Nordic Startup Bits have interviewed some of the most prominent Nordic VC’s, Gregers Kronborg from Northzone, Martin Hauge from Creandum, and Niels Vejrup Carlsen from SEED Capital, about their view on the Nordic startup scene.
In the series of articles Nordic Startup Bits will look at the most promising, the worst and the biggest challenges on the Nordic startup scene based on the interviews. The first article will look at what defines the Nordic startup environment and the amount of highly skilled people.
“The past 5-10 years we have seen a new generation of young people, often educated at business schools, that have started several very scalable online businesses. Common for those entrepreneurs is that many of them are located in Copenhagen, Lund, Malmö and Helsinki. They are located very close downtown and not in the industrial parks – 10-15 kilometers away from downtown. So they have created a national startup identity, critical mass and density in the different countries which is very important” – Gregers Kronborg, Northzone Capital
Gregers Kronborg thinks that the different startup scenes in the Nordic region are very different at some point.
“It has been a disadvantage for Finland that Nokia for many years has been so huge because it has attracted all the creative entrepreneurs. But today the startup scene in Finland is very interesting and there are many upcoming gaming and wearables startups. Norway is very focused on oil while Denmark and Sweden have focused on online businesses.” – Gregers Kronborg, Northzone Capital
Martin Hauge from the Nordic Venture Capitalist Creandum agrees with Gregers Kronborg about the characteristics of the new generation.
“Right now we see a high number of young very skilled entrepreneurs. At the same time we can see that the top students from the business schools prefer to work for a company like Spotify rather than working for consulting firms like Mckinsey.” – Martin Hauge, Creandum
Niels Vejrup from Seed Capital focuses on the challenge of recruiting highly skilled people to Nordic startups. Even though it has been a lot easier the past couple of years, it is still difficult to find the right people when it comes to product design, marketing and growth hacking.
“I think it will be difficult to compete with Berlin and London when it comes to the amount of talent. London is more flexible when it comes the import of the highly skilled people and Berlin is a cheaper city to live in than the Nordic capitals. I believe we are improving as the start up community matures and creates the required experience. However, at the political level we also need to push for making it easier to attract qualified people.” – Niels Vejrup, Seed Capital