Shaper: Erik Biorklund

Show aired on 25th October 2014

Transcript of the show

Erik Biorklund is the co-founder of European Travel Ventures with William Wenkel. European Travel Adventures is the parent company of the internationally acclaimed The Yacht Week, one of the only companies bringing a sailing, regattas and entertainment experience. The company has gone from strength to strength with the launches of The Skipper Academy, Fort George Croatia and now Yachts and Friends and The Ski Week.

Erik and William, both Swedish, developed a love for sailing from a young age when working on boats as skippers with friends over summers in Croatia.  From there, William and Erik saw a gap in the market and set up The Yacht Week, flotilla sailing with events every evening on a different island.  Yachts and Friends, which is the of the sailing world, offers guests the opportunity to completely tailor their sailing holiday from a skipper to hostess to routes. They are also restoring Fort George in Croatia to its former glory to contain a restaurant, museum, event space and music venue.

Follow The Yacht Week on Twitter @theyachtweek

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My business partners and I worked as skippers when we were at university and we decided to bring friends because sailing was eschewed towards families and corporates. We wanted to bring sailing to a new audience.

We operate in London because we want to build a company that embraces a multi-cultural skill set and we have an international client base.

We know the product is good: it is unique to be in these waters and it is quite affordable.

Every day you go to a new island, you have a new adventure.

I think the mind-set is long-term, but I deliberately chose a rollercoaster kind of work lifestyle.

We have a very high tolerance of stress – every skipper does. You need to make sure people have a good time but stay focused on safety.

It’s getting a little bit better every year. We used to only do one thing and now we do five things.

I like it to be a dream factory. If we can create great experiences that people tap into then we can be versatile about what those experiences could be.

When I look around and see people I look up to, I think a lot of them dare to be hustlers. They worked their way around, they are street smart and they are unconventional.

If you want something, figure out a way that may not be by the book and just try it.