Nordic Startup Bits have met the prominent Nordic angel investor, Hampus Jakobsson, to a talk about the Nordic startup scene and his thoughts about Nordic entrepreneurs. He has invested in 32 startups, with an average investment of 50-100,000 dollars pr. startup. Hampus is located in Malmö, Sweden, from where he has a very close connection to the Nordic startups.
“Generally entrepreneurs from the Nordic countries are very good craftsmen. We make really good products. I think it comes from the fact that we historically have had amazing resources. But we are very bad at marketing. The Nordic countries have been very heavy on creating value to assets, and not heavy on communication-thinking.”
We asked Hampus about why he thinks that we see relatively few billion dollars startups from the Nordic countries.
“I don’t think the problem is lack of ambition. I think the problem is lack of vision and big goals. When I talk to founders of an ordinary American startups, they want to raise like 15-20 million dollars in funding. While many Nordic startups are satisfied if they can get funding so they can run in further three months.”
Despite of some of the problems there are in the Nordic countries, Hampus Jakobsson loves to be an angel investor that invests in Nordic startups.
“Denmark and Sweden are both in top 10 when it comes to return on investment (ROI) on startups compared to the inhabitants. So the potential is very big. But Scandinavians don’t get the enough venture capital so they can scale globally very fast. That is unfortunately a big problem.”
We asked Hampus Jakobsson about how he thinks the Nordics could compete with Silicon Valley.
“In the Nordics there are like 15 prominent angel investors and I know them all (Jesper Buch, Hjalmar Winbladh etc.). If you are a day in San Francisco you will meet 15 angel investors without knowing it because the eco system is so big. Another thing is that in Silicon Valley the entrepreneurs are the kings of the world. In the Nordics being an entrepreneur is still not being a visionary, but more of being an outcast. It has become less underground, but it is not the first choice for young people. In Berlin the artist are the kings and in London it is the bankers.”
Hampus Jakobsson’s last recommendation is that Nordic entrepreneurs should solve real problems and communicate a lot more – a lot more!
“10x your marketing and communication, be more proud, and show your will to change the world. And be more fearless.”