4 April 2024 TB Members Calling


TB Members Calling #95 | Sebastian Stockzelius: “The impossible just takes longer”

4 April 2024 TB Members Calling

Growing up in the Swedish countryside and spending summers in the Mediterranean fostered Sebastian Stockzelius’ (Uppsala, 1993) deep connection to nature. Witnessing the alarming deterioration of the oceans due to human impact fueled his determination to make a difference. This expat entrepreneur –working from BlueTechPort at Tech Barcelona’s Pier01-  with a degree in Business and Finance is the co-founder and CEO of Janah Cycle, an impact tech startup adressing the global pollution crisis by offering companies a solution to offset their plastic footprint. Its model enables Western brands to initiate plastic recovery initiatives and social empowerment actions, particularly in disadvantaged areas requiring immediate intervention.

“Everything is possible; the impossible just takes longer.”


TB: What is the purpose of your project?

SS: We empower global collaboration through technology to eliminate plastic pollution wherever impactful change is needed.


TB: Where do you see yourself and your projects in two years?

SS: Founded in October 2023, Janah is still an early-stage startup with big ambitions. Our goal is to prevent 1 billion kg of plastic from entering the oceans by 2035 and, in the next two years, we aim to become experts at ingesting reality into a data ecosystem.


TB: A good idea you’ve had.

SS: Johann and I booking our first tickets to India, traveling from the north to the south of the country, and experiencing what led us onto the journey of founding Janah.


TB: What is the greatest challenge you have faced?

SS: Starting a business in Spain and navigating the landscape of necessary paperwork and legal understanding, especially when almost everything is in Spanish or Catalan, all while fitting it into our strategy.


TB: The best advice you’ve been given.

SS: Don’t overthink it, just do it. Thinking long and hard is good in many cases but sometimes its all about execution.


TB: A professional role model who inspires you.

SS: Charles Simonetti, an old friend and colleague from Criteo, was one of the first individuals we explained the concept of Janah to. He helped us kick-start our early sales efforts and later advised me to reach out to Tech Barcelona. And the rest, as they say, is history.


TB: A technology that will shape the future.

SS: Generative AI and large lenguage models (LLMs) will reshape how we live, work and do business.


TB: In-person or remote?

SS: A combination, for sure. Having the flexibility of traveling and working from wherever you are is a huge bonus for most employees. But it’s important not to get too distant from the social aspect of meeting up in an office and having fun outside the virtual world.


TB: A startup or company.

SS: SpaceX revolutionized the rocket launch industry with its reusable rockets. Besides providing cheaper and more frequent access to space, SpaceX has also opened the door for a new generation of space exploration. Exciting.


TB: How do you unwind?

SS: Climbing, kickboxing or just taking a stroll in beautiful Barcelona are my go-to choices when I need to relax and clear my mind.


TB: A book to recommend.

SS: Being a history buff from Sweden, one of the first books I ever read was “The Heritage of Gustav Vasa” by Lars-Olof Larsson. Gustav Vasa liberated Sweden in the early 1500s and is considered the founding father.


TB: A series, movie, or song that defines your life right now.

SS: First thing that comes to mind is “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities.


TB: A recipe, a restaurant.

SS: IKEA, why not.


TB: A place in the world.

SS: My summerhouse in Sweden, located next to a lake surrounded by forests and historic value. It is a true touch of nature. We will open our bed & breakfast doors for the first guests in 2025.


TB: Where would you invest 100k?

SS: If you asked me a year ago, I would probably say Bitcoin, but since that ship has sailed, I will say Janah.


TB: If you weren’t an entrepreneur…

SS: I would be restless.


TB: What does Tech Barcelona mean to you?

SS: Community and entrepreneurial empowerment giving access to opportunities every founder needs to accomplish their goals.