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This article was published on May 8, 2017

Why cities like Stockholm, Amsterdam and Seoul are actively helping startup ecosystems grow

Why cities like Stockholm, Amsterdam and Seoul are actively helping startup ecosystems grow
Annick van Dijk

A decade ago, joining the words ‘government’ and ‘startup’ was about as absurd as joining the words ‘healthy food’ and ‘McDonalds’. Now we can order salads at McDonalds, and many governments work together with young entrepreneurs to help their innovative, new companies grow faster than ever.

Being a startup entrepreneur used to mean having to swim upstream to get financial, legislative or promotional support from local governments, but a new trend is seeing more startup cities like Amsterdam, Seoul, Dublin, and Berlin creating programs to help startups grow. One of such startup cities is Sweden’s Stockholm.

Stockholm as a tech hub in Europe

Even though Swedes don’t like to boast, their capital is a great place to build a startup. The Scandinavian country has 20,000 startups in total and together they raised a total of 1.5B in 2016, an increase of 50 percent since 2015. With companies like Skype and Spotify, no other European city has produced more billion-dollar unicorn startups

Today, the government is more active than ever in supporting the startup ecosystem. Business Sweden is a merger of the Swedish Trade Council and Invest Sweden that supports Swedish startups in reaching export markets with their products and services so that they can grow internationally. One of such efforts is their Swedish Hotspot, a move from Business Sweden to invest in bringing their most promising startups to technology events all over the world.

At TNW Conference 2017, Business Sweden will bring 12 Swedish leading start-ups and scale-ups to their Swedish Hotspot, including:

Bentigo: a pop-up university – providing professional knowledge by organising micro-events, making education as easy as having lunch.

Textual: provides automated content solutions for product descriptions, ads, news in over 15 languages.

Wittra: Providing solutions for you business in the internet of moving things.

Adoveo: SaaS platform to create interactive video marketing. The very high conversion & engagement rate increases the brand awareness.

Just Football: An app that revolutionizes the way people play football by making it easier to organize and more challenging through gamification.

Elastisys: Intelligent, data-driven automation and scaling of cloud infrastructure.

Strossle: A media tech company helping publishers and brands to increase page views, attract new visitors and generate more revenue.

Cantemo: Building next generation platforms for media management.

Vidispine: API-based platform for video content management allowing you to focus on your business logic, leaving video technology to us.

Animech Technologiesdevelops 3D configurators, sales tools and VR applications for companies with complex product offerings.

Learning to SleepA better day starts with taking back control of your night. Learning to Sleep offers clinically proven help to people with a sleeping disorder.

Phoodster: a premium digital service you can access from mobile. It is a food guide, a shopping list and a learning experience.

StartupCity Summit in Amsterdam

With so many governments investing in startup ecosystems, the city of Amsterdam will be hosting the first StartupCity Summit together with TNW.

Representatives of cities Paris, Stockholm, Dubai, Hong Kong, Brussels, Oslo, Rome and Kiev will be coming to exchange ideas about topics like ‘connecting corporates to the startup ecosystem’, ‘the city as a launching customer for startups’, and ‘unleashing venture capital’.

Other Startup cities attending TNW Conference include K-startup (Korea), Tech North (UK), Startup Catalonia (Barcelona). Want to join us at TNW Conference? Secure your tickets here.