STHLM Tech Fest doubles in size

Published September 2015 in collaboration between Invest Stockholm and The Swedish Wire.

As a global technology leader, Stockholm has been attracting talent from across the world. It's no surprise then that the city's STHLM Tech Fest event is attracting record numbers of people this year.

This year, the event is the country’s largest get-together for "geeks, hackers and entrepreneurs" with double the number of participants and speakers, including hot shots from some of the world’s most trendsetting startups. The purpose of the event is to build bridges to other startup communities around the world.

American rabble rouser Tyler Crowley, who founded the event, described it as a combination of “good speakers, good networking, fun vibe and nice balance of inspiration, education and entertainment”.

The main trend of this year's event is the good design of practical ideas, Crowley said. “But it's deeper than a trend, it's just the way it goes here.” he added. “Stockholm startups cover the whole spectrum without too much in one category.”

There is an emphasis on sharing ideas and experiences and discussing ways to help Stockholm's startup scene maintain its status as a world leader.

The list of speakers features some of technology's best known innovators and entrepreneurs, including Peter Carlsson from Tesla and the CEOs of Spotify, Klarna and Delivery Hero.

That's in addition to other big names such as Annika Falkengren from SEB and serial entrepreneur Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype.

Joseph Michael of Stockholm Business Region Development said that Stockholm had increasingly gained global attention as a leading startup city, and that STHLM Tech Fest was part of that.

“The tech sector in Stockholm is bigger than ever and the number of tech companies has doubled in the past 10 years,” he said. “More and more people are also moving to Stockholm from all over the world to be part of the tech community. The level of activity is at an all-time high. It’s important to have an event that highlights this sector and where the whole tech community can come together.”

Michael explained that global investors were attracted to Stockholm because of the city's reputation for innovative startups with potential to expand beyond the Swedish market.

“There is a good mix of strong technical background, design expertise and global ambitions that is extremely attractive to investors," he said. "Also, we have a long background of successful startups and entrepreneurs that share their expertise, even sometimes resources in the form of capital investments, to up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the community.”

As well as companies like Spotify which have become international behemoths, the city is also breeding new startups which are attracting outside investment. An example includes the gaming industry, with new studios started by industry veterans, such as Resolution Games who recently raised $6 million from Google Ventures.

“Tech is the enabler which opens up entire new ways of doing things, and Stockholm is in the forefront of this development,” Michael said.

STHLM Tech Fest was held September 1st and 2nd.