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Nordic Scalers

  • Publisert 29.01.2019
Nordic Scalers is funded by Nordic Innovation. The programme is dedicated to the most promising and ambitious Nordic scale-ups.


Fra 01.01.2017
Til 05.06.2019

In the last years, there has been a focus on how to help and nurture startups in the Nordics. This has made the Nordic region one of the best in the world when it comes to starting and developing new companies. Even though the Nordic countries are above OECD average to start new companies, the challenge is that they seldom grow to scale. Therefore, the Nordic startup companies are not reaching their full potential and many of the growth opportunities are lost. 


The Nordic countries lag the leading countries in the extent to which they scale-up, with research suggesting that many of the companies have stagnant growth despite their best aspirations. One of the differences compared to the leading ecosystems is the size. Combined, the Nordic countries are big enough to produce quality scale-ups with the desired opportunities for growth. This is exactly what Nordic Innovation wants to tap into with the Nordic Scalers programme. The vision is to make the Nordics the leading region in the World not only for starting up, but also scaling up businesses.



What is a scale-up?

The term 'scale-up' refers to a small group of rapidly expanding companies which account for an above-average proportion of the economic growth. Scale-ups are not startups. According to UK Scale-up Institute they are companies growing from 10 to 5000 employees and beyond, having specific requirements for management, skills, capital and organizational processes.



Scale-ups are vital to driving job and overall economic growth

Job creation: rapidly growing firms are significant contributors to job creation

National output: a small group of scale-up companies account for a significant proportion of growth in national output

The quality of jobs: there is evidence to show that scale-up companies help create high quality jobs with more satisfied employees

Dynamic effect on local ecosystems: scale-ups act as role models and inspire other companies. They have particularly dynamic effect when clustered together (e.g. attracting and developing talented people and building networks with the local ecosystem)


(Source: The Scale-up report by Sherry Coutu CBE, November 2014)



Nordic Scalers Maria01

Nordic Scalers at MARIA01 during Slush 2018. Photo: Magnus Buer.



Do you want to be a part of Nordic Scalers? See if your company quailifies by reading more on The application deadline is 3 March 2019.



The Consortium


Epicenter (SE)


Rainmaking (DK)


Startup Norway (NO)




Icelandic Startups (IS)




Nordic Scaling Advisory Board

Davið Helgason, Founder and Board Member, Unity Technologies, Nordic Makers


Rune Gottlieb Skovgaard, Chief Advisor, Danish Business Authority


Marjo Ilmari, Director, Startup companies, Tekes


Indra Sharma, Venture Lead, EQT Ventures


Adam Kostyál, Senior Vice President, Global Listing Services, Nasdaq


Erling Maartmann-Moe, Partner, Alliance Ventures


Huld Magnúsdóttir, CEO, NSA Ventures


Lars-Michaël Paqvalén, Serial entrepreneur


Pål Thorvik Næss, Director of Entrepreneurs and Startups, Innovation Norway


Marie Wall, Deputy Director, Startup Director, Ministry of Enterprise