Q&A with Tor-Håkon Hellebostad, COO and Co-Founder of Globus AI. Part One
In this interview series we asked the founders of Globus AI some tough questions. And here is what they had to say.
Why did you choose “Globus AI” as the name of the company?
The name was partly inspired by our wish to use the concepts from circular economy, and coin a new term, circular technology, where tech solutions or parts of tech we develop are being used and reused for the greater good. Plus, we wanted to have an impact beyond Norway, we wanted to have a global impact. The name ‘Globus AI’ reflects both of these goals.
Where did the whole business idea come from?
In our previous jobs, we were building smart solutions to improve processes, workflows, and logistics. We saw that collaboration and information sharing could be greatly improved by using technology in new ways. By improving the feedback and learning loop, we could learn from user interaction, offer suggested solutions and help employees avoid solving the same issues over and over. They weren’t sharing data or learning from different data sources - which is a big problem in many sectors but particularly healthcare. We wanted to change this.
What does the business idea mean for you personally?
The opportunity to use our experience for something meaningful is very motivating. It also gives me a lot of energy to see the potential of what we are building. During the COVID-19 crisis, we have really felt this energy. It’s easier to work long days when the output has a clear positive impact on society. Personally, I have been lucky on a couple of occasions where having the right healthcare professionals around me has helped maintain my quality of life, and potentially even helped save my life. I’m healthy and active now because they had the experience, competence, and willingness to take considerable amount of risk.
What were the goals for the first year? Were they achieved?
Initially, we wanted to find out as quickly as possible if our ideas were viable from a market perspective. We were four founders who had all left our jobs, so we definitively felt the pressure to move quickly and make progress. The main goals for the first year were to establish the first version of our product on the Globus platform, finding our first customers, and making the first steps to making a positive impact on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. During the first months of 2018, we started talking to Laerdal Medical and RQI Partners (established by the American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical). It turned out to be a great match and a very successful collaboration. They helped us with product development and product feedback, and also ended up becoming our first customer. In summary, the first year definitively exceeded our expectations.
What has changed in the company since the beginning?
I would have to say the team and the people. From starting with four people, the Globus family is now richer in terms of culture, diversity, experiences and of course competence. The biggest change I’ve experienced is in bringing in specialists in different business areas who can get the work done better and more effectively. Before, all the founders had to work across multiple functions, doing it all ourselves. Now, we have a community of experts brought together to achieve our goals, working as a team towards the same ambitions.
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