Stockholm startup scene is growing – and it is growing exponentially fast. 2018 was another great year for the city’s scene and 2019 looks promising as well. Today we take a closer look at some of the most interesting events and initiatives that contribute to Stockholm’s tech and startup scene.
In 2016, $ 1.4 billion was invested in venture capital in Stockholm start-up ecosystem. The same year, this ecosystem produced $1.75 billion in exit value. The six Stockholm-based unicorn companies also attest to the city’s great conditions for business growth. According to the Finnish Venture Capital Association, Sweden is the second largest European country in terms of investment volume in startups and early growth companies, and the majority of these investments are Stockholm-based.
Another Stockholm’s upper-hand is its serious brainpower. The city has one of the highest density of developers in Europe. In general, 18% of the workforce work in high-tech related jobs. This is the highest share compared to any other city in Europe.
Those factors contribute to the city’s tech scene flowering. We’re talking the outstanding tech community, well-connected network of co-working spaces, education initiatives, meet-ups, and events. Let’s take a look at the best ones!
Here we go!
Dates of the 2019 event: 4th April 2019
The organizers describe it as: “Sweden’s largest and most spectacular un-conference for start-ups”. The Demo Day attracts startups, founders and various talents. Over 600 companies will attend with more than 3500 entrepreneurs, investors, media representatives, and other stakeholders
The event is free and open to everyone – you just need to register. Organisers claims that Demo Day is “the first 100% community driven and owned event.”This is where the local tech ecosystem comes together to pitch ideas, network and look for funding and working matches.
Dates of 2019 event: 14-15 June 2019
Symposium Stockholm was first launched by Spotify’s co-founder Daniel Ek in 2015. Since then, it became a yearly, 10-day long “festival for creative individuals with powerful ideas to come together and experience a creative home, at the intersection of tech and music.”
An important part of Symposium Stockholm is the two-day global leadership summit, Brilliant Minds. It brings together the world’s biggest players from the creative and tech industry, to challenge the status quo and discuss how innovation should be implemented to redefine the world we live in. This year the Brilliant Minds will be held under the theme of ‘Fenomen’ and it will focus on three main areas: Health, Leadership, and Education.
Some of the key values promoted by the summit are collaboration and strive for collective change – rather than competition and individual success. Ultimately, the goal of the event is to “scale the Brilliant Minds model globally to influence the future of education, leadership and the convergence of humanity and technology.”
Dates of the 2019 event: TBA
Sweden FoodTech is an initiative focused on the intersection of food and technology. Its mission is to connect researchers, food and tech specialists, and provide them space to develop sustainable ways of producing and thinking about food.
The Big Meet is Sweden FoodTech’s major event devoted to the future of food and the role digital technology plays in food production. The programme includes such topics as space food, urban farming solutions, building cities of the future and much more. FoodTech start-ups are very welcome to attend and pitch their ideas to potential investors and partners.
Dates of the 2019 event: TBA
STHLM Tech Fest is first of all dedicated to innovation. Being one of the biggest events of this kind in Sweden, it provides an exchange platform for hundreds of developers, investors and founders every year (usually in September). People come together to discuss the current business climate and the direction in which the global tech industry is heading.
This three-day conference comprises of workshops, firechats, pitching sessions and presentations of renowned business owners. The topics covered are mostly tech, but some presenters also tackle the socioeconomic dimension of technology-related changes. At the end of the second day, The Nordic Startup Awards finale is hosted to acknowledge and reward the most promising start-up of the year.
Many parts of the programme are open for anyone to attend, but some of them require an invitation.
Dates of the 2019 event: TBA
Sting Day is nothing like most of the big start-up and tech conferences. Organizers refer to it as a “boutique event for investors and start-ups”. The number of guests is limited to 400, which includes 60 start-ups and 150 investors. All of them are selected and invited for the event by the organizers.
Because Sting Day is non-commercial and an invitation-only event, the quality, and prestige of it are quite high. Networking happens in a more intimate setup, as all the participants fit in one room. The feel of Sting Day is certainly different from the other, open tech conferences in Stockholm.
Dates of the 2019 event: 18-19 September 2019
Digitalization of healthcare and HealthTech are big topics these days. And they are exactly what the My iHealth conference focuses on. Additionally, it is one of the most patient-centered events of this kind.
This year’s edition is all about sharing cutting-edge research and newest patient-oriented ICT solutions. Speakers and attendees are mostly healthcare practitioners and executives, policy makers, innovators, clinicians, patients, and researchers.
Dates of the 2019 event: 23-24 October 2019.
When comes to EdTech (educational technology), Sweden and other Nordic countries are considered to be among the most forward thinking in the world. EdTech Sweden is a yearly summit bringing together the producers and end-users of educational technology. The event focuses majorly on adult learning and skills development.
Most of the participants come from the Nordic countries, but the admission is open to international guests as well.
Date of the 2019 event: 11th of April 2019
An exciting conference for all tech companies and entrepreneurs interested in new ways of using Blockchain for business and developing the new economy of distributed trust.
The conference will feature informational sessions and several opportunities for two-way communication and delegate participation.
Date of the 2019 event: 12th of April 2019
The conference focuses on the intersection of business and technology and tackles topics such as product digitalization, engaging employees, business processes optimization and much more. The key goal is to provide a platform for organizations from different industries to come together and explore the latest tech advancements, including their utility for business. Note that the event is not open to vendors, consultancies, agencies of suppliers.
