Caspar Håkansson – Naturlaboratoriet
Caspar Håkansson - Naturlaboratoriet #1
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
Naturlaboratoriet was founded by and is driven by two biology students, Caspar Håkansson and Johan K. Jensen. Our vision is spread the joy of natural sciences, mainly biology, through art. Naturlaboratoriets main product is our newly printed version of pictures from old biology books. We use scanned versions of these pictures and print them on structured, high quality paper. The idea behind the company was spawned when we felt as biologists felt the urge to show other people the beauty that is mostly hidden in dusty libraries.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
I am a 22-year-old biology student, who just finished my third year in Lund. My hobbies include all things biology, such as birding, exploring the Swedish flora and my main interest – bats. My previous job experience is limited, I have have been working with customer service and have also done some work experience-programs as a biologist. My partner is more experienced in things like marketing, SEO and holding meetings and interviews.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
I will be spending a lot of time at VentureLabs incubator. Our main goals for these months is to increase our network of resellers and expand beyond Sweden, which means a lot of e-mailing. We will also focus a lot of energy on learning about and evaluating marketing-strategies to increase the amount of purchasing visitors in our webshop. I will try to learn as much as possible that is necessary to have the company running smoothly in the future.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
I expect us to grow and expand our market. We will have a larger amount of resellers, not only limited to Sweden but also starting to spread in Scandinavia. We will increase the amount of people that visit the website and know how to attract them. I will also increase my knowledge in important subjects that has been limited by time before, such as marketing, accounting and all things entrepreneur.
Caspar Håkansson - Naturlaboratoriet #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
My main focus has been contacting potential resellers all over Sweden. We have also updated our products and the website slightly based on customer feedback. I have learnt more about how to get actual responses and will soon follow up on those who have not answered. We have also been doing some different types of marketing which will be evaluated later to see what works best and how to optimize it.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
The amount of replies from resellers are less than expected. We knew that the response would not be as good as if we actually visited the shop in person, which is what we want to do. This is not possible since that would include a lot of traveling. It is also not the best time to do so since many shops have their vacation around this time.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
From now on we will try to follow up on a few of the shops that we contacted early. My focus will shift a bit from resellers and instead go on to evaluating marketing-strategies and taking care of more practical things, such as structuring our accounting better and planning our future collecting with artists outside of Naturlaboratoriet. A new collaboration-collection will be launched after summer and requires some planning.
Caspar Håkansson - Naturlaboratoriet #3
How did you experience the three months?
It has definitely been a lot of fun and very awarding. It has been a great experience, being given the opportunity to work as much as I have wanted with Naturlaboratoriet for three months. We have accomplished a lot and I have grown as an entrepreneur. Apart from working with the company I have also enjoyed meeting new, inspiring and driven people who is engaged in such a wide variety of fantastic projects.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
Experience-wise the hardest and most enjoyable thing is probably the same. Constantly learning about yourself and your company/idea is very rewarding. It can however be frustrating at times when you realise all the flaws that you have to eliminate during this progress because of the learning curve. A more concrete problem is getting new resellers since a lot of people are on vacation and/or usually don’t take in new products during this time, which gives us quite passive results but a lot to rely on later.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
I started out with some milestones that we wanted to achieve for the company but no real set path on how to get there. I have worked towards these goals and tried to stick to the schedule but have also branched out and sometimes focused on different things. The goals were set quite high and all of them were not reached, however a lot of important sidetracks were also taken care of. I am delighted with Naturlaboratoriets progress and will continue the work with the company
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
Never see anything as finished, always try to improve. That may seem obvious but I have learnt so much, and this has come from trying, testing and constantly improving. This includes all things, such as the way we lay out the work with Naturlaboratoriet to more “real” things, as the look of our posters and our webpage. Both have been remade during this period.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
It is hard giving a tip that’s not already a cliché. Try to get inspired, that’s when you’ll be the most productive and creative. Talk to as many different and inspiring people as possible, both new and experienced in the subject you are interested in. Set up goals, try to reach them but don’t be afraid of letting it take time.