Amerikanska Gymnasiet in Sweden was founded in 2015 by Joel Hegardt, Peter Heddelin and Christian Eriksson. Chairperson of the board is Joel Hegardt.

Joel Hegardt  

Co-founder of the parent co-operative Mr Turtle pre-school in Särö, Kungsbacka, Sweden and principal for the primary school Vittra in Forsgläntan, Kungsbacka. He has also held the appointment of principal for IT High School in Gothenburg. Chief Education Officer and thereafter Managing Director for five high schools, expanding to 14 high schools within Plusgymnasiet Sverige AB. When Plusgymnasiet merged with Academia in 2011 Joel was given the additional responsibility for the eleven Drottning Blanka high schools along with Framtidsgymnasiet’s seven high schools.

Qualifications: Law degree from the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg and diploma from IHM Business School in Gothenburg.

Peter Heddelin


Formerly principal for Plusgymnasiet in Uddevalla and thereafter Plusgymnasiet regional manager for seven high schools. Peter went on to hold the post of Operational Manager for 14 Plusgymnasiet high schools. He started his career in education as supply teacher for music in 1998.

Qualifications: Degree from MIT, Los Angeles (1997), Luleå University of Technology (2003), Kristianstad University Sweden (2007) and diploma for school principals, Karlstad University (2012).

Patrik Bäckander

Experience from manufacturing industry in USA and Sweden 1986-2010 and has held posts in management since 1994. Author of four patents 1992-2009. Founded his first company in 1994, a pre-school that grew to become Nya Skolan AB, with several pre-schools and primary schools in Sweden today. He went on to start over ten new companies in a number of different fields. Part-owner of Västkustens Affärsänglar AB. Member of Mensa.

Qualifications: Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Chalmers University of Technology

Tony Ekström

Has been working with schools since 1996. The architect behind the concept for Nya Skolan that today operates a number of pre-schools and primary schools in Sweden. Since the beginning of 2001 he has held posts of teacher, principal, school manager and managing director. He is chairperson of the board for Nya Skolan Sverige AB. Chairperson of the board for Intopa Holding AB and has held several positions on club boards. Co-founder of four companies in various sectors.

Qualifications: Degree in education from Karlstad University (1996) and diploma for school principals, University of Gothenburg (2007). Diploma personal coach (2011).

Christian Eriksson


Co-founder of Wallstreet Media AB and Vizazi Invest AB. He has invested in a number of advertising and media companies and he has long experience of entrepreneurship and sales.

Qualifications: Diploma from IHM Business School in Gothenburg.