Stockholm’s flourishing tech scene is not just based on events. There are many acceleration programmes and start-up hubs which support the tech community on a daily basis. Many of them are profiled to start-ups and innovators working in specific industries. Take a look below!
STING is one of the leading accelerators and incubators for start-ups in the Nordics. The support offered throughout their programme is quite amazing. Every year around 600 start-ups apply for the STING acceleration and incubator programmes, but only about 5% of them get accepted.
If you do get accepted, the amount of help you receive is immense. STING supports start-ups in five key areas of their business growth and provides financial support, coaching, recruitment assistance, networking opportunities, and marketing advice. In practical terms, founders can receive such perks as up to 300,000 SEK in seed funding, free office space for up to 6 months or business coaching with Lean Canvas method.
Amplify Sweden is an exciting opportunity for start-ups focused on MusicTech. They support young entrepreneurs who are trying to incorporate music elements into their tech business. Amplify is located at KMH Campus in Stockholm.
Taking that Spotify is the flagship start-up born in Stockholm, there is obviously a network of MusicTech entrepreneurs around the city. This is exactly what Amplify Sweden bases its support on – networking and community. It is the local community that the business coaching, fundraising, and product development advice are sourced from.
Amplify provides not only support for local start-ups but also long-distance mentorship for young entrepreneurs based all around Sweden.
KTH Innovation is a pre-incubation programme, focusing on start-ups in the very early stage of their development. They recognize the need to support innovative ideas before their authors are prepared for the next steps – incubation, first funding pitches, etc.
KTH Innovation support focuses on five main areas: business coaching, structuring the development process, providing access to community and office space, organising relevant workshops and trainings and offering commercial support (funding and legal advice).
Apart from the acceleration and incubation programmes for start-ups, Stockholm also has great co-working spaces that encourage collaboration, networking and creative work atmosphere.
Beautiful working space, located in a building which has been dedicated to commerce and entrepreneurship literally for ages. The oldest part of the building dates back to 1420!
Knackeriet aims to not only provide office space but to also make it into a place of collaboration and creativity by bringing together “interesting startups, talented entrepreneurs and fun individuals.” It offers a 24/7 desk access without a possibility of drop-in days or day passes. This policy is intended to create long-term member relationships and a sense of community around Knackeriet – rather than having it host random, an ever-changing crowd of alienated individuals.
Promoting positive development of the Internet – that’s the main objective of GOTO 10. It offers paid (but subsidized) co-working offices, as well as free-to-use space for all GOTO 10 members to organize their meet-ups and events, as long as they are related to the Internet. GOTO 10 membership is entirely free.
To see what kind of Internet-related initiatives they support, you can visit the GOTO 10 Youtube channel.
Norrsken House is a safe haven for entrepreneurs or freelancers who want to put out their best work possible. Norrsken describes themselves as “The Impact Unicorn Factory” – and if they exaggerate, it is just by a tiny bit.
Norrsken House co-working space is hosted inside the hall of an old tram station. The building itself is impressive – not to mention the design of the interior! There is designated space for any kind of activity: focused work, meetings, uninterrupted skype calls, conferences, and workshops. But what really stands out is the attention to detail and the visible pursuit of the concept of “balance in the workplace”. The meditation room with weekly guided meditation sessions or the playroom where you can bring your kids are just two examples of that.
Additionally, Norrsken puts a big impact on building a community and ecosystem around the place. It hosts over 120 companies – most of them working in the areas of technology and social entrepreneurship – which share ideas and collaborate with one another on a daily basis.
Impact Hub Stockholm is a part of the global Impact Hub movement and a network of social entrepreneurs. The co-working space they run at Sveavägen 44 is a place where the local part of the community works together (or at least side-by-side) to create a better world of tomorrow.
Main occupants of the Impact Hub Stockholm co-working space are businesses that aim to have a far-reaching positive impact on the global society and economy. Values promoted in the Hub are collaboration, community, diversity and supportive work environment, which allows everyone to perform at their best.
Perfect workspace for HealthTech innovators and enterprises, as well as start-ups who are just kicking-off their innovative idea in the sector of digital health. H2 Health Hub brings together like-minded professionals from related fields, so they can exchange ideas and build better health care solutions for the future.
SUP46 is not just a co-working space for start-ups – it is a whole start-up and tech ecosystem, bringing together founders, investor, and advisers who are eager to build something exciting.
The working space consists of the member-only area with 24/7 access for members, and a Startup Cafe. The latter is available to anyone looking for a good place to work, drink coffee and enjoy the company of other creative minds. Moreover, SUP46 lends its space to acceleration and incubation programmes (such as STING) and organizes valuable workshops and events. Currently upcoming on the agenda are Agile Workshop, 3D Printing Workshop or Stockholm Talent Night.
Any more doubts that Stockholm is one of the best places for a tech junkie to thrive and learn? We find that all the opportunities, collaborative spaces, and events available in the Swedish capital make it the place to be. Not only for start-up founders or tech specialists – but for anyone interested in building a better future based on shared experience and innovation.
In fact, in Ideamotive we are planning a trip to Stockholm sometime soon, to explore possibilities for our own growth. If you want to be up to date with what we do, follow our Facebook page or just contact us directly!
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We are software developement house located in the hearth of Europe - Warsaw, Poland. Our main areas of expertise include Ruby on Rails, React and React Native.