When a startup goes from being founded to being listed on Nasdaq within a year, it’s a sign of something good. Erik Gatenholm, co-founder of award-winning bioprinting firm Cellink, talks to The Local about his roller-coaster career in Sweden.

“If you have something good going you have to stick to it, not lose yourself in the moment and think you’ve made it,” Gatenholm notes while reflecting on the rapid rise of his company.

 

A bioprinting firm that is one of the first in the world to offer 3D printable bioink (liquid that allows human cells to live and grow, which can then be used in fields like cancer research), Cellink was named Startup of the Year at the 2016 edition of the Almedalen politics festival, as well as winning a prize at the 2017 Nordic Startup Awards.

 

Cellink has a multitude of different nationalities among its employees, and was founded by people with mixed backgrounds. Gatenholm himself is a Swede by birth, but American by upbringing and adopted citizenship – both his life and identity are divided between the two countries.

 

“I currently live somewhere between Gothenburg and Boston, spending several weeks each month in the latter doing business, but with roots still in Gothenburg and our manufacturing based there,” he details.

 

“I was born in Sweden, and for the first years of my life I was brought up there, then I spent the majority of my time in the US growing up. My father was a professor at Virginia Tech for a while, then he was back in Sweden. I typically followed him around, so I guess I’m a born Swede and an American at heart.”