This interview is part of our new series of Growth Stories, in which we interview the founders and CEOs of 20 of the fastest growing startups in Europe. We asked them about their companies, their companies’ culture, and their lives, trying to understand how these factors play a role in achieving growth. The series is one of the initiatives that will build up to Tech 5 – the annual competition we organize in collaboration with Adyen.

Ola Sars (CEO of Soundtrack your Brand): “Working long hours is unprofessional and inefficient”

The first time I talk with Ola Sars – CEO and co-founder of Swedish startup Soundtrack your brand – is over the phone. It’s 4.30 pm and Ola is in Stockholm, walking to pick up his kids after school. “I try to finish at four PM at least three times per week,” he tells me. “We have only one life and family is more important than job.”

This doesn’t come as a surprise to me: preparing for the interview, I scrolled through Ola Sars’ LinkedIn profile, where he proudly defines “parental leave” as “managing the most important team ever.” Of course, that job is listed among a series of more traditional positions: a few years in consultancy, some experience in advertising, and then the big leap to the music industry. He launched Tonium Pacemaker and co-founded Beats Music, that he left 8 months before Apple’s acquisition. But for Ola Sars it was not enough. He saw that the streaming revolution was happening not just for consumers but also on the B2B side. That’s why in 2013, he teamed up with Andreas Liffgarden and Joel Brosjo to found ‘Soundtrack your Brand,’ basically a B2B version of Spotify. “The opportunity was easy to understand,” Ola tells me on the phone, “but the really difficult part is execution.”