Westwood & Wilshire provides executive search services for world-changing companies. Their clients are primarily venture capital-backed startups and fast-growth companies in the life sciences-, health care- and advanced technology industries. They are based on the U.S. West coast and work nationwide as well as internationally. Now, SACC San Diego has met with Andrea Tegstam, not only an executive recruiter & director at Westwood & Wilshire but also Swedish, for a deeper insight into Westwood & Wilshire.
Could you please tell us about Westwood & Wilshire and your role as an executive recruiter & director? What are your major responsibilities and what are the company’s plans ahead in regards to the pandemic?
As an executive recruiter, I work closely with our clients to understand their market, attract and engage top talent, and manage the recruiting process until the winning candidate joins the company. It is very exciting to work closely with such innovative leaders and teams and to help grow these great companies. I am also Director of Westwood & Wilshire’s International Practice. With my background as a native Swedish and having lived 10 years in Japan and throughout Europe, I’m passionate about helping international clients as they grow on the U.S. market. With Westwood & Wilshire’s great track record of helping Life Science startups engaging leaders across functions and specialties, we are especially focused on speaking with high-growth Nordic life science companies and this was one of the triggers to join SACC-San Diego.
As people and talent is our core competence, we are putting extra effort into helping our clients navigate these challenging times. These days, HR is increasingly driving changes to the way organizations work and plan for the future. We are part of this dialogue both offering new services and hosting webinars with companies offering tools and solutions to help organizations navigate.
What has, according to you, been the biggest challenge vs. the greatest reward with working outside of Sweden?
This is my second time living in the San Fransisco Bay Area and the biggest reward working here is, to me, the abundance of possibilities and the feeling of being at the forefront of innovation. I moved to the North Bay, joining Westwood & Wilshire, an employer offering great flexibility with remote work. One of the biggest challenges I see for double-working parents is finding relevant jobs, which allow flexibility to manage family logistics and needs. I do miss many components of our Swedish welfare in the U.S. system and I believe these “deficiencies” have become even more evident in the current crisis.
What would your advice be for someone who has thoughts of expanding their business to the U.S. market?
Expanding your business to the U.S. market is for many companies a very big decision and a decisive step into scaling the company. My advice is to use all the great resources available such as SACC, NIH, Business Sweden, the Embassy, and consulates to engage with the community and learn from others. Choosing the best location for your business, understanding the laws and regulations, etc. are crucial steps and decisions, which these great teams can support. Engaging your first local employee (which is especially important once you start business development and sales) is what Westwood & Wilshire does best. We also offer HR support and advice as well as a network of experts and investors.
Westwood & Wilshire is one of the newest corporate members to SACC San Diego, how has SACC San Diego helped facilitate your business?
Our experience as a corporate member of SACC San Diego has been great so far. This has for sure been a very unusual year, which has made in-person meetings impossible. The SACC team has managed very well and we were very happy to join the webinar held in June on “Dealing with uncertainty” together with Captario. We look forward to more interaction during the fall and to supporting the SACC community. Please reach out for any need, question or concern you may have regarding recruiting, HR, and networking.
We look forward to hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.westwoodwilshire.com
Want to learn more about Westwood & Wilshire and their work? Check out our webinar with them from earlier this spring, click here.
We are happy to present our newest corporate member: Upwork Inc.
Upwork is the leading online talent solution transforming professional staffing by empowering businesses with flexible access to quality talent, on demand. Matt Rossi, who we spoke to from Upwork, described Upwork as; "...a dating service for freelancers and designers".
Through Upwork´s matching technology and services, companies have access to a global pool of proven professionals so they can scale their team dynamically to meet business needs. The community of independent professionals working via Upwork spans many categories including software development, creative & design, finance & accounting, consulting, operations & customer support - 0ver 8000 skills are represented.
Unlike other businesses that have struggled during the Pandemic, Upwork has seen increased traffic and higher demand for their services. As a result of many businesses having to let go of employees, demand for freelancers has risen among employers. Since the near future still is unpredictable, some businesses find it safer to hire freelancers rather than full-time employees.
There has also been an increase in so-called part-time freelancers using Upwork. Since many of us work from home this year, some have found new ways of maximizing their work time. Writing a few articles per week after traditional work hours is just one of many ways to make some more money as someone trying out the services.
Both business and anyone who has marketable skills can benefit from using Upwork.
Visit Upwork to get started and get In-demand talent on demand.
