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#NordicMade startups closed Nasdaq

The Nordic startup community took over Times Square in New York as they rang the Nasdaq Stock Market closing bell Tuesday 25 August.
  • Published 26/08/2015
Nordic Innovation and the Nordic startup organisations brought ten startups to New York to close Nasdaq. Photo: Jenny Jungell

 

The Nordic startup scene is gathering a growing amount of attention in world, and the Nordic capitals now have the most billion dollar-valued companies compared to population after Silicon Valley. Although the region only represent four percent of Europe's population, 26 percent of all European exits the last five years have come from Nordic countries.

 

Tuesday 25 August, people passing Times Square in New York City could not help but notice the Nordic startup community. The ever-present Nasdaq Tower was dressed in red as the stock market closing bell rang, featuring the newly launched #nordicmade hashtag.

 

 

Busy Nordic bell ringers


This day's bell-ringers were no other than people from the Nordic startup community themselves. Nordic Innovation and eleven of the most influential Nordic startup organisations had brought along ten promising Nordic startups for a two-day trip to New York to promote Nordic collaboration and showcase the Nordic startup scene on the US east coast.

 

Having done workshopping and meetings the day before, the startups and startup organisations started the day with a a breakfast workshop at one of the Google offices in New York before visiting the offices of streaming giants Spotify. Then followed the Nasdaq stock market closing bell ceremony.

 

– I would like to thank the prominent Nordic startup organisations around me for our great collaboration. Together, as a unity, we can truly put the Nordic region on the map, said Jessica Stark from SUP46 before the closing bell rang.

 

Afterwards, they Nordic delegation went to Scandinavia House to host a Nordic showcase event. The event served as a launch for the #NordicMade hashtag, and the startups and startup organisations had the chance to meet and mingld with investors, media and the local tech community.

 

Mingling at the Nordic showcase in New York

(Mingling at the Scandinavia House in New York. Photo: Jenny Jungell)

 

 

SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE US TRIP HERE

 

 

A collaborative effort

 

The New York events serves as a great example of what can be achieved when Nordic actors join forces, at least if we are to believe some of those who went along on the trip. 

 

– Getting to pitch so many times for different audiences in two days, and hear other pitches as well was a great exercise. And I also got a few investor contacts with whom I have follow-up dialogues now. Furthermore, a journalist from Forbes contacted me for an interview after the event, so that was an unexpected bonus, said Thomas Helms from Vaavud, one of the ten startups that was brought along.

 

He believes the #NordicMade effort can help to get American investors to open their eyes for Nordic startups.

 

– Some of them are already starting to realise the benefit of having engineering in the Nordics where it is still cheaper than the US, and then just have US based sales and marketing team. We need more of them to realise that this is a viable model, he said. 

 

Ghita Wallin from Slush characterises Helms and the rest of the founders as "amazing", and believes they were the reason why the Nordic delegation was received with what she calls an "overwhelmingly positive reaction" from US stakeholders.  

 

– That provides a solid foundation for future collaboration between the Nordics and New York, she said, before adding:

 

– It was amazing to fulfil the vision of bringing together all the Nordic startup hubs, and strengthen the friendship between the hubs. We couldn't have done it without the support from Nordic Innovation. We were also able to leverage Nordic Innovation as a neutral player in the ecosystem, lacking a country specific agenda like the other actors.

 

 

– The Nordic potential will be there for a long time

 

Both the #NordicMade hashtag effort and the showcase trip to New York is part of Nordic Innovation's lighthouse project Nordic Partnership for Entrepreneurship and Financing, which runs from 2014-2017 and is led by Iceland.

 

The lighthouse projects takes as a starting point that Nordic startups need to attract capital and international networks as well as competence in order to grow. It rests on the belief that telling a great common story about the ideas and companies that are being developed in the Nordic countries, increases our attractiveness. 

 

– We hope that activities like #NordicMade will give concrete results, for example in terms of outside investments, and that the different players in the Nordics also form a good working relationship for future actions. The world is getting bigger and our countries smaller in the relative sense, so the Nordic potential will be there for a long time, says managing director of Nordic Innovation, Roger Bjørgan.

 

Bardur Örn Gunnarsson, Frederik Waitz and Roger Bjørgan Moe in New York

(Bardur Örn Gunnarsson, Frederik Waitz and Roger Bjørgan

from Nordic Innovation promoting #NordicMade in front of the

Nasdaq tower in New York. Photo: Jenny Jungell)

 

 

Watch Nasdaq VP take his tie off for #NordicMade startups and SUP64 CEO Jessica Stark’s power speech on the Nordic startup ecosystem from the closing bell ceremony:

 

 

 

Growing attention


The Nordic startup scene is gathering a growing amount of attention in world, and the Nordic capitals now have the most billion dollar-valued companies compared to population after Silicon Valley. Although the region only represent four percent of Europe's population, 26 percent of all European exits the last five years have come from Nordic countries.

 

The 10 startups invited along to New York was carefully selected by the startup organisations, with two startups coming from each country. The invited startups were:

 

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