From the adjustable wrench to the zip fastener, the iconic Coca Cola bottle to the pacemaker and ultrasound … the list of innovations that have emerged from Sweden is an impressive one. Add in the computer mouse, Skype and Spotify – and it’s easy to see why Sweden ranks highly in Bloomberg’s Innovation Index and, in 2017, was ranked second only to South Korea.
Sweden has the largest number of billion-dollar startups or unicorns in Europe and, according to Business Sweden, after Silicon Valley, the Swedish capital Stockholm “is the most prolific tech hub in the world on a per capita basis”. The country spends some 3.25% of its GDP on research and development (ranking it in the top 20 countries in the world for R&D) and is a recognised leader in fields such as FinTech, the Internet of Things and computer gaming (both Candy Crush and Minecraft are Swedish inventions).
Advances in FinTech, including Swedish startup iZettle’s mobile credit card reader and the Swish mobile payments system, mean that Sweden itself is fast becoming a next-gen cashless economy, with Swedish rail network SJ even testing the use of an implanted NFC (near-field communication) microchip to replace tickets and travel cards for regular travellers.
Sweden also has its own IOT academy and Volvo began testing its self-drive XC90 cars in real-life situations at the end of 2017. As well as having given the world Candy Crush and Minecraft, Stockholm is second only to London for having the highest proportion of gaming developers in Europe.
At the same time, Sweden has a robust and healthy economy. Its GDP grew by 2.4% in 2017 to reach $539,836 million, making it the 21st largest economy in the world. Moody’s gives Sweden a credit rating of Aaa while the country stands seventh in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2017.
Sweden’s standard of living too is in the top 20 in the world with GDP per capita standing at $54,010. Taking this and other factors into account, the UN’s World Happiness Report has consistently rated Sweden as having the tenth best quality of life in the world over the last five years.
We believe that successful innovations come from strong partnerships, not when one works alone.
Yet, to form those partnerships, we need to know who focuses on what in the hi-tech ecosystem. What are each company’s innovative products? Which are the HealthTech companies and which are the EdTech? Who has expertise in AI and who in Blockchain?
We have found that no such platform exists globally. Platforms such as Crunchbase or AngelList focus on financing and are directed towards investors, not for forming partnerships.
“Innovate Sweden” is the initiative to create such online space for Sweden. It will give you ability:
We believe that such portal will help Sweden showcase that it is the top innovation center in Europe not due to few successful exits of unicorns like Skype and Spotify, but due to the thriving and well-collaborating innovation ecosystem.
Please find below some frequently asked questions by our early participants.
We are Abilitics, a 10-year old company with focus on software development, design and outsourcing. We serve clients in 28 countries worldwide like Coca Cola HBC, KPMG, Pfizer, VLMH, BNP Paribas, GoodMills group and more.
We are also the company behind the startup “Slidle”, a Sales Engagement platform with unique approach towards turning PowerPoint presentations into interactive web sites.
Primary advantage is brand awareness. As the portal becomes popular, we expect companies to receive business inquiries regarding partnerships and project opportunities.
Increased web traffic to your case studies and web site of leads particularly interested in your area of specialization.
One reason not to participate is if you do not want additional attention to your company. For example, a startup may prefer not to be listed before their product is launched publicly.
Also, you may experience an increase of cold calls / emails by companies who try to sell you their products and services – as outsourcing companies who seek customers in well-developed countries will easily find your contact details in the portal.
Everyone who want to learn more about who is who in the Swedish IT ecosystem, as well as each company’s specialization, key value proposition, case studies and expertise.
We believe that financing obtained and the revenue generated or even the size of the company is not the main decision-making criteria when seeking a partner. Thus, we believe that portals like Crunchbase and AngelList provide a wonderful service to investors and VCs, but not when one seeks partnerships.
Thus, Innovate Sweden goal is to provide the most relevant information for a user to accurately assess which company can be a viable partner. That information ranges from area of specialization, products, team and case studies.
Also, we aim to provide equal opportunity for all companies to gain visibility. We employ various techniques to ensure that a handful of companies do not monopolize the viewer’s attention (such as allowing one company to be part of up to 5 different categories).
All companies which are part of or provide significant support/service to the Swedish hi-tech, IT and Startup ecosystem. This includes:
If your company is working on or launching new innovative products or services, then you can be part of Innovate Sweden as well.
Companies who are having a traditional well-known product or service (a shop, a hotel, construction company, etc.) are not the target group of the portal.
Our belief is that being listed in the portal will all your achievements and showcases shall be free of charge. In this way, we believe we will give equal opportunity to every Swedish company.
That said, for the Innovate Sweden initiative to be self-sustainable and not to rely on external funding, we have decided that priority listing of job adverts shall be a paid option. After all, if your business is growing and you need to scale up – then investing to reach to more applicants shall not be an issue.
Lastly, Innovate Sweden will provide a premium service for designing attractive company, product and job banners, as well as promotional videos and engaging company, product and investor presentations. Of course, this will not limit the companies to use their own visuals and/or creative agencies to improve their profiles.
Yes, we are working on this functionality. In will be available in mid-April 2018. You will be able to then add case studies and articles, and enrich your profiles with addition information.
Yes, at any stage you can opt to be removed from the portal. Send an email to email@example.com with your request.
Our first focus is to provide companies with ability to manage their own information. Next stage is to allow them to add job adverts.
We plan to provide further support for freelancers profiles and to give ability to clients, employees and partners to validate customer references.
As the portal fills in with information, we will be working on Artificial Intelligence to provide the most relevant information to participants and to provide an even easier way to navigate in the Swedish IT and startup ecosystem.