Stockholm a startup giant

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

Thanks to globally successful startups like Spotify, Skype, Klarna and Mojang (maker of Minecraft), Stockholm has become a global tech and startup hub, with international investors increasingly scouting the city for the next rising star. 

Joseph Michael, Business Development Manager for Invest Stockholm, said he had noticed that Stockholm had gained more and more attention around the world as a leading startup city.

“There are regular funding rounds and exits among the startups in Stockholm which leads to news clips in media outlets, and that is clear evidence that the startup community is mature," he said.

Advantages include the great pool of tech talent and other resources, Michael pointed out.

“Looking at the ecosystem we see a great deal of activity in events, support and media coverage. The top VC firms in the world have all invested in Stockholm companies and regularly come to Stockholm to meet with new startups," he said. "An entrepreneur who chooses to start their startup in Stockholm will be in good company."

“For an early stage startup, Stockholm is like being a kid in a candy shop."

Meni Morim, co-founder and chief executive officer, Findify

One of the international companies to recently start up in Stockholm is Nutrigo, which delivers nutritious food and beverages from bicycle pop-up stores at key points in the city. 

Its founder Tim Hermann, who is originally from Germany, said he was already quite well connected in the startup scene after his master's degree in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

“We believe that Sweden and particular Stockholm is a great market to test the business model and the society is ready for our solution," he said. “Stockholm and the whole startup ecosystem is great for us."

Another example is Findify, an intelligent search solution that uses machine learning and big data to increase revenue for e-commerce stores. None of the founders are from Sweden. Still, they chose Stockholm as base.

Meni Morim, co-founder and chief executive officer, explained that Sweden, and specifically Stockholm, is a powerhouse when it comes to startups.

“The mentality in Sweden is very pro-innovation, and people are encourage to take risks and try new, exciting things”, he said.

“For an early stage startup, Stockholm is like being a kid in a candy shop. There are so many incredibly talented people here, with an entrepreneurial spirit that truly want to join the crazy journey that is a startup”, he said.

Niklas Hedin, CEO at Swedish cloud-based tech company Centiro and Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year in the Best International Growth category, recently told TechRadar that part of Stockholm's success is due to high levels of technical skill and entrepreneurship.

"It has a strong culture of engineering, a world-leading telecom sector, a stable and well-functioning economy combined with a high internet penetration rate at an early stage of the internet era that resulted in a very potent mix," he said.

It led TechRadar to say: “With almost as many tech startups as Silicon Valley, Stockholm in Sweden is fast becoming one of the global IT hubs”.