President's letter | February 2018

erikHögberg (2).png

Dear valued members and friends of SACC-NE, 


With 2018 in full swing, I’m pleased to share with you some of the achievements we made in
2017 and plans we have in store for you this year.


Last year was a historic one for our organization – we hosted SACC Summit, the largest Swedish
American conference of the year in the country, put on 15 events including a fireside chat with
2016 Nobel Laureate in Economics Professor Bengt Holmström, a talk with Professor Max
Tegmark, the President of KTH and Sweden's Minister of Education, and many more.


What we learned is that our community is starving for interesting, cutting edge content and
access to a high quality network that will either lead to valuable business opportunities and/or
new meaningful connections. For us, that meant developing deeper partnerships and programs
with Sweden’s Consulate of New York, the US Department of Commerce and Trade, SACC-USA,
SwedenBio, KTH, KTH Innovation, Business Sweden, IVA, local international chambers of
commerce and Boston’s Chamber of Commerce. We’ve done so with the goal of serving as the
landing hub and platform for all things related to Swedish-American business in the region.
More recently, this has extended to expanding our network to other Nordic players –
something we are excited to share with you in the coming months.


With strong partners in place, we are working harder than ever to crystallize our offering for
our Professional Members and Corporate Members, who are the lifeline of our organization.
We’re especially committed to highlighting the impressive and inspiring work our Corporate
Members and Partners are doing to facilitate trade and investment between Sweden and the
United States. In doing so, we have worked to improve our offering to be one that is more
closely tailored to our members’ respective needs and goals. Moving forward, you will see more
of our Corporate Members highlighted in our newsletters, social media, and blogs while
participating as speakers and/or panelists at our events in an effort to produce programs and
content that is uniquely relevant to our community.


Below are just some of the topics we will introduce in our events and programs:

  •  Self-driving
  •  Cryptocurrencies
  •  Net neutrality
  •  Leadership
  •  Cultural awareness
  •  Biotech
  •  AI

On a personal level, I am truly excited to see how SACC-NE has transformed and grown over the
last few years. We are committed as a team to celebrate Swedish innovation, talent, culture,
and success and even more so to serving as the business bridge between Sweden and New
England.

I look forward to seeing you at our future events!

At your service,
Christina Björnström

President, SACC-NE

SACC-NE's In Focus Series #1 | Marcus Dahllöf

marcusdahlof.png

In this first edition of SACC-NE's In Focus, we meet the Program Director of the MIT Startup Exchange and fellow Swede Marcus Dahllöf

Marcus, a former elite rower, is a two-time tech entrepreneur with one exit to his name. In 2016, he took the position as the Program Director of the MIT Startup Exchange, which serves to connect Global1000 corporations with MIT startups through events, an online platform and an accelerator program.

Having both consulted for companies and mentored for the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, we decided to pick Marcus' brain about different entrepreneurial and startup topics given his vast experience in the sector.

Tweet-sized elevator pitch on who you are?

Strategist and innovator helping build tech startups that make the world better.

Boston and Stockholm both have a vibrant startup culture. What is the big thing that sets them apart? 

MIT, where I work, is defined by incredibly deep technology expertise and discipline in building a company.  I haven’t seen that in many other places.

If you could travel back to the first day of your first startup, what advice would you have given yourself? 

Look for a great team, that is the proxy for everything, whether problem solving, fundraising or attracting further talent.  After that, just do it, ask for permission later.

What are some common traps you see younger entrepreneurs getting caught in?

Building consumer apps that solve “convenience” problems without underlying hard tech.

Best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs with no startup experience?

Work at a rapidly growing company, look for opportunity to wear many hats.

Introducing our New Intern: Erik Högberg

erikHögberg (3).png

On January 17th, SACC-NE had the pleasure of welcoming Erik Högberg to the Operations team, as the Chamber's Project Management & Strategy Development Intern.  

Erik joins us directly from Linköping University, where he is pursuing his Master's of Science degree in International Business and Economics. He has plenty of non-profit organizational experience, with a chairmanship at the Linköping district's Swedish Young Shareholders' Association being his latest commitment before leaving Sweden for the U.S. Being of both Swedish and Greek descent, as well as having professional and educational experience from both France and Canada, Erik is passionate about international trade and looks to bring that passion into his work at SACC-NE. 

We are beyond excited to be able to welcome him aboard! Get to know Erik a bit better by taking a look at the brief interview that we conducted with him after a couple of weeks on the job: 

What made you want to join SACC-NE? 

- I am always in a self-improving state of mind and actively search for opportunities to develop and improve myself further. This internship not only exposes me to how different businesses, in both the U.S. and Sweden, function but also provides me with tangible, real-life knowledge and experience from a dynamic market such as Boston. For someone who is constantly curious and wants to learn more about business and international trade, this was truly the perfect fit. 

 If you had to summarize your time at SACC-NE so far in one word, what would it be?

-  Shangri-La (chuckles). On a more serious note though, it has truly been everything I wished for and I am incredibly excited to continue working alongside the Operations Team, as well as continue interacting with the fantastic community that is the SACC-NE Network. 

Any advice for newly arrived internationals in the Boston area?  

- Keeping in mind that Swedes generally like keeping to themselves more than Americans do, I believe it is important to be open-minded and not to get too comfortable in everyday life. The word "yes" should be your best friend as opportunities to connect with new people and experience new things are always around the corner. 

Where do you see yourself in the future?

- Hopefully in an international business setting, getting to work with management and organizational culture/psychology questions. On a personal level, I still see myself rooting for my Carolina Panthers, exploring all the hiking trails that I possibly can and keeping my coffee addiction up and running. 

Midsummer 2017

Pictures from SACC NE's Midsummer Celebration at The Scandinavian Cultural Center in Newton!

According to Swedish tradition we decorated the midsummer pole, made flower wreaths, played traditional games and danced around the pole to authentic accordion music by Dan Mackowiak.

Thanks to beantrustFjallraven Boston, Boda Borg Boston and to everyone who came and celebrated with us!

SACC-NE Fireside Chat with Nobel Laureate Professor Bengt Holmström

On April 25, 2017 the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC-NE) hosted an exclusive "fireside chat" with Professor Bengt Holmström, one of the winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The event took place at SACC-NE's offices at 50 Milk Street in the heart of downtown Boston. After mingling and networking SACC-NE President Christina Björnström gave introductory remarks that highlighted SACC-NE's current initiatives in strengthening the bonds among the Nordic communities in New England. This fireside chat was one of SACC-NE's first opportunities to bring the region's Finnish and Swedish communities together and celebrate Professor Holmström, who hails from a Swedish-speaking region in Finland.

SACC-NE also had the honor of hearing from Leonard Kopelman, Honorary Consul General for Finland and Dean of the Consular Corps serving Boston and New England. Kopelman elaborated on Professor Holmström's achievements as well as presented Professor Holmström's gift: a donation to UNICEF that covers a desk and bench for students in Malawi.

Professor Holmström kicked off the fireside chat with a short description of contract theory and how it affects almost all aspects of our lives. A discussion between Holmström and SACC-NE's Global Human Capital Advisor Michèle Barnett Berg followed, touching on topics such as incentives in the workplace, the sectors that are most vulnerable to multitasking scandals, and contracts between politicians and constituents. Audience members also had the opportunity to pose questions to Professor Holmström.

The evening concluded with a second opportunity to mingle and take pictures with Professor Holmström. SACC-NE would like to thank everyone who attended and participated by asking thoughtful and insightful questions.

SACC-NE would also like to extend a special thanks to Miller's Ale House Watertown who graciously sponsored food for the evening.