Group photo of the Nordic Scalers advisory board in 2019

The Nordic Scaling Advisory Board is Here to Support Nordic Scale-ups

In the last years, there has been a focus on how to help and nurture startups in the Nordics. This has made the Nordic region one of the best in the world when it comes to starting and developing new companies. Even though the Nordic countries are above OECD average to start new companies, the challenge is that they seldom grow to scale. Therefore, the Nordic startup companies are not reaching their full potential and many of the growth opportunities are lost.

The Nordic countries lag the leading countries in the extent to which they scale-up, with research suggesting that many of the companies have stagnant growth despite their best aspirations. Research has also shown that fewer than three per cent of start-ups both survive for a decade and enjoy a single year of high growth.

One of the differences compared to the leading ecosystems is the size. Combined, the Nordic countries are big enough to produce quality scale-ups with the desired opportunities for growth. This is exactly what Nordic Innovation wants to tap into.

The Nordic Scaling Advisory Board

Nordic Innovation has put together a high-level Advisory Board to help to reach that goal. The Advisory Board consist of high-level representatives of public sector actors responsible for the Nordic internationalization or scaling programmes and policies in their own countries, complemented with prominent private sector figures (serial entrepreneurs, Nordic VCs, other influencers). The Advisory Board will help to develop Nordic innovation policies and framework conditions to support scale-up companies, and to increase the number of such companies.

According to Marie Wall, Startup Director at the Ministry of Enterprise in Sweden and a member at the Nordic Scaling Advisory Board, startups’ full contribution to the long term economic growth in society, job creation, export and productivity can only be fulfilled if they manage to take the leap from a small startup to a growing scale-up. And vice-versa. Also scale-ups contribute to the startup ecosystem with management competences, talent and capital attraction and providing an exit market.

The following stakeholders have come together to support Nordic scale-ups

Davið Helgason, Founder and Board Member, Unity Technologies, Nordic Makers

Nicolai Hellmann, Chief Advisor, Danish Business Authority

Marjo Ilmari, Director, Startup companies, Tekes

Lars Jörnow, Founding Partner, EQT Ventures

Adam Kostyál, Senior Vice President, Global Listing Services, Nasdaq

Erling Maartmann-Moe, Partner, Alliance Ventures

Huld Magnúsdóttir, CEO, NSA Ventures

Lars-Michaël Paqvalén, Serial entrepreneur

Pål Thorvik Næss, Director of Entrepreneurs and Startups, Innovation Norway

Marie Wall, Deputy Director, Startup Director, Ministry of Enterprise

Read more about the results here.


Portrait Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Anna-Maija Sunnanmark

Senior Innovation Adviser
Anna-Maija is a finance and business development professional with 20 years’ of experience in identifying innovations and scalable business models in various industries in international context with execution capability, a can-do-attitude, holistic perspective and passion to build on Nordic strongholds.

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Portrait Nina Egeli

Nina Egeli

Senior Innovation Adviser
Internationalization, innovation and business development support, in combination with a strong background in strategy and policy development are main pillars in Nina’s professional life. Through project design and management, she aims to fit market needs with relevant services and opportunities that allows new business partnerships and business projects to prosper.

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