Are you interested in an internship at the Chamber but not too sure about what it entails? If so, do yourself a favor and ease your mind by learning a little bit more about the work.
We will throughout this fall, talk to former interns aka SACC-SD Alumni to hear about their experience in San Diego. Some will be shorter Q&A´s while some will go more in-depth about careers following their time at the Chamber.
First out is Pelle Sandström, who absolutely killed it here, not only at the office but also with his surfing skills. Pelle is originally from Stockholm, Sweden but is now relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark after his adventures in California.
When were you an intern at SACC-SD and what position did you hold?
I worked as a Management Associate during the fall of 2018 and was in charge of the business development of Life Science which is one of the SACC-SD’s strategic focus areas.
What do you do today?
I’m currently working towards my Master´s Degree in Business Administration and Information Systems at Copenhagen Business School. Alongside my studies, I work as a junior analyst for Omnicom Media Group which is one of Denmark’s largest media agencies. Next to studying, I love testing the city’s incredible selection of restaurants and bars- as well as taking advantage of the low prices on Danish beers.
What have you learned throughout your internship?
Except from all of the things I’ve learned about San Diego’s prominent Life Science and CleanTech industry, I gained valuable real-world experience from promoting trade between Sweden and the U.S. By connecting firms with potential partners, planning & executing trade promotions for companies & incoming delegations, I have developed a professional network and achieved invaluable experience for my professional career. Moreover, I’ve learned how to surf and how much it hurts to get stung by a stingray.
Why would you recommend applying for an internship at SACC-SD?
I can’t come up with a single reason not to apply. San Diego is definitely one of my favorite cities in the U.S. The beaches, the friendly people, the surf, the sunsets, the hikes, and the fish tacos are just a tiny part of what the city has to offer. All this, together with the valuable professional experience you get while working for SACC, is unbeatable.
What are two things you consider a must in San Diego?
Surfing during sunset at Tourmaline beach and the burrito at Taco Stand in La Jolla!
Thank you Pelle for being first out in this series, we look forward to sharing more stories.
If you would like more information about our internships or chat with one of the current interns don't be shy! You can find our contact information here
The pharmaceutical industry is today facing tougher competition and regulations than ever before. One company that has countered these challenges in drug development since 2012 is Captario.
The Swedish company is specialized in using AI, advanced modeling and simulation to improve strategic decision making in the pharmaceutical industry.
Captario started in a Swedish hub - Sahlgrenska Science Park and is now globally active. As one of SACC-SD´s Life Science Members, we met with Erik Post, President at Captario to learn more about their U.S. expansion.
What made you want to expand your business to the U.S. market? We target the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world - helping them make more informed investment decisions in their drug development. These companies are all represented in the U.S., therefore, we naturally wanted to establish our business close to where they are located.
What have you learned from starting a business in a new region? We have realized that all locations have their own business ecosystem. For this reason, we cannot overestimate the value of building relationships locally.
What has been the biggest challenge VS. the greatest reward with expanding your business? Staffing and legal costs in the U.S. are quite high, which can be a challenge when creating a budget for a Swedish startup. That being said, these investments have proven to yield great benefits.
How has SACC-SD helped you to facilitate your business in this new market? SACC-SD has helped us tremendously in gaining traction on the U.S. market. We have received help in setting up customer meetings, as well as, having webinars marketed through the Chamber. We have also been helped to gain more exposure on social media and through SACC´s website.
What would your advice be for someone who has thoughts of expanding their business to the U.S. market? Having at least one vested person on the ground, someone from, or with a background from Sweden can be of great help. Get in touch with SACC and take other professional help as needed. This might seem counterintuitive to a “Can do it all myself” Swede, but it will make your journey smoother. Specifically, get U.S. legal and accounting assistance early on, as well as consider using a SaaS solution for payroll and HR.
Want to learn more about Captario and their work in addressing the major points in the drug development process? Check out our webinar with Captario from earlier this spring, click here.
SACC-SD would like to highlight Aloha Printing this month for their contribution to our local community during Covid-19.
Aloha Printing normally specifies on commercial printing demands for offices, smaller growing businesses, and established corporations.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the business has been down significantly despite commercial printing being deemed as an essential business.
These past months, Aloha Printing has concentrated its efforts on helping clients conform to State Issued mandates. For instance, producing signage, wall and floor adhesives, banners, outdoor signs, and much more. The company has also adjusted its production and used its equipment to make sneeze guards to protect workers at their desks and customer service counters.
