FW07: Berivagus & why we let non-founders join

· 2 min read
FW07: Berivagus & why we let non-founders join
Members of Sthlm Founders Coral gather to celebrate midsummer

For most founders, Midsummer means a break from the grind. One founder from our community used the pause to do a three-day vipassana retreat. Another got “kidnapped” by his family to make sure he left his laptop behind.

But some startups size the midsummer moment to put their product on display. Indeed, this week’s founder award goes to the man who epitomizes product-party-market fit: Bernhard Smedberg.

Bernard Smedberg holding grapes near his new Berivagus champagne house in Champagne

Founder of the recently launched Berivagus champagne house, Bernhard embodies founder-market fit for champagne. Since he started working with wine more than a decade ago, Bernhard has developed an encyclopedic knowledge of grapes, the Champagne region, and wine more broadly.

Last fall, he launched his champagne house in the heart of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, right next to the Clos Saint Mesnil vineyard. I had the chance to taste the product during midsummer, and among all the amazing memories this weekend, Berhard’s passion for his craft left the biggest impression.

Berivagus recently closed an oversubscribed investment round, and the product will be available for order at Systembolget soon. Congratulations to Bernhard and team.

Why we let non-founders  join

Sometimes, founders who join our community ask why we let non-founders join. It’s true: Sthlm Founders Coral isn’t an exclusive club; it’s a community that welcomes a wide range of builders–people who we call “founders past, present and future.”  While our target market remains current founders, we let others in because we consistently see positive things occur when ambitious people of all walks come together. Here’s one story to illustrate the point:

Earlier this year, when Hamed launched our founder community Discord, he created a channel for founders to post opportunities, job openings, and other requests.

Two weeks ago, I posted a request that read “Needed: Noodle-eating CEO.” The post said that one of the VCs in our community was looking for a hungry, humble, young person to lead the turnaround of a startup in his portfolio. The turnaround CEO would need to be willing to live off ramen noodles in the early days—relentlessly devoted to cost-cutting, in other words.

Immediately, three young leaders from our community responded.

Last Friday, the VC spent all day interviewing one of these candidates, a young women from our community who recently finished a two-year stint as a startup Chief of Staff. “I’m really impressed that you were able to find such high-quality candidates so fast,” he said.

That’s the power of bringing ambitious people together. That’s the power of culture. Our culture attracts people with a growth mindset. And when you belong to a culture like this, you never know what kind of opportunities you’ll find.


📍 27 June - July 1 | Almedalen | Visby | We’re proud that SFC member and Vitala co-founder Lisa Aasa will be on stage Thursday, 29 July to discuss a report she wrote about unnecessary administrative tasks in healthcare. Check here event out here: https://healthpolicy.se/almedalen-2023/

Submit corrections, feedback, or ideas for this update to me, Vincent Weir.