It is amazing how the world has evolved through the centuries, but it is even more amazing how it has developed in a matter of 20 or 10 years. Progress is occurring quite fast and, in the case of Europe, it has been in part thanks to the Nordic countries.
Let’s say that if Vikings magically came back to life, they wouldn’t believe how their land has changed- and how it has become the engine of innovation in Europe.
The Nordics: An important engine of innovation in Europe
The Nordics is the Northern region of Europe that is composed of five nations: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. These five countries are important driving forces of innovation in Europe, that is, the most developed countries that create disruptive startups through disruptive technology. Companies such as Alvotech, Kahoot!, Too Good to Go, or Aiven are examples of growing Nordic-based startups that have gone global- and they are only a few. Other notable examples include Skype, Spotify, Minecraft and a very long etcetera, so one may wonder: does this region know an ancient secret about how to raise successful companies?
The secret of Nordic innovation
Image by Sini-Meri Iivari in Pixabay
Part of the Nordic success comes from the existence of favorable conditions that allow founders to innovate, such as innovation systems that work correctly. But apart from these conditions, the Nordics also promote innovation since childhood through education. Citizens are inspired from an early age to become proactive entrepreneurs to contribute to the world’s progress.
This way, the Nordics foster a positive vision about starting businesses and about going further so as to make progress, but, in addition, this region offers funding opportunities for startups.
Funding opportunities in the Nordics
There are a lot of venture firms located in the Nordics whose objectives are to foster research and development not exclusively in those areas, but also worldwide. And in addition, the Nordics count on Business accelerator programmes and strong VC firms to help startups at different stages, which are launched to provide these companies with funding opportunities to make their businesses prosper.
Accelerators and venture firms in the Nordics
Founded in 2008 in Denmark, Accelerace is ranked among the top 10 seed accelerators in the world. This accelerator trains and invests not only in Danish companies, but also in companies worldwide. Its vertical focus is on CleanTech, BioTech, MedTech, and Life Sciences companies, operating with SaaS models. Its fund raises to $48.6M.
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Creandum invests in innovative technology companies at seed, early and later stage by issuing initial tickets whose value ranges from € 200 k to € 8M. Their sixth and last fund raises to $500M, and it focuses on areas such as creator economy, Web3, metaverse, or climate tech.
Founded in 2001 in Norway, Alliance Venture is a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage businesses. Their fund size raises to €100M and it invests in exceptional early-stage tech companies founded by entrepreneurs with global ambitions.
The Finnish Gorilla Capital is the continuation of Gorilla Ventures and it is a pre-seed and seed venture capital firm that invests in tech companies solving real business problems.
The Iceland-based Frumtak Ventures is the leading Venture Capital firm in Iceland. It focuses on post-seed startups that have enough potential to expand internationally, and it seeks for original ideas presented by entrepreneurs. The firm’s objective is to support innovation in Iceland, and beyond.
Why Nordic innovation is so important
Even if the Nordics is a small region, it is a powerful driver for innovation in Europe. Just like engines are indispensable elements to make a car work, innovation is an indispensable element to make a business succeed. And the more powerful those engines are, the faster the car will drive. And this is exactly what happens with the Nordics and Europe: the more innovative the Nordics are, the faster Europe will evolve.