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The Valley – a gateway for Nordic startups

  • Published 30/01/2014
  • Last updated 31/01/2014
The Nordic Innovation House project in Silicon Valley is aiming to create a Nordic community for startups targeting global expansion. But what is the value of merging all Nordic activities in Silicon Valley in one house?

We asked this question to two of the project partners located in Silicon Valley, Anne Worsøe from Innovation Norway and Lene Schulze from Innovation Center Denmark.


– We will be able to pull together our resources and join years of experience from similar programmes to create a best practice scenario. The resources and network we can offer our entrepreneurs and startups will multiply, meaning we can offer much more targeted introductions and meetings to the individual entrepreneur, Lene Schulze says.


Aligning the balance

Finland, Denmark and Norway already have a strong presence in the valley, while Sweden and Iceland have little or no presence. The Nordic Innovation House project wishes to align the balance.


– Investors are already working on a Nordic level, and encourages the idea of Nordic, rather than national, efforts, as the probability of finding high quality companies increase, Anne Worsøe says.


– With a joint Nordic push in Silicon Valley, we will get a stronger brand. We can promise people that they will meet the best of the Nordics and not just the best from one country. We have on more occasions proven that this will increase the number and quality of people attracted to our events, which means we are able to involve very high caliber Silicon Valley executives, investors and so on, Schulze adds.



Reduce barriers

Silicon Valley is an ecosystem of universities, entrepreneurs, investors and ICT-related industry, and is considered to be the most important gateway to US markets and global expansion for ICT startup companies. But what makes this place so unique?


– Access to knowledge and experience that only exists in the Valley. Multiple technology cycles have led to an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and key employees who have started multiple companies and been part of the process from founding to exit. Access to leading technology companies, which could serve as strategic partners and/or early customers. Access to capital, the two agree.


With all the Nordic countries on board, the hopes are to reduce the barriers to the Valley and the US market for Nordic high growth technology companies. The project has initially received funding for three years through Nordic Innovation's High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative

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Project participants

Norway: Innovation House, Silicon Valley, by Innovation Norway


Sweden: Vinnova Silicon Valley


Iceland: Innovation Center Iceland


Denmark: Innovation Centre Denmark


Finland: Team Finland/FinPro