Innovation plain sailing at Gothenburg Startup Hack

Featuring over a 100 participants, the Gothenburg Startup Hack set sail on a ten hour journey of discovery and innovation designed to ignite the tech startup-community of Gothenburg, Step aboard to learn more about the events goals and motivations.

By Vic Bassey

Originally conceived by Andreas Rolén and Linus Olsson, students at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, the GbgtechWeek was spawned out from the #gbgtech initiative as a way to promote the community and get the people in the city more aware of the startup community. I spoke to serial entrepreneur and the events press officer Johannes Tveitan about its novel setting and the desire to uncover uncharted startup territory.

Why was the initiative devised?
#gbgtech was initiated in the wake of last years Gothenburg Startup Hack by me and a group of like minded entrepreneurs that knew Gothenburg has a lot to offer but is poor at showing it. It got the community to start communicating more in the same channels but it lacked that kick to really get it out there.
Andras and Linus started planning around gbgtechWeek earlier this year to be that kickstart #gbgtech needed.
The second edition of Gothenburg Startup Hack already in the works we thought would be a good center point for the week and that sort of set the of the week to be around the 16th of May.
Who and what would you say was the key attraction of this weekends event?
I would say it’s two fold. On one hand, the hack is about inspiring people who have ideas to take the leap and just start doing. To start working on a first prototype for their idea. To actually go and do something real.
The second, the arena is about getting people in and out of the startup community to get inspired and to show just how much the city has to offer. With great talks by entrepreneurs, workshops and our partners on site we create meetings between people and show what is going on and then with the  participants of the Gothenburg Startup Hack pitching their ideas and showcasing the prototypes they’ve build during the day. We really show on what taking action on your dream can look like.
Gothenburg Tech Startup_Boat_People hack
Why the decision to host it at such an unusual location?
Why not? We really want the event to be memorable and have a clear connection to the city. Having the hack on a 100 year old steam boat (with a modern engine) have a great connection to the cities legacy as a port city. Plus it truly is an amazing experience having 111 people hacking away at their realization of their dream whilst cruising the archipelago of Gothenburg.
How critical a role does such an event play in boosting the regions growing tech startup community?
Looking back as to what last years hack did for the community I would say a lot. This is a day where not only people who are not involved in the community get a chance to see what it’s all about. It also ignites a great spark in the existing community helping to form new connections between people and groups within the community and strengthening the bonds of a somewhat dispersed community.
What areas of the tech startup community do you believe requires further development and how does the initiative help?
All parts, groups and sub-communities need to get better connected and start interacting more as a whole. I think this is the area that needs the most work. There is no clear rallying point for the startup community in Gothenburg.
There is also not a lot of work being done together with the city in regards to startups. A lot of todays initiatives that are done from the city I feel are a bit misguided and will not strengthen the community. We need to have a better dialog and help each other understand the needs of startups in the city.
Gothenburg Tech Startup_Boat_Hoodie
Do you collaborate with other similar regions around the Nordic region or harbour plans to do so?
In my understanding there is no clear collaboration with similar regions in Scandinavia or the Nordic regions, not any clear collaborations anyway. #gbgtech and the people involved definitively want to collaborate. We think that Gothenburg have a great opportunity to become a great gathering point for a lot of the communities, we have a lot of engaged people, some great schools and organizations plus we have an awesome geographic location where there is about the same distance to 4 large startup communities.
When is the next event and how can individuals and companies make contact?
We are constantly discussing and planning new events. If nothing goes wrong you can count on us to be back next year around the same time. But keep us on the radar, we are always looking to engage people and build this cities future for startups. #gbgtech is much more than the Startup Hack.
To get in contact or to learn about the team behind the hackathon, head to Gothenburg Startup Hack .