In this week’s post, we will profile the third of our Dojo companies. In recent decades, the news industry has gone through unbelievable changes, from print to online, to social; Content Central, an Umeå-based startup initially invested in by our partner Almi Invest, is trying to redefine this space yet again. We sat down with Founder Joachim Ljungkvist to learn more about Content Central and how they’re trying to create a marketplace for freelance journalists to sell their work.
500: What is your company, and what do you do?
JL: I’m the founder and CEO of the online platform Content Central. We provide a service where freelance journalists can sell their articles to media outlets. It can be interviews, movie reviews, travel reports or other stuff – mostly text combined with images. We bridge the gap between freelancers and publishers in a fast, effective and secure way.
500: How did the idea first come about?
JL: I’ve had the idea for over eight years now. At that time I was an editor-in-chief of a magazine, and getting closer to the deadline it was quite common that we realized that we needed more content – but had so little time. What I needed was a service where I could browse, buy and publish articles instantly. After a few years the time was right to actually start building that kind of service myself (with my team).
500: What made you apply for the Dojo, and what is the main take away from the journey so far?
JL: In a couple of months we will launch Content Central internationally. So far we have been evaluating the service on the Swedish market and now we are ready to face the world. Since the Dojo is quite focused on growth and marketing principles, it suits us very well at this stage. We have learnt a lot and the knowledge will really help us on our upcoming journey.
500: As a founder, what has been your most exciting moment?
JL: As a founder, I must say that every day is exciting – but the number one moment was perhaps the very first paying customer. On the other hand, after proof of concept it’s really exciting right now when we are preparing the platform, our team and all the processes to fit for an international market. Challenging, but fun and exciting!
500: What has been your biggest challenge so far, and how did you handle it?
JL: One of the biggest challenges a startup can have is time. Or rather lack of time… If you have limited fundings (as most of us have), you can’t grow the team as fast as you would like to. Since stuff always takes a lot of time and with a small team everyone has a lot to do – it can be a bit frustrating that your progress can be a bit slow. Either you work even harder – but the day has limited hours – or you have to find a way to manage it. In our case out team has grown slowly, but we are raising funds right now to double our team.
500: Any advice for any aspiring entrepreneurs that are reading?
JL: This is a fact: things take more than twice as long as you think, cost twice as much as you have budgeted for – and the revenues are half of what you expected. But do not give up – everything is possible if you want it badly enough. You will have to fight for it, so prepare yourself!
500: Lastly, give us one fun fact about yourself!
JL: During the weekends I try to only work for a half day. The rest of the time, me and my girlfriend spend all the time in bed watching TV series on Netflix – from early morning (the cat wakes us up at 6 am) until we fall asleep late at night.
Despite having to travel to Stockholm from Umeå every week for the Dojo program, Joachim and his team have been constantly eager and energetic. It is this kind of passion and drive that we like to see in the companies that we work with. And we expect to see some great things from Content Central in the coming fews in anticipation of their global launch! Good luck guys!