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How to become an innovative entrepreneur

News   •   May 20, 2016 13:06 CEST

Johanna Björklund

Last month Codemill’s CTO and founder Johanna Björklund was listed as one of Sweden’s 10 most innovative entrepreneurs. Indeed a highly productive person – she is running two companies alongside her work as a researcher. But what makes her, and Codemill, “innovative”?

– As an entrepreneur, I am driven by curiosity and a will to see how the technology we create in research can change people’s everyday life, Johanna says.

According to Johanna, the recent acknowledgement is largely due to Codemill. Aiming to be a great place for great developers, simple as it may sound, there is a lot behind it.

The power of your own team

Codemill is, and has always been, an employee driven company. We hold many strong wills and ideas, and try to seize them in the best possible way. The colleagues drive the company’s evolution through internal groups such as “the Process Group” and “the UX Group”.

Your partners are your best friends

An important success factor is partners. We have been working closely with Cantemo and Vidispine, two Swedish companies that share our technical ambitions. Working together has been essential to being truly innovative.

We also have great support from Uminova Innovation, the incubator that raised us. “Never forget where you came from” is a very accurate way to put it. Worth mentioning is also the business development training Johanna and Rickard attended: Born Global at Chalmers, Silicon Valley Market Access, and Global Access Program at UCLA just to mention a few. They were all about learning how to build and sell products on a global market.

Close ties to the academia

Johanna has been involved in several EU-projects, both through Codemill and as a researcher at Umeå University. Two big projects right now are MICO (Media In COntext) and ProCAMS (Promoting Augmented Video Services) – both focusing on technologies for advanced video and media analysis. By keeping a close relation to the university we make sure cutting edge research is readily available. Also, the computer science students are vital for our recruitment.

Today, 20 May, Johanna is taking yet another step in her academic career: she is giving her docent lecture. The theme is ”Computational Text Classification” – something that can be applied to e.g. automatic document sorting, writer identification, and spam classification. It involves techniques such as recursive neural networks.

Keys to innovation

Altogether the people you work with (partners, colleagues, and others) and close ties to the academia are key ingredients to Codemill’s innovative spirit and reasons why Johanna received this scholarship from Åforsk and SISP. You can read an interview with her here (in Swedish!) and get more info about the award.

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