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. 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 with the Nordic Scalers programme. The vision is to make the Nordics the leading region in the World not only for starting up, but also scaling up businesses.
What is a scale-up?
The term 'scale-up' refers to a small group of rapidly expanding companies which account for an above-average proportion of the economic growth. Scale-ups are not startups. According to UK Scale-up Institute they are companies growing from 10 to 5000 employees and beyond, having specific requirements for management, skills, capital and organizational processes.
Scale-ups are vital to driving job and overall economic growth
Job creation: rapidly growing firms are significant contributors to job creation
National output: a small group of scale-up companies account for a significant proportion of growth in national output
The quality of jobs: there is evidence to show that scale-up companies help create high quality jobs with more satisfied employees
Dynamic effect on local ecosystems: scale-ups act as role models and inspire other companies. They have particularly dynamic effect when clustered together (e.g. attracting and developing talented people and building networks with the local ecosystem)
Source: The Scale-up report by Sherry Coutu CBE, November 2014
Have a look inside the Nordic Scalers' Scale-up Lab
Startup Norway (NO)
Icelandic Startups (IS)
Nordic Scaling Advisory Board
Davið Helgason, Founder and Board Member, Unity Technologies, Nordic Makers
Danish Business Authority
Marjo Ilmari, Director, Startup companies, Tekes
Indra Sharma, Venture Lead, 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