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 scaleup, 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 scaleups with the desired opportunities for growth. This is exactly what Nordic Innovation wants to tap into with the Nordic Scalers program. The vision is to make the Nordics the leading region in the World not only for starting up, but also scaling up businesses.
Our 'scaleup' definition
- Annual revenue at minimum of EUR 2 million
- Personnel of at least 10 people
- Annual growth figures of at least 20% in the past three years.
What is a scaleup?
The term 'scaleup' refers to a small group of rapidly expanding companies which account for an above-average proportion of the economic growth. Scaleups 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.
Scaleups 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
Nordic Scalers Steering Group
Shori Zand, Serial entrepreneur, investor
Lars-Michaël Paqvalén, Serial entrepreneur
Richard Georg Engström, Founder, Executive Director, The One Initiative
Ann-Tove Kongsnes, Investment Director, Investinor
Erja Retzén, Senior Managing Director, Global Listing Services, Nasdaq
Anne Lidgard, Director, Vinnova
Janne Peräjoki, Senior Director, Fast Growth Acceleration Services, Business Finland
Arni Alvar Arason, Director exports and investments, Business Iceland
Kristian Berg Grum, Special Adviser, Danish Business Authority
Helen Gjester, Special Adviser, Innovation Norway
Svein Berg, Managing Director, Nordic Innovation (Chair)
Anna-Maija Sunnanmark, Senior Innovation Adviser, Nordic Innovation
Nina Egeli, Senior Innovation Adviser, Nordic Innovation