For years, when asked about the comparison between the Stockholm and Helsinki startup scenes, we said something along the following lines:
Stockholm has a very strong scene, but it is fragmented. There are several groups in and around the city that tend to stick to each other but do not really welcome anybody from the outside. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as these groups have very strong startups in them and Sweden is extremely good at creating strong companies. We just wish the scene got together a bit more.
Finland on the other hand, is a smaller scene with less companies, however they are much more co-ordinated. With Slush, AaltooES and other organisations and events always drawing everybody together. Most of the people in the scene know each other and help one another at every opportune moment.
Having visited Stockholm last week, for the Stockholm Tech Fest, we can now finally say that the fragmentation of the Stockholm startup scene has come to an end, which gives them every chance in the world to become as strong as ever and we expect great things to come out of Stockholm in the upcoming years.
Stockholm Tech Fest, which gathered around 3,000 attendees, may have been the culmination of this change, but a lot has been taken place behind the scenes. Much of which can be attributed to one man – Tyler Crowley.
Crowley came to Stockholm several years ago and with the help of several organizations was tasked to bring the scene together. This involved, amongst other things, creating monthly meet-ups such as the STHLM Tech Meetup and using the local hashtag extensively on Twitter: #STHLMTech.
Just a few years ago, we would have a hard time pointing out the key players in Stockholm, but thanks to STHLM Tech Fest & Crowley, it is now very simple. So here is what you need to know if you are in Stockholm:
Any region that wants to motivate people to work with startups, needs success stories and Stockholm definitely has a fair number:
Spotify – Valued at over $4 billion.
Stardoll – 300 million users in 2014.
Mojang – Makers of Minecraft. Revenues of over €225M in 2013.
iZettle – Mobile payments. Over €80M in Funding.
Klarna – E-Commerce Payments. Over 15 000 stores and over 900 employees.
MAG – Maker of Ruzzle. More thank 50 million downloads.
Wrapp – Raised close to €20M. Targeting the gift card industry.
Soundcloud – Swedish founders in Berlin, Audio distribution platform with more than 40 million registered users and 200 million listeners.
Tictail – Online store’s with over 50 000 opened stores.
Again, just recently, there were barely any active meetup’s in Stockholm, today you have a very wide choice with many of them having over a thousand members on Meetup.com. Here are a few for you to check out on your next visit:
Events are of crucial importance for startups. They gather talent, investors, draw eyeballs and press.
This has been a major thing for Finland where thanks to Slush, pretty much every investor in the world knows about Helsinki and it also helped our conference – Arctic15 to make a high quality business event for startups too.
Sweden is now picking up speed with amazing events such as the STHLM Tech Fest. However the good thing is that there is a lot more than one to go to, just take a look at:
There has also been a lot of news when it comes to co-working spaces with new ones opening up frequently and there is now at least seven active ones:
When it comes to incubators, there is also a few choices now, to take into account:
SCHOOLS AND ORGANISATIONS
Behind all of this buzz are the key schools and organisations with supply the talent, invite people such as Tyler Crowley to help the scene, organise events, try to get bigger corporations to Stockholm, etc. So if you are doing anything in Stockholm, do reach out to these guys:
HELP ARCTICSTARTUP COVER SWEDEN
As you might know, we are actively writing about Nordics and Baltics. However as the Swedish scene is picking up, we need your help. So if you have any tips for us, please drop us a line to editor (a) arcticstartup.com. Here is a good article on reaching out to journalists.
But, ideally, we would want to have a person who would represent ArcticStartup in Sweden. This can be an internship position, that we are experimenting with now or a more entrepreneurial role. So if you would like to join the fun or know anyone that might want to take on Sweden, let us know.
Top Image Courtesy of Shutterstock // Stockholm.