We’re counting down the days to the official opening of our coworking-space in Sandnes, but as we speak an awesome bunch of companies are moving in – meet one of our newest members!
Are you looking for a unique collaborative community that will help grow your business; and feeling curious about the awesome people who make up the startup-ecosystem in Sandnes? Alright, as you know we were hoping you would say that, because we're as excited as always (!!) to introduce you to yet another one of our Apache-members! Jon Arne Sæterås describes himself as a “mobile guy» He has been an active member and thought leader in the global mobile community since the late nineties.
John Arne is a developer by trade, while coding now is just done for recreation as he is now heading the Innovation and Products team at ScientiaMobile which he also financed through his previous successful startups. Now ScientiaMobile is a successful, growing, global software company. This fascinating guy is also an occasional writer, blogger, speaker, book reviewer, angel investor and startup advisor. As mentioned; you’ll find him at Apache!
Q: Now, who are YOU? Please tell us a a lot about your amazing self! (No worries, a little bit is fine too.)
I’m originally from Volda, Sunnmøre, my first real job in the army brought me to Oslo where I met the best Rogaland had to offer; My wife. Moved to Sandnes where we now have settled with family and even a cat. I’m a soccer coach for my son’s soccer team.
Q: What's the name of your awesome business/company which you will be working for/starting up?
To put it simply; I will be joining Innovation Dock as myself. I’m still not done with my first startup journey. This has spawned into ScientiaMobile which is now an international company with HQ in Reston US. I’m in charge of Innovation and Products there. This is my day job. At night I like to engage in crazy ideas, possibly as an angel investor.
Q: What does your professional background look like, education/carriers etc!
I’m really a programmer. Started my career in Telenor working with mobile communication. Then, went to New Zealand to study a business degree while simultaneously co-founding a company back in Norway where I was the inventor of the technology. This company still exists today and have spawned a cluster of connected companies in Scandinavia and also in USA. We’ve also been managing pre-såkornmiddler on behalf of innovation Norway, and investing in startups as well as starting the coworking space Bergen Works. I’m not involved on a day to day business here, only mostly as shareholder.
Other than that, I’ve mostly been working remotely and with remote teams all my career. So this Corona lockdown was business as usual. The last 10 years I’ve been working mostly in the US market, so I've spent a lot of time there. I also moved there for a short period trying to establish my startup in the the US. Today, I work remotely with teams in the US, Europe and India. Usually this requires some traveling, but not this year.. 🥳
Q: What's the focus of your business right now? Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on!
Depends if you mean my day job or night job. During the day I’m all in on growth and market penetration. At night I’m in the middle of cleaning up after a recent startup crash. (Too early to talk about 😭)
Q: What are some of the short term/long term plans for your business? (We promise not to not tell anyone, except for all the people reading this article)
Dayjob: secret. Night job; I’d love to get involved in some great ideas locally and see if I can help. Interested in everything except oil and gas.
Q: Ok, moving on to the not so secret stuff! How, and when did your entrepreneurial journey start out?
Started in Telenor in 2001 (yes this is before iPhone and even before you could send pictures with your phone). I was lucky to be working with the emerging tech “internet on your mobile” in Telenor and realised the huuuuge potential and experienced the lack of services. I started prototyping the tools and platforms for media, Ecommerce and any other content provider needed to get started. Telenor didn’t want to support this effort, so me and my boss had to quit and do this full time in a startup.
What do you believe are some qualities of a great coworking space, and how do you wish to contribute to the community at Innovation Dock?
The difference between a coworking space and a great coworking space is the mix of people, knowledge, skills, activities and energy concentrated in one place. At the same time, with all this available, it doesn’t steal focus or distract you from your goals. In a great coworking space you’re not afraid to ask for help or advice because you know the right competence is there and that you most likely will get some advice to move forward.
What makes you passionate about your work?
I’m a "simple" soul. I like to make stuff that works. Stuff that can perform some magic that makes a difference to somebody. With some skill and luck, people may even want to pay for this piece of magic.
Q: What did you learn from your experience as an entrepreneur? Any lessons learned you would like to share with us?
Hmm, it has to be to never stop learning..! However, let me get on to the more serious stuff, because there are some things which in my opinion are crucial.
- When starting up you're looking at a long journey; build something which you're passionate about!
- Find out who's your target customer, and learn how to communicate your product towards them. Do not move along further in the process, without knowing who's your customer, and how to reach them! - Distribution
– Think about how you can distribute your product/service and how you can automate this process. The service/product is secondary.