people sitting at tables in a cafe and working

Nordic Scalers pilot

Project 2017 - 2019 Closed

Nordic Innovation has awarded the contract to Rainmaking from Denmark. Rainmaking leads a Nordic consortium consisting of members from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland – in addition to global networks in USA, the UK and China.

Nordic Innovation received a total of eight bids. The tenderes had most experience from supporting startups or corporations or engaging cooperation between the two. This was also seen in the offered scaling models.

The pilot provides an excellent opportunity for the existing Nordic service providers to develop their own business models to serve better the needs of the scale-ups.

Anna-Maija Sunnanmark, Senior Innovation Advisor at Nordic Innovation

The first scale-up lab was held at Rainmaking in Copenhagen, the following three scale-up labs at Epicenter in Stockholm.

Rainmaking's previous work with entrepreneurs

The lead contractor of the winning team, Rainmaking, is itself a high growth company which, since its inception in 2006, has grown its physical presence in markets across Europe, the US, Asia and the Middle East. Today, they have more than 400 employees working to connect and grow startups, scale-ups, experienced serial entrepreneurs, corporate partners and venture investors. The offices of Rainmaking in selected hot spots, such as London, Shanghai and Chengdu will also be engaged as entry points to new markets. The networks and landing platforms of the accelerator program of Rainmaking, Startup bootcamp, will also be leveraged to support the pilot.

"At Rainmaking, we are entrepreneurs by heart. We have founded 25 startups over the last 10 years. In addition, we have invested in and helped 450 startups around the world to develop their companies. Through this experience we have learned first-hand - and the hard way - how difficult it is to grow from a startup to a true scale-up which grow internationally beyond the home market", says Jakob Kistorp, partner at Rainmaking and Startup bootcamp Global.

“When the Nordic Innovation tender came out, we were excited to bid because we saw this as another opportunity to take all our experience and learnings from the last 10 years and use that to help Nordic companies to expand abroad and hopefully to help create the next unicorn from the Nordics".

Bringing the Nordics together

Apart from Rainmaking, the Nordic consortium consists of Epicenter Stockholm (Sweden), Angel Challenge (Startup Norway), Maria 0-1 (Finland), Icelandic Startups (Iceland) and the Hub. Svein Berg, CEO at Nordic Innovation, explains “The partners in the project are experienced and competent in working with startups and building networks and startup ecosystems nationally, at the same time supporting scale-ups with co-working spaces and local contacts” and continues “The next natural step in the journey is to bridge the gap for the more mature companies in accelerating their growth in global markets”.

According to Adam Kostyál, Senior Vice President at Nasdaq and responsible for Global Listing Services, as well as a member of Nordic Innovation’s Nordic Scaling Advisory Board, “the Nordics has an outstanding track record in building global companies punching way beyond its weight. This has inspired many new entrepreneurs to develop new initiatives”.

"It is therefore important that we do not take this success for granted. We need to focus on assisting those companies that have started to gain traction to develop them even further and to support them in taking them to the next level. These are the companies that will play a large part of the future job creation and we should engage and assist where we can to help these companies scale even further and to be in a position to control their own destiny. An IPO could be one of many routes for a good company but you need to come prepared for such an alternative”, explains Kostyál.

Have a look inside the Nordic Scalers' Scale-up Lab

Project partners (consortium)

Rainmaking (Denmark)
Epicenter Stockholm (Sweden)
Angel Challenge (Startup Norway)
Maria 0-1 (Finland)
Icelandic Startups (Iceland)


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.

Twitter   Linkedin

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.

Twitter   Linkedin