Building Startup In Your Cabin: The Nordic Way

Open the window and let sun enter your room. Put on your t-shirt and walk out bare feet all the way to the beach. Watch the waves and see how good they are for surfing. Now, stop dreaming and focus. You are in Sweden, baby! Time to take things seriously.
Yes, Nordics are far from being the most famous destination point for coworkation and business retreats, although we believe they should be. Just think about it – you are in the middle of the forest, it is dark and cold outside, and if you go outside, you are more likely to meet a reindeer than a human being. Sounds like a perfect place to sit down and concentrate, doesn’t it? No surprise, it is the best country in the world in business, innovation, and technology.
Stugan is the Nordic response to sunny startup retreats in Bali. Run as a nonprofit indie games accelerator in a Swedish cabin, Stugan has proved to be a great boon for indie game developers. The word Stugan means “the cabin” in Swedish and is also a throwback to the name of the first Swedish commercial computer game made in 1978.

Selected developers from around the world gather in a traditional Swedish cabin, or “Stugan” in the countryside of Falun, Sweden, to work on their games. With all expenses paid, participants will receive mentorship and support from Sweden’s games industry luminaries, such as Mojang, King, EA, Resolution Games, Fast Travel Games, and many others.

Many past participants have seen success after completing the Stugan program, from Clint Siu’s chart-topping mobile game _PRISM to Long Hat House’s Dandara and Data Realms’ Planetoid Pioneers. Other titles still in development continue to show promise, collecting awards even before their release to the public like the AI Interactive’s The Enchanted World, the recipient of the Indie Prize for Best Games Design 2017.

“We’ve seen an incredible range of games come through our cabin door during Stugan’s first three years,” said Stugan manager Jana Palm, “and to see so many of those games get the acclaim they deserve has been nothing short of inspiring. Many of our attendees have gone on to earn nominations for the most coveted games industry awards, including those at Casual Connect, SXSW, IMGA, and the Independent Games Festival (IGF).”

Three games that participated in Stugan will be competing for prestige this year at IGF 2018: Vignettes (Excellence in Audio), 10 Mississippi (Nuovo Award), and Heat Signature (Seamus McNally Grand Prize). And other participants with games still in development find themselves building critical new relationships to help them on their journey following Stugan. Other Tales Interactive, the creators of the upcoming multiplayer puzzle game Tick Tock, have recently announced that they have received funding from Coffee Stain Studios – one of Stugan’s 2017 partners.

The Application Period Is On!

As in previous years, Stugan’s 2018 program is steered by leading individuals in the Swedish games industry, with the involvement of developers from Supercell, Unity, Paradox, King, DICE, Mojang, Goodbye Kansas Resolution Games, Fast Travel Games, Snowprint Studios and more. Top Swedish and international games industry thought leaders will visit the program to engage in conversations and workshops focused on their areas of expertise.

The application process runs until March 31st, 2018. As the application process closes, top candidates will be contacted for further interviews.

All you need to do to apply is to record a simple 90-second video, where you present yourself and your game idea, along with a short written description of the project and the goal you want to reach.

Applicants can be for games developers across any platform and from anywhere in the world. Unlike traditional accelerator programs, all participants will keep the rights to the games they work on. But most importantly, everyone will get a unique opportunity to make connections and build relationships that will last a lifetime.

To submit an application and see additional program details go to