share interesting articles I found, and blog occasionally about cool startups! Sign-up for the mailing list to stay in the loop (https://www.leaptakers.com/subscribe)! If you're enjoying the podcast, the best way to support the show is by leaving a review on Apple Podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/ch/podcast/the-leap-takers-podcast/id1468975811?l=en) or in your favorite podcast app. Special Guest: Ville Vesterinen.