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Nordic seed investors joining forces to enhance impact

  • Published 13/05/2011
  • Author Erik Johansson, Nordic Investment Solutions AB
On May 19, 2011 the leading Nordic seed and early stage investors meet in Stockholm for the third consecutive year at the Nordic Seed Capital Summit. The Summit is part of the Nordic Seed Capital Initiative aimed at developing the market for investing in young promising Nordic companies.

Nordic cooperation to strengthen early stage investments

The development of new innovative companies is vital for the future of Nordic business life. For the last three years the leading public Nordic seed capital investors have joined forces to promote Nordic cooperation and to jointly put forward the most important issues for the enhancement of the Nordic seed market investing in young promising companies.

 

The Nordic Seed Capital Initiative formed by the Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe) under the Nordic Council of Ministers aims at catalyzing Nordic cooperation between seed stage investors and financers to create a Nordic seed stage community with a critical mass for interacting with relevant international organizations to build vital business relations.

 

Creating Nordic success stories

The main goal for the effort is to enhance the output of public investing and contribute in the creation of Nordic success stories. Only by displaying successful investing in young companies can more private investments in to the development of new companies be sparked.

 

Building international relations between seed investors

At next week’s Summit distinguished international speakers such as leading venture capital and growth capital firms are invited to stimulate the Nordic discussions. In addition the Initiative organizes road shows in the most important geographies. Last year a road show was executed in Germany and this year a similar effort will be organized in the UK. At the road shows a combination of Nordic investors and selected companies with international ambitions meet with leading VC firms, corporate investors, public investors and advisors. By travelling together the delegation attracts interest from premier international players. In Berlin and Munich the delegation met with 8 of the 10 leading German venture capital firms.

 

International relations are vital for the young companies as well as for their investors. The relations provide market access, guidance and expansion capital, but also exit opportunities. Discussions are ongoing about utilizing the Initiative to explore relations in China and the US in 2012 and 2013.

 

The members of the Nordic Seed Capital Initiative are the leading Nordic public early stage investors Innovation Norway, Veraventure (Finland) and Innovationsbron (Sweden). The independent advisory firm Nordic Investment Solutions AB coordinates the effort together with Nordic Innovation.

 

Policy recommendations for the improvement of early stage equity financing

As part of the Initiative, joint advice for political decision makers has also been created. It has, among other issues, been emphasized that public funding should not only go where it is apparently needed most – the seed and early stages – but where it has the highest long-term impact on creating a self-sustainable venture capital market in the Nordic countries.

 

The Nordic countries are world class in many areas but one of main the challenges is the size of each market. Nordic public investors coming together to cooperate and jointly attract international interest has become an important tool in alleviating the market size issue. For international players the Nordic countries are often seen as one region and making the Nordic market visible and accessible is an important task.

 

Having executed projects within venture capital since 2004, Nordic Innovation will continue to catalyze and support Nordic cooperation and thereby promote innovation and growth in the Nordic economies.