The swedish startup community rocks!
Yesterday I was accepted as a part of “teknik bubblan” a facebook group for swedes that are into tech. I was a bit daring with adding it – mainly because I’m not a swede (well I’m an 8th swede ) and I don’t reside in Sweden. However Helsingør (my town) is right across the ocean from Sweden and I go there a lot (so much so I’m thinking about moving a part of the Toothless Tiger to Sweden) so I guess that must count for something. But I put together a list of why it’s cool as a dane in tech to live close to sweden.
10 reason Why it’s cool as a dane (in technology) to live close to sweden and the swedish startup community
1. Every time I go over there I get immensely inspired, both by the startups, the support by the society to do startups, and the incredibly sweet and friendly people. I also get inspired by the startup scene in Denmark, because the startups are immensely cool – but it just does’t seem as if they get quite as much support as the startup scene in Sweden. Also, in 2012, Sweden had a delegation of swedish startups at Le Web. The swedish embassy in Paris even invited them for drinks with the ambassador present at the party and at Le Web. That will happen to the danish startups in a million years if we’re lucky.
2. It seems like even though I would claim that the road from thought to action is smaller in Denmark, it’s more well recognized by the community and the media in Sweden, and more supported to actually carry out your ideas.
3. I love the fact that it seems like the people in the startup community – overall – support each other. We do the same in Denmark but on a much lesser scale – maybe it’s because we’re fewer and we don’t have as many hubs for the startup environment as they do in Sweden. Also, it seems as if they actually have media that keeps an eye out for what’s happening in the startup space – in Denmark it seems like we just have social media consultants that translate allfacebook.com or mashable into danish =) no just kidding… the ecosystem and the support system around the startups just seems better or larger. In Denmark as a tech startup you might get written about on comon.dk, on computerworld.dk – but there’s hope for us more “soft” startups out there: erhvervsbladet.dk is turning into a section of berlingske focused on entrepreneurship, startups and growth. I’m looking so much forward to that.
4. It’s literally not far away – if you’re in Copenhagen it’s a 45 min train ride, or in Helsingør as I am it takes 15 mins with a ferry. Sometimes I feel that the mental barrier of “going to Sweden” or “going to Denmark” is actually bigger than øresund itself =)
5. I have gotten some great friends from my trips to Sweden – they are cool and greatly appreciated. And on the personal side (and why I love to visit Sweden)
6. They have cheap food – and in all kinds of varieties. Even their instant (eco) coffee is good. Their dog food is cheap (and the CCSO (Chief Cuddly Security Officer) and CSO (chief shoe-eating officer) of Toothless Tiger eats a whole lot of that). I’m a ICA maxi fan.
7. They have cool (and cheap) clothes – we always buy clothes for P (my daughter) in sweden – Lindex in particular
8. They have lakes and canoes and blueberries and small red houses and mountains (to swedes you probably would call places like Isaberg a huge hill – but hey I’m a dane – it’s a mountain to me)
9. Sweden makes me relaxed and it makes me want to write more than any other place in the world – so if you have a spare cabin somewhere in the woods I would love to go and finish some of the next book there.
10.You have cheap lunches – I would choose a ‘dagens’ at hacket in Helsingborg anyday (if I could=) in Denmark you end up paying twice as much for lunch – in danish kroner. So that’s it – a little sweden shout from me =). (Oh and if you’re an internet startup based in Helsingborg (in particular) or Malmø¸ and want to have coffee with me the next time I come over – I would love to hear what you’re about. Also if you have an office space I can crash occasionally =) In my mind the Sweden startup community is so different from the danish because of the overall supportive role from the surroundings(both on a macro and on a micro level).