Today we managed to capture five minutes with Sarah Nilsson. Sarah is the CEO of Measure and Change which she founded in 2018 after 25 years of practical experience in local governance and EU-funding. Measure and Change monitors greenhouse gas emissions with data extracted directly from administrative systems, and emission data from public databases. The company is based in Sweden.
Measure and Change is part of the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub program.
When and why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I have spent most of my professional life in the public sector working on sustainability and particularly the mitigation of greenhouse gases and their impact on climate. I wanted to see what would happen if I had my own company working with the same issues.
Also, I wanted to be my own boss, so I started Measure and Change, which generates climate data automatically from a company’s accounting system automatically, so that the customer doesn’t have to worry about monitoring or measuring. They can focus on mitigation activities and use this data in their annual report.
What have been the biggest challenges of your journey as an entrepreneur?
Making contact with the providers of accounting systems because we need to integrate with our customers’ systems. It’s not so easy to get people to pay attention to a woman in her 60s. It’s mostly men in the business of cloud-based accounting and ion to the customers accounting system and being a woman in her 60s, it’s not so easy to get attention and be taken seriously about mostly men in that world of cloud based, accounting and business systems. So that has been a struggle.
What advice do you have for other startups around fundraising?
If you are an impact startup or working in sustainability in some form, you should look for investors that specialize in impact companies. There are lots of investors who have already made money in the tech business that are looking now to make a positive impact and do some good. Look out also for public sector grants because there is plenty of money going to impact startups if you can be the first one with a particular offering.
What advice to you have for other founders?
There are lots of men who want to give you advice. If you try to follow every bit of advice you’re offered you will get very confused, and it will take up lots of your time. Time is very scarce when you’re a startup, so I would say that you need to think carefully about what advice and whose advice to follow.
To learn more about the benefits Microsoft offers early-stage startups, sign up today for Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub.