Today there are five Nordic Innovation Houses around the world. Two in the United States and three in Asia.
24 September 2014 marked the day of the opening of the first Nordic Innovation House. The house is located in Silicon Valley and was to be used as a co-working space, incubator and resource centre for Nordic tech companies. The aim is to create a Nordic community and network for connecting startups to high-quality mentors, networks of investors and funding opportunities as well as provide other business connections.
The Nordic Innovation House Silicon Valley was one of the ten projects funded through the Nordic High Growth Entrepreneurship Initiative, but has since evolved into an independent program.
Next up: New York
In 2017 the second house opened their doors in New York. Four Nordic ministers were present as Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Dagfinn Høybråten, officially opened the new house 20 September 2017.
“The Nordics have a lot of promising and talented startups and entrepreneurs, but one of our largest challenges is how to help more of them scale their business. The Nordic Innovation House in New York can be a part of that solution and can provide our talents with the support they need to go global”, said Nordic Innovation’s Managing Director, Svein Berg at the time.
At the opening Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, Finland’s Kai Mykkänen, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende of Norway, and the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström all took to the stage to pitch unique Nordic ideas to the audience. Consul General and Trade Commissioner of Iceland, Hlynur Gudjonsson was also present.
The Nordics in Asia
2018 was a busy year for the Nordics. Two more Nordic Innovation Houses opened, this time in Singapore and Hong Kong. Nordic Innovation supported the houses with 10.8 million NOK, equivalent to 50% of the total budget granted to the two houses. The total grant was for three years.
Why Singapore and Hong Kong?
Singapore's geographical position makes the city a gateway for Nordic businesses to all Southeast Asia. Interest from Nordic companies is great, for example, in health and ICT, these are also areas that are in demand in the market. Singapore is ranked No. 2 (out of 190) in the Ease of doing business index 2017.
Hong Kong ranks as number 5 (out of 190) in the Ease of doing business index 2017. Hong Kong is "next door" with the Chinese mainland market. The city is also very close to Shenzhen, which builds on market attractiveness. Investors in Hong Kong are very interested in Nordic companies in life science, clean tech and Edtech.
In September 2018 the soft launch of Nordic Innovation House Singapore and official opening of Nordic Innovation House Hong Kong happened. 2019 marked the year of the official launch of the house in Singapore, as the team had found the perfect location to work from.
The newest addition: Tokyo
In March 2020 it was announced that Nordic Innovation has signed a 3-year contract for a Nordic Innovation House in Tokyo.
Want to know more and stay up to date with the four Nordic Innovation Houses? Visit their website here.