How did you end up at Care to Translate?
Maja: I was matched by STING (a Stockholm-based accelerator for startups). I had attended the accelerator with my first tech startup some years earlier and was now searching for a new team and company in an earlier stage to join. In October 2018, I was introduced to Linus Kullänger, who had started the project and founded the company in the spring of 2018 together with Martin Schalling. The team consisting of Linus, Martin and Annie was looking for a cofounder with entrepreneurial experience and a more commercial profile. And I was looking for an impact startup, so this felt like the perfect match. We also clicked on a personal level – quite an important factor when setting the foundations for a new business. So, just two weeks after meeting Linus, I signed and joined the company as a Co-founder.
Annie: I was actively looking for a Startup to join and attended a pitch challenge in Stockholm. Linus Kullänger presented the translation app for healthcare professionals he had just created. I could immediately see the need for it, and with my background as a medical doctor and linguist student, it was the perfect match for me.
What has been your greatest single moment during the journey with Care to Translate?
Maja: This is a super hard question! Why can I only mention one? I want to mention three! 😁
– Getting Alexander Gyllensvärd onboard – he is an amazing CTO and has brought so much value to our management team, building our team and product.
– Being mentioned by Nasdaq on the Nasdaq tower in New York when the pandemic started. Care to Translate was highlighted since we opened up our product for free to assist healthcare providers in overcoming language barriers with patients, a problem that became even bigger during the pandemic since on-site interpreters were prohibited in many organizations.
– Winning a national wide procurement in Norway 2022 and starting collaborating with healthcare providers all over Norway!
Annie: When we released our app globally was a huge thing for us at the beginning of our journey. Also, winning two big procurements, Norway and Region Värmland, in 2022 has been a great step forward.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Maja: In the beginning, it can be hard to prioritize what to do since you don’t really know “who you are” and what activities will give you the best effect. The phase we are in right now is more about having good processes in place to work as scalable as possible and having the right team in place to enable that. And trying to balance the budget with our needs for accelerating and getting new superstars onboard. 😄
Annie: Going from very interested and praising users to actually paying customers that can make our operations economically sustainable. We have evaluated different business models to understand what works best for us.
Has anything specific in your personality been a key for you as an entrepreneur?
Maja: I think I would label myself as someone who likes to test new things and is all in when coming aboard, but I am also good at evaluating and changing things that do not bring the wanted effect or don’t feel like the right way to proceed. Also, I am a doer, and in the beginning, you have to do everything yourself – so there is no place for talkers or dreamers. And you can’t be afraid of doing new things or getting a little out of your comfort zone.
Annie: I think being flexible and open to working with whatever is needed at the moment is a good quality when you start with a very small team and everyone needs to handle everything. Also, being a bit stubborn is important, as not everything always goes as planned.
Your best overall advice for future entrepreneurs?
Maja: Think big, start small, act now! (Quote from Jason Jennings.)
Annie: Don’t be afraid, just do it.
Do you have any hobbies?
Maja: I am very passionate about skiing, snowboarding, sailing, traveling and arts in all their forms. I used to have these as hobbies, but now that I’m in the middle of running a startup that is starting to get more and more customers and having two kids (6 and 1,5 years old), I am not spending so much time in off-piste slopes or doing own art projects. But I do a lot of photography (pictures of my kids 😅).
Annie: Spending time outdoors with my family. Either at home in the garden or the Swedish mountains.
What will you do this weekend?
Maja: I don’t know, haha! Take a break, play with the kids and maybe hang out at a playground with the family. “Sleep in” until 6.30 am and stay up longer to watch a good show. 😉
Annie: Celebrate my birthday with my family!