VERY SPECIAL EDITION! On Thursday September 25th, Startup Grind's founder Derek Andersen, is paying Stockholm a visit to interview the energetic serial entrepreneur and mathematical wonder child John Elevesjo, co-founder and CTO of world leading eye tracking technology company Tobii. Join us for a fireside chat where Derek will guide us through a conversation on the competitive edge of Nordic innovation and invites John to share his hard won experiences on how to commercialize hi-tech research, how to fast and steady grow a global startup out of Stockholm, how to charm venture capital, and build a corporate culture that attracts top talent from all over the world.
Eye tracking company Tobii Technology was founded right after the dotcom boom in 2001 by John Elvesjö, Mårten Skogö och Henrik Eskilsson. From just SEK 5 million to live off during the first 4 years, it has lately become the prey that venture capitalists hunt for. Still actively led by the three founders out of Stockholm, Tobii has doubled it’s turnover year after year for almost a decade. Tobii today employs 650 people in Sweden (HQ), USA, China, Japan, Germany and Norway and seems to have a corporate culture out of the ordinary. Tobii is world leading in the area of eye tracking technology and commercialisation of its applications. They have won a big chunk of prestigious awards within both business, design and technology including the Red Dot Design Award and Technology Pioneers of the Year at World Economic Forum. Among its owners it counts U.S. chipmaker Intel and Investor AB, the investment company controlled by Sweden's powerful Wallenberg family, as well as venture capital firm Northzone, which also owns a stake in music streaming service Spotify. According to Swedish business daily Dagens Industri, Tobii has been in touch with investment banks to appoint financial advisers ahead of an IPO during the second half of 2014 to an estimated value of $307 million.
As co-founder and chief technology officer of Tobii Technology, John Elvesjö serves as the primary research and development director of the company. Elvesjö is an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur whose significant work in eye-tracking technology has been the bedrock of Tobii. His contributions, well documented in many research publications, have influenced the world of science in ways that are still yet to be known. Elvesjö holds 15 patents, 13 related to Tobii’s hardware and software innovations, including sensor technology, illumination methods and eye-control interaction techniques, that contribute to Tobii’s global superiority in eye-tracking technology advancements and reliability. Prior to beginning his role at Tobii, Elvesjö served as a researcher at the YKI Institute for Surface Chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and also founded Jensen Technology, a company he spun off from his research compiled at YKI. In 2008, he was named the IT Innovator of the Year, and in 2005 he received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Elvesjö studied engineering physics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.