EuroTrek 2001 – Stockholm!

“Harvard Business School has an international reputation of being the hatchery of the next generation of international top leaders… and right now they are very interested in the new economy and wireless… IT Sweden entice Harvard…” These were some of the quotes used to describe EuroTrek Stockholm and us HBS students in the leading Swedish business newspaper “Dagens Industri”.

After having spent 3 days in London, about 50 HBS students continued to Stockholm – the Mobile Valley – to learn about the latest developments in the wireless space. This part of EuroTrek was a combination of a conference and company visits. The first day included four panels with focus on Mobile Marketing, Location-based Services, Bluetooth and Other Boadband Technologies, and finally Mobile Services. We got to listen to and interact with high level representatives of both incumbents like Telia, Ericsson and Nokia, and start up companies like Goyada, as well as VCs like BrainHeart Capital and Affarsstrategerna.

The crowd got a good laugh when Pripps, a brewery, described how they had successfully used SMS to increase sales and brand awareness by sending guys suggestions for a “pick up line” on their mobile phones. The guys got the SMS message while at the bar, and then this would be something they could use as an introduction to a conversation with a girl they would like to talk to in the bar. So an example of a pick up line, maybe something for TGIF?, would be: “How does a fly really land on a ceiling? Does it make a roll and land, or does it make a loop in order to land on its feet?”

After an intense day with interesting panels it was time for dinner and party – the Scandinavian way! The dinner was held in a restaurant in “Gamla Stan” (the old town), and the part of the building, or should we say dungeon, we were sitting in dated back to the 16th century! A very special atmosphere! A true Scandinavian menu was put together for us. For starters we had smorgŒrdsbord with 10 various herring dishes. The CEO of e-chron, who sponsored the dinner, taught the unconsecrated how to properly drink Aquavit, say “SkŒl!”, and sing “Helan gŒr…”.

Afterwards we were served reindeer meat and finally cloudberries with ice-cream. For those of you who didn’t sit next to a Scandinavian during dinner, cloudberries are the gold of the forest and very exclusive. Even though they look like a yellow raspberry, they grow on the ground like a cranberry in the mountains. Enough biology… After dinner the group proceeded to “Cafe Opera” for drinks and disco to learn more about the “Swedish night life”.

The second and final official day consisted of company visits. The majority came along to to Kista Science Park, the Mobile Valley, to visit Ericsson. Perhaps most interesting was their 3G and Bluetooth demonstration (unfortunately, the first years missed this part). The possibilities of the new technologies are very impressive and we are all excited to follow the developments and implementations to come. The afternoon was spent interviewing or sightseeing, and in the evening the last standing EuroTrekkers danced the night away at one of Stockholm’s popular clubs.

On behalf of the Stockholm team, also including Xavier Aubry, Morten Hoegh, Adam Samuelsson and Petter Johnsson, we would like to thank you for participating in EuroTrek Stockholm. It was a real treat for us to show you our home/neighbor country. We sure had a lot of fun and hope you guys learned some things about the wireless space as well as the culture of Sweden. Hopefully, you enjoyed it as much as we did! Thanks for making this trip a success!