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Sebastian Harung’s Odyssey: From Investment Banking to Revolutionizing Investment with Kameo

Sebastian Harung’s Journey: From Banker to Kameo’s Visionary Leader

In the latest episode of “The Bright Founders Talk” at Temy, an inspiring series hosted by international software development company Temy, we had the pleasure of interviewing Sebastian Harung, the dynamic co-founder of Kameo. Sebastian shares insights into his background, starting from his days in investment banking in Oslo, Norway, and his transition to entrepreneurship during a parental leave – a testament to his adaptability and determination.

The interview takes an interesting turn as Sebastian delves into his early days as a semi-professional football player in the Norwegian league. He reflects on the tough decision to prioritize his education in finance over a potential career in professional football, a choice that evidently shaped his path. This revelation leads to a deeper discussion about passion, choices, and the intricacies of investment banking, providing listeners with a glimpse into the personal struggles and triumphs behind his success.

Sebastian’s candidness about the challenges of balancing a demanding career with being a father to five children adds a relatable and humanizing layer to his professional persona. The interview, rich in personal anecdotes and professional wisdom, paints a vivid picture of Sebastian Harung as not just a successful entrepreneur, but also a devoted father and a man of diverse talents and interests.

Sebastian Harung's Journey: From Banker to Kameo's Visionary Leader
Sebastian Harung: From the Football Field to the Boardroom

Sebastian Harung’s journey is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, weaving through the diverse worlds of sports, finance, and entrepreneurship. His candid conversation with Matthew reveals the layers of a man who’s not just a successful business leader but also an individual juggling multiple passions. “I used to play football before diving into investment banking, but being a father to five is still my biggest yet most rewarding challenge,” Sebastian shares, his voice tinged with a mix of pride and nostalgia.

I used to play football before diving into investment banking, but being a father to five is still my biggest yet most rewarding challenge

Sebastian’s story takes us back to his days in Norwegian football, where he stood at a crossroads: pursue a burgeoning football career or dedicate himself to academic pursuits in finance. It’s a decision that many young athletes face, but Sebastian’s choice was clear. “You need to be a professional football player, and you can play poker, but you can’t go to school,” he recounts, highlighting the tough decisions that shape our paths. He chose education, a decision he stands by, albeit with a hint of what-if.

In a revealing moment, Sebastian reflects on his transition from the adrenaline-filled football pitches to the high-stakes world of investment banking. “Football is passionate, and it’s great fun. But investment banking? It’s hard work, not passion,” he admits. This insight offers a glimpse into Sebastian’s values and the drive that led him to establish Kameo. It’s a testament to his belief in finding work that not only challenges but also fulfills, a principle many of us aspire to in our careers.

Sebastian Harung: The Leap from Investment Banking to Entrepreneurial Triumph

Sebastian Harung’s entrepreneurial journey didn’t just start with an idea; it was a culmination of life-changing events and a newfound perspective on what truly matters. As he delved into the world of alternative finance, a spark was ignited. “I resigned from the investment bank… I then started writing a business plan of taking this concept of alternative finance to Scandinavia,” he recalls. This marked the beginning of a bold leap from the security of a well-established career into the thrilling uncertainty of entrepreneurship.

Sebastian’s venture wasn’t a walk in the park. Facing regulatory challenges and needing to start the company outside of Norway, he had to balance professional commitments with personal responsibilities. “We spent a year trying to figure out how to start the company… I had to move to Stockholm, trying to build up something with really limited capital,” he shares. His journey is a testament to his resilience and commitment, showing how he navigated through complex hurdles while maintaining a strong focus on his vision.

We spent a year trying to figure out how to start the company

The path to launching Kameo was strewn with obstacles, from stringent regulations to the daunting task of raising equity. But Sebastian’s unwavering spirit shone through. “I spent a tremendous amount of time traveling to meet potential investors… working in Stockholm, trying to build up something with really limited capital,” he reflects. His story encapsulates the essence of entrepreneurship – the grit and grind of turning a concept into reality, all while juggling the roles of a father, innovator, and visionary leader.

Sebastian’s Candid Chronicles: From Dining Tables to Big Deals in Shorts

Sebastian Harung’s entrepreneurial journey at Kameo wasn’t just about innovative ideas; it was an odyssey of persuasion and trust-building. Recalling his early funding efforts, Sebastian humorously shares, “I’ve been to dinners where I sat for five hours before I could eat, answering a barrage of questions.” This peek into his experience highlights the gritty, less-glamorous side of start-up life, where securing even modest investments requires patience, persistence, and a knack for navigating through skepticism.

In a twist that sounds almost too ironic to be true, Sebastian faced an unexpected challenge: his funding request was ‘too small’ for the big Norwegian investors, accustomed to splurging on more sizable ventures. “Asking for 40 million kronor was too small – a bit ironic, right?” he quips. However, this hurdle led to an unforeseen twist – the investment bank he hired to help raise funds ended up being so impressed with the concept that they became his major investors, transforming Kameo’s financial landscape.

Asking for 40 million kronor was too small – a bit ironic, right?

In what can only be described as a serendipitous and somewhat comical turn of events, Sebastian secures a significant investment while underdressed and underprepared, due to a family emergency. “There I was, no pants, no slides, just me talking about my passion,” he recounts with a chuckle. This unorthodox meeting not only won him a hefty investment but also underscored the power of authenticity in business. It wasn’t the numbers or the polished presentations that clinched the deal; it was his genuine story and vision for Kameo that resonated with the investor.

Sebastian’s Secret Sauce: Building a Dream Team and Envisioning a Brighter Future

Sebastian Harung’s venture into the entrepreneurial world with Kameo wasn’t just about financial wizardry; it was also about assembling a dream team. With infectious enthusiasm, he says, “I’m super proud of our team… we have smarter people than myself, all driven by the entrepreneurial spirit.” This glimpse into his leadership philosophy reveals a founder who values intelligence and ambition in his team, underscoring his belief in the collective power of brilliant minds working towards a shared goal.

I’m super proud of our team… we have smarter people than myself, all driven by the entrepreneurial spirit to new problems and dealing with failing in a lot of different ways

Sebastian’s vision for Kameo transcends mere financial gains. He dreams of a platform accessible to everyone, not just the affluent, to invest in projects that matter – like energy-efficient homes and much-needed housing in Scandinavia. “It’s not enough just to get a high return; you should also contribute to solving a societal problem,” he asserts. This statement reflects his commitment to combining profitability with social responsibility, a blend that is becoming increasingly vital in today’s business world.

Looking ahead, Sebastian’s ambitions for Kameo are clear and compelling. He envisions creating the largest platform in Scandinavia for non-listed investments, democratizing the process so that anyone, from his grandmother to his kid, can invest. “We want everyone to be able to invest… it’s about saving money and doing good,” he shares. This forward-thinking approach not only aims to revolutionize the investment landscape but also aligns with a deeper humanitarian cause, striking a chord with those who seek both financial and ethical returns.

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