Furthermore, aligned with SACC-SD´s focus on CleanTech & Life Science, Aloha Printing believe that;"...we are all stewards to this planet". Hence the company providing a complete line of recycled stocks in all finishes and coatings.
The liners include papers that originate from Forest Certified Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Council, Rainforest Alliance, and Green Certified mills. Along with these environmentally friendly materials, they also use soy-based inks and recycle.
Reach out to Aloha Printing if you need printing, graphic design, thermography, mailing services, banners, trade show displays, or anything related to commercial printing.
If you are looking for high quality and expectational service, plan a safe Zoom meeting today.
Aloha Printing has been under George Burrola´s ownership since 1988 and is based in San Marcos, CA.
Click here for website and contact information.
SACC-SD had the pleasure to sit down with Fredrika Syrén from The ZeroWasteFamily for a Q&A to learn about her sustainable lifestyle. The main takeout from our conversation is that we all can start building a conscious shift towards sustainability. One can contribute in at least one way or another, whether it is by eating more plant-based or consuming less. Because just like Fredika believes: "Take it one step at a time, the change cannot happen overnight".
Q: When and why did you start your lifestyle?
A: We were living in Sweden back in 2015 when we committed to go zero-waste. The reason is to fight for our children’s future. Me and my husband James believe that we’re raising the next generation and we want to not only save the planet for them but also be good role models for our children to inspire them to continue the fight and to live a sustainable life.
Q: What does it mean for you to live a zero-waste lifestyle?
A: Essentially, we refuse what we do not need and reduce what we do need and make choices and try to live with as little impact on the planet as possible. If we can compost or recycle it—we don’t buy it. So we prefer things that are package-free, and anything reusable.
Q: What has been most rewarding about your lifestyle?
A: Our zero waste lifestyle saves us $18,000 a year which is a lot of money. As a result, we can both work part-time, mostly from home, and be home with our children when they are on break. When they are on summer break, we’re spending all our time with them. This has given us more family time and made us a stronger family. Also, during this pandemic, it helped us to be self-reliant and budget-friendly so we’re not as impacted by the lockdown as many others. Most of our food grows in our 400 square foot backyard garden, which plenishes many of our meals. I have to say, feeding my kids homegrown food is a huge reward
Q: How can an everyday person live more sustainably?
A: Take one step at the time and set up your personal goals. Look at what is in your trash bag and see how you can reduce it by either replacing it with a reusable alternative or maybe even skip it altogether. Find low-waste and zero-waste social media accounts and get inspired by them. Join a zero-waste social media group and meet other people also wanting to live more sustainable.
Q: What is something that easily grows in San Diego that one can grow on their balcony or backyard?
A: We’re so lucky to live in a warm climate like San Diego where we can grow all year round. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and kale are easy to grow here and can grow even in a small yard or balcony.
Q: Out of these four ways of living (zero-waste, plant-based, gardening, and minimalism), which one do you believe is easiest to adapt when shifting to a sustainable lifestyle?
A: It all depends on your personality but for us, plant-based was the first thing we began with. Reducing waste might seem like an impossible task but truth to be told, it is a lot easier than it seems.
Thank you so much, Fredrika, for taking your time and inspiring others to live more sustainably.
If you want some more inspiration on how you can start living a zero-waste life, check out the e-book “Zero Waste for Families”- a practical guide with lots of tips and recipes for steps to begin reducing waste and save money with little effort.
Click here to join the journey!
This week, we would like to introduce our bright and shining Board Member, Patty Carran!
Patty has been on the Board with SACC San Diego since Januari 2018."I have found the Swedish-American Chamber to attract the most amazing people to work with. What draws me to SACC is the community of like minded business owners focused on environmental sustainability from both Sweden and the U.S."
Patty is an experienced art director, marketer, and business owner with a career spanning over thirty years. Throughout her career, she has gained professional experience in branding, UI & UX design, advertising, and digital marketing while founding and serving as the art director at her full service marketing agency, Green Biz Marketing.
- What is your favorite thing about living and working in San Diego?
"Living north of San Diego county, I find San Diego a wonderful city that´s full of beauty, plenty of things to do, and an overarching drive to preserve the environment."
- Best Swedish meal?
"I absolutely love Swedish Meatballs with noodles.That is one of my favorites. The second Swedish specialty I crave is Rebecca Janzon´s Janssons frestelse (Swedish potatoes with anchovies)."
Thank you, Patty! We love having you on the SACC-Board.
Coala has accelerated through Covid-19 by expanding the team, doubled the footprint in the US with a new sales partner, and signed on a few large new healthcare customers in the midst of the storm.
