Peter Thorin grew up in Växjö, Småland, close to the area where IKEA has its roots. Peter started his career as a kindergarten teacher but in the 90s he decided to change his career path and in line with his “do-er” personality trait, he became a programmer. Peter is now running his own business LEAPS, a management consulting company, which he started with two friends, six years ago.
He is still residing in Växjö with his wife, daughter Tilda who runs her own company Tilda's Tea and son Oscar who is a programmer. However, they all see Portugal as a second home. LEAPS and Peter are great contributors to the annual CLS Web Summit networking event and this year will make no exception. Get to know Peter and LEAPS below or come to meet him at the Web Summit!
All roads lead to R.. Portugal! How did you end up here?
My background as an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast brought me to Portugal and Web Summit. I went to the sister conference Collision in New Orleans the year before first coming to Web Summit in 2018. During my first visit at the conference, I completely lost my voice due to harsh winds (and maybe some drinks in Baixa-Chiado). However, I immediately fell in love with the Portuguese food, wine and friendly people. Portugal has now become a second home for me and my family.
Who is Peter Thorin?
One of my first contacts in Portugal was former CLS general secretary, Elin Forzelius. She is still a dear friend of mine and therefor I thought it would be suitable to let her introduce me in a few words.
"First of all, hi to all old and new CLS members! I hope you are well and I am sure Roya is taking great care of you. If I would describe Peter with one word it would be generous. Secondly, it would be enjoyer of life. Peter shares his time and his wisdom and knowledge of food, wine, tech and entrepreneurship with those around him. He’s the last one to leave the party and always makes sure everyone around him is having a good time. You’ll never be bored in Peter’s company!"
I come from an industrial family in Småland, close to where IKEA was founded, an area which brings out people that are used to hard work and don´t complaint. I worked 10 years as a kindergarten teacher and teacher for young children. My first steps as an entrepreneur was starting a private kindergarten in 1992, but that was not possible.
Always being curios and open to learning more, I changed path and re-educated myself into a programmer. Since then, I have started, been involved and built over 15 tech companies. Interestingly, the smaller companies always did better than the bigger ones and this might have something to do with my personality. The fast working pace, hands on mentality, a bit chaotic and messy environment is where I do my best work. I love to connect with people and help others to succeed. I want to be involved and make sure things happen. Most importantly, I enjoy life and make sure everyone around me does as well along the way.
Could you tell is a little about your company LEAPS?
LEAPS is a management company that me and my two friends started six years ago. Our business focuses on companies of various sizes with the main purpose of accelerating growth and progress. Our primary focus is helping our clients with innovation and management change. Moreover, we are highly active in the startup community where we execute angel investments and support as senior advisers.
About my current role in the company. At 52 years of age, I know how to use my skills to benefit those around me and make sure things happen (and have a lot of fun on the way). I see what needs to be done and how to do it, ensuring that my projects get finished and targets are reached. Of course, things might fail but not bringing enough energy into it or not doing my best is never the reason for failure.
Do you have a favourite memory together with CLS?
Each of the venues we have had together through the years around Web summit. It is a fantastic memory and what started as a small party for friends ended up to being the Swedish party during the conference. Truly, it is a lot of fun, a great networking opportunity, and each year it develops.
What are some of your favourite things to do or places to visit in Portugal?
Visiting wineries is my absolute favourite activity. Eating food, strolling down the hills of Lisbon and enjoying the wine (and port wine).
My absolute favorite winery is Herdade da Malhadinha Nova in the Alentejo region. Every year I try to go there and stay one night at least to enjoy their wine, food and hospitality.
One of my favourite places is located in Lisbon, the Miradouro de Santa Catarina at sunset. Bring a Superbock beer and just watching the sun sink into the ocean behind the bridge.
Do you have any tips for a Portuguese person wanting to visit Sweden?
What do you think is interesting about the market in Sweden vs. Portugal from a business perspective?
In my experience, I believe the mentality in Portugal and Sweden are not so far from each other. We are stubborn and reliant people that want to do our work well. Yet, I have to explore how to do business with Portuguese companies, since currently I only do business in Sweden.
The tech talent in Portugal is an attractive market since we lack a lot of talent within tech in Sweden in relation to the demand. I also believe that our long experience in tech can be good for Portugal as well, so we are a good match.
Visit LEAPS and connect with Peter!