We’ve already covered the rapid growth of the Swedish startup ecosystem by looking at Stockholm coworking spaces. Today, we’re raising the bar. For startups who need a package of seed investment, connections, mentorship and resources, it’s all about accelerators. Here are the 9 best you’ll find in Sweden right now:
You don’t necessarily associate food services and catering management with startups. But the missing link here is Sodexo, the global multinational, which launched their Sparx Accelerator for Swedish startups. The range of accepted startups is wide, as long as they fall into the “quality of life services” industry. At present, there are 6 startups in the accelerator, focusing on areas of expertise such as food infrastructure, workplace healthcare, and the exciting Moum Design, which creates experiences in spaces with light and sound.
The accelerator lasts 3 months, and includes training, coaching and facilities for workshops and testing your products. There is nothing to pay or lose - Sparx doesn’t take any equity in your company.
Launched in 2002, Sting has worked with 200 startups, which have raised more than €400 million in funding. But the real surprising stat is that 72% of them are still active. This is a close-to-miraculous success rate in the startup world.
There actually offer three programs for startups, Sting Incubate, Sting Incubate Deeptech and Sting Accelerate. Perks include free office space at A House, personal coaching, and financing of up to 300,000 SEK thanks to Propel Capital.In their list of alumni, you’ll find Midsummer (optical disc manufacturing), Volumental (3D Scanning), and Sellpy (second-hand marketplace). Any business idea based on innovative technology is welcome, and preference is given to startups with early proof of concept, a scalable product, and at least two founders with a tech and biz dev background.
As the name suggests, the +impact accelerator helps startups addressing environmental issues. It’s actually even more specific than that, as your solution needs to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 12, focusing on consumption and production patterns.
Aside from that, you’ll need to be an early stage startup with at least two co founders, and a scalable business model centered around tech. While the programme is based in Stockholm, you needn’t be. Anyone from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden can apply. You’ll even get a 27,000 SEK accommodation grant for your relocation.
Dedicated to helping teams accelerate growth and raise their first VC round, Fast Track Malmö was voted the best accelerator in Sweden. You could receive up to $50,000 in funding, along with investment meetings, mentorship and sponsorship packages.
That sponsorship package is a pretty big deal too, worth over $250,000 in services and credit from companies such as IBM, AWS, Google, Microsoft, Matlab and Stripe. It’s a great way to take care of all your infrastructure while you focus on refining your startup and pitch.
Apply to Fast Track Malmo here
You’ve guessed it by the name: this one focuses on Healthtech. Health2B is started by Smile LifeScience incubator, and welcomes 10 companies a year to Lund for an 8-week accelerator programme.
If your startup works with Digital Health, Mobile Heath, Wearables, Bio Hacking or IoT products, this is a great opportunity: the programme is free and doesn’t take any equity.
You’ll be gaining a ton of expertise from advisors, mentors and industry leaders with regards to regulatory questions, communication, economy and pitch training, amongst others.
Something a bit different: Care of Business is a programme designed by Impact Hub that helps entrepreneurs who are new to the EU and Sweden. It’s aimed at refugees and foreign-born entrepreneurs who want to kick start their business with help from Impact Hub’s unique ecosystem of resources.
It’s a long programme, lasting 10 months, and taking place at different locations depending on the time of year.
A collaboration between SCA, IBM and Processum, BizMaker helps startups focusing on innovation centered around the sustainable production of natural materials such as wood, pulp and paper. Other requirements include: being very close to market launch, 4o hours available a week, and of course a scalable idea that can help create a greener world.
Note that there is a fee for participating in the forest accelerator: SEK 10,000 + VAT. You are also responsible for travel, accommodation and expenses for your company's participation. Notable alumni include: BioCompost, CaleJo and PlantVation.
Since 1999, Chalmers Ventures has evaluated 4000 ideas, funded 540 projects, and currently manages a 2B SEK portfolio. What they offer is a complete accelerator programme that pairs you with a business coach, networks and workshops, and seed funding of 300,000 SEK.
Three times a year, you can join the accelerator created by Startup Sweden, which consists of a bootcamp to expand your network of customers, partners and financiers. It’s only one week long, and takes place in Stockholm.
Only 10 Swedish-registered companies are selected for each programme, and you’ll need to prepare a video pitch and answer a series of questions.
There is no restriction as to the kind of startup that can apply, as you’ll see from their list of alumni which includes the independent game studio Forgotten Key and Trilo interactive. However, there is also a dedicated bootcamp for women in the tech industry.
With a growing list of accelerators and successful alumni, there is a wide range of options for startups operating in Sweden and across the Nordics. Yet, the best thing about these programmes is that there is some crossover, and no exclusivity. It’s perfectly possible to join a 1 week bootcamp from Startup Sweden, and also apply to Fast Track Malmö, if your company meets the right requirements.
Best of all, most of these programmes don’t require fees and actually provide funding: great news for early stage startup founders that need a boost with resources, network, and access to customers and financiers.