Coala Life is a digital health company founded in Sweden on a mission to develop patient-centric medical solutions. The company is digitally transforming the field of cardiac diagnostics with a portfolio of CE- and FDA-cleared solutions based on the COALA Heart Monitor, a cloud-based and device driven solution powered by smart algorithms and AI to predict and prevent cardiac disease. The COALA is used by thousands of patients and over 200 connected providers in Europe and the company just recently launched in US with local headquarters in Irvine, CA.
The Swedish Native Philip Siberg is the President and Co-Founder of Coala, and he moved to Southern Califronia to head up the US expansion for the company.
"Southern California is the world's epicenter of medical device and life science development. Equally, the local market is among the largest and most early adoptive in the world, so it's a good breeding ground to leverage on"
Thank you for being part of the SACC-community!
Did you miss our Webinar with Coala Life we did in April? Watch the full recording with Coala below!
Last week, Sweden celebrated its dearly beloved tradition 'Midsommar'. Wheather you are a Swede in the region Dalicarlia and wearing your traditional national gown, or if you are a Swede abroad somewhere: the tradiditon and celebration of Midsommar is a must.
In agrarian times, Midsummer celebrations in Sweden were held to welcome summertime and the season of fertility. It was not until the 1900s, however, that this became the most Swedish of all traditional festivities. Midsummer Eve is usually celebrated in the countryside with friends and your whole family gathering to eat, drink and dance together. A typical Midsummer menu features different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives, and for dessert the first strawberries of summer, with whipped cream.
PS. Some of you may have seen the movie "Midsommar" where a group of Americans travel to their Swedish friend Pelle to celebrate Midsommar. The film shows "how Swedes celebrate midsommar" with rituals, sacrifices and other events, we can assure you that the movie is very far from the real tradition. Read about it here ;-)
The Spring team of 2020 want to thank the entire SACC- San Diego organization, our brilliant Board, our devoted members and last but NOT least our President Ted and Chairman Hans. We have had an amazing time and even with cancelled events and everything going virtual, we had so much fun and learned an incredible amount through our work with the Chamber.
Covid-19 has effected us all in some way or another. Not only are people getting ill, but families and individuals with small businesses are facing extreme difficulties as the US economy is seriously damaged by the aftermaths of the pandemic. San Diego Regional EDC, in partnerships with San Diego and Imperial SBDC, have commissioned a broad team to develop detailed guides to help small businesses reopen. There are different guides depending on what line of business you are in.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our region’s economy, and employ the majority of San Diegans. In order to meet our regional goal of creating 50,000 quality jobs in small businesses by 2030, we all need to invest in ensuring small businesses have the tools they need to recover, adapt, and thrive over the coming months. Funding, technical assistance, and childcare for working parents are also important to the long term recovery and resiliency of San Diego’s small businesses."
Linked in the button below is the specific web page for small business guides by San Diego Regional EDC.
Happy Friday! Time for a new Board-presentation- Alfonso Limon! Alfonso has been on the SACC-SD board since 2018.
Alfonso has a BS in Mech Engr, MS in Math and PhD in Comp Sci at SDSU/CGU. He spent a few years teaching at the Claremont Colleges; transitioned into bio-tech, first at Impedance Cardiology Systems and at Intersection Medical as Director of Research.
"After opening the Oneirix office in San Diego, my time is spent helping clients develop next generation technologies in the intersection of engineering, data science and medical applications"
-What's your favorite thing about living and working in San Diego?
The family move to San Diego a century ago; during the Great Depression they moved across the border and founded the first newspaper. My parents moved back to San Diego in 1980, so I feel almost native. My only escapade was about a decade in LA during my graduate work and where I met my wife. Great people, beaches, mountains and desert valleys, what’s not to like.
-Best Swedish meal?
I always look forward to Rebecca and Hans’ Gravlax that have become a great holiday tradition for the SACC family.
Thank you Alfonso, we love having you on the SACC-Board!
Johan Marcus, President and Executive Director at SACC-USA, was interviewed in Dagens Industri on June 4th. The interview is in Swedish and discusses the current economic status in the US in midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The interview also discusses how this in turn may effect the Swedish-American relations.
Johan Marcus- "We can see that it is almost an economy in free fall. The first quarter we did not see so much, but the second quarter we saw much clearer impact. The economy has shrunk by a quarter. The Governor (of Sveriges Riksbank) believes that it can be as much as a third"