Swedish Startup Space

A friday night story from Gothenburg

Written by and on October 28, 2014

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m heading down to Recorded Futures office for the first gathering of the GBG Startup Hack people and friends. Entering the offices there is already a buzz in the air, people meeting friends from the hack, new acquaintances. But most notably, the spirits are high and there has come a lot of people.

Entering the door the Startup Hack crew had made a plan to kickstart people into connecting, everyone got a tag to write either “Developer”, “Designer” or “Visionary” – the goal of the evening is to at least strike up a conversation with another guest that had a tag that didn’t match your own. I must say that this is a great idea, in these circles my experience have shown that it can be hard to take that first step and starting interaction with another.
The offices of Recorded Future are really great and gives a sort of house party feel to the evening, as with all house parties – the place to be is in the kitchen. A few beers later and a lot of interesