Cold Opportunity (a): The Nils Bergqvist Story

3 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010

See all articles by Saras D. Sarasvathy

Saras D. Sarasvathy

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Magnus Aronsson

Technology Centre Mongstad


Suitable for MBA and executive learners, this case series presents a narrative that prompts students to discuss entrepreneurial thinking. An entrepreneur who loves his native Swedish Lapland uses his natural gift for effectuation to ask What? What next? And What now? As his ventures evolve, students will wonder how they would master similar challenges to their own entrepreneurial plans and expectations. The case can be taught in either one or two sessions of a 90-minute MBA course or a four-hour executive education class.



Rev. Aug. 2, 2016

Cold Opportunity (A): The Nils Bergqvist Story

Nils Bergqvist was born in central Sweden. His father was Norwegian and from a family of seafaring folk, who worked in the Norwegian Sea. His oldest cousin was captain of a big boat. Bergqvist's first dream was to be a captain:

When I was just five or six years old, he was standing there with his big white hat and I said, “I shall also be a captain.” I became a captain, but actually, I have not been working at it. As I was growing up, I decided to see the world, so I went on one of those boats around Sweden several times and to many parts of the world. As I was doing that, I was also skiing, and all the time when I was out on those boats, I missed the skiing. So when I came home, and the snow was gone in other places, I went up to the North, and I was skiing about three or four weeks until the last snow was gone, and then I was standing there and was thinking about being a sailor or starting with something here.

Bergqvist's interest in the environment led him to become an environmental engineer. As he was finishing school, he applied for a job at a big mining company that had interests in Kiruna (in northern Sweden). He described his stint there:

. . .

Keywords: effectuation, hotel, food beverage export innovation

Suggested Citation

Sarasvathy, Saras D. and Aronsson, Magnus, Cold Opportunity (a): The Nils Bergqvist Story. Darden Case No. UVA-ENT-0119, Available at SSRN:

Saras D. Sarasvathy (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States


Magnus Aronsson

Technology Centre Mongstad

Mongstad, 5954

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