The Swedish start-up scene is hot and gaining increased interest from worldwide investors (recently ranked 2nd place after Silicon Valley). At the annual STING Day on May 7th this was evident as more than 150 investors came to network and speed date with an exclusive selection of 65 start-ups , mainly from Scandinavia.
The EIT ICT Labs Stockholm team of Business developers, Björn Hovstadius, Raoul Stubbe, Agneta Jacobson and Tobias Vahlne were impressed with the high quality of the presenting start-ups in the exhibition area. The start-ups supported by EIT ICT Labs, Apprl, Furhat, Gleechi, Habble, LUP, Reve and Severalnines, had an intensive day, exceeding expectations with many promising contacts.
Severalnines, was one of five startups in the STING Day pitch competition before a panel of investors with the final winner selection from a public vote. Severalnines has grown fast since it was founded in Stockholm in 2011 and now provides their automation and management software for open source databases to more than 100 enterprise customers like BT, Orange, Cisco. www.severalnines.com
Severalnines one of the investor favorites
The jury had different favorites but Ben Holmes, Index Ventures, was very positive to Severalnines as he also stated in a media interview with Swedish business magazine Dagens Industri podcast. He has previously invested in other Swedish startups with great success, from Skype and King to more recently Rebtel, Izzettle and Stardoll. In addition to scouting for interesting startups himself he underlined the value of recommendations from “the ground”, e.g. Creandum and Northzone.
In the podcast Ben Holmes also praised the Swedish startup space for having a good and supportive collaborative angel investor ecosystem, not always the case in other tech hubs in Europe. At the moment he is also keeping an eye on some e-commerce companies that are evolving. It was an e-commerce company, Findify, that won the audience choice for best startup pitch. Findify has a background from KTH with two master students choosing to finalise their double degree there.
Spotify founder promotes higher education for entrepreneurs
A keen advocate for studying is Martin Lorentzon, co-founder Spotify and the keynote of the Sting Day 2015. Martin Lorentzon strongly urged young entrepreneurs to also have a solid education to build on. KTH Innovation and STING could proudly present several great start-ups coming from the university incubator and further accelerated in the STING programmes.
Furhat Robotics, supported by KTH and EIT ICT Labs, is a startup founded on many years of research in human-computer interaction, spoken dialog systems, 3-D animation and multi-modal systems. The main customers are corporate and academic research labs that are in the need of a robust tool in social robotics where they can integrate their module or test their theory. www.furhatrobotics.com
Sting Day a great event for startups that are scaling up
The Italian startup Habble, joined with EIT ICT Labs in late April and was sponsored to attend STING Day as they fit the profile very well. Habble want to help companies be aware of and quickly understand how to best make use of their own telecommunication data, in order to be competitive on the market. Habble has close links to the EIT ICT Labs partner Telecom Italia and will be part of the Extended Expo Milan 2015. Check www.habble.it to learn more about the Habble solution and offer.
Providing the startups with access to customers and investor to scale up and internationalize the EIT ICT Labs support of STING Day continues to be fruitful as this event, organised for the 6th consecutive year, is still a very personal and intimate event, ensuring exclusivity and high value connections.
STING Day 2015 list of participating startups: www.stingday.com/startups/
STING Day 2015 list of participating investors: www.stingday.com/investors/