ArcticStartup: Chapter 3. New CEO & Expansion.

The purpose of ArcticStartup has always been to help the startup and entrepreneurial community. How we did that – changed with the times, and it is about to change again.

In the beginning, when the startup scene in the Nordics was virtually in-existent – it was the news. Then, when more and more people joined the scene – it was the job board. Finally came the events, and our crown jewel – the Arctic15.

Arctic15 – 2019

The times are once again changing. The tiny “warning” signs of WeWork, Uber, Lyft are clear indicators. This change is something we have predicted, and something that Arctic15 was promoting for several years through our “de-unicornization” principle.

With that, we are changing too. As of this month, Dima Sarle (me), will step down as the CEO of ArcticStartup and Jan Ameri, a long-time partner, and co-founder will take the helm.

This will mark the third chapter in ArcticStartup’s vivid history. The first focused on the blog and spreading the news. The second – took the company from a near-death-experience (re-founded by Dima Sarle, Greg Anderson & later – Jan Ameri) to what it has become now. Now is the time for a third, and I am confident – the best chapter yet, and Jan is the best man to make that happen.

(left to right) Greg Andersson, Dima Sarle, Jan Ameri and Antti Vilpponen

In his own words:

“Firstly, I want to thank Dmitri for these amazing six years working together and servicing the ecosystem. Without his contribution, it could not have happened. Together we have been able to create something special and shared many memorable moments, like bringing some of our international speakers to Svalbard, almost burning down a historical smoke sauna (it survived!), getting local and international investors like Gary Vaynerchuk to believe and invest in us, creating a couple of spin-offs and hacking other startup event speaker lounges. But of course, the most meaning has come from helping a lot of startups to get funding at our events and them telling us about it afterward.

When I volunteered for Arctic15 2012, just out of curiosity and for fun, I had no idea that I would be fully drawn into this world shortly after and that I would be running the whole event for years to come, so I feel very honored and excited about this next chapter.

One thing we have noticed over the years is that founders spend too much time on fundraising, and that is time away from running a business and reaching profitability. So one of our main goals will be to shorten the time it takes to raise funding.

We have fine-tuned the Arctic15 formula to be the best platform for networking and matchmaking and getting those deals, and now we are in a great position to bring that magic to other locations. Over the years we have been asked to go to many countries and a lot of requests came from Sweden, our first Arctic15 Stockholm will be on February 5-6th. What comes to other cities, we are looking for strategic partners to grow, so if you want to get involved or you would want Arctic15 magic in your city or country, we are definitely open for discussion.” – Jan Ameri.

As for myself, I am incredibly grateful for the time that I have spent at ArcticStartup as the CEO. It was my home (sometimes literally), it was my safe-harbor during some of the hardest moments of my life. It gave me the joy to cover significant events such as Supercell’s first sale but, more importantly, to help founders in their challenging journeys.

ArcticStartup team in 2014

Today, I am moving towards pursuing my purpose, and I am open to new opportunities (more about my decision and reasoning here). The main goal for me is to help people find meaning and success in what they do. When I say success, I mean the “real” kind, that comes from within and does not depend on external circumstances.  So if you are interested in talking – follow my blog, ping me on Telegram / Twitter or reach out in person.

With more than 1000+ articles, 2600 days, 100+ events, it is time to pass my watch to my good friend Jan.

Thank you ArcticStartup, you will forever be in my heart.



(From the editor: P.S. You can vote for Dima, as the Startup Ecosystem Hero of the year, which would be a nice departing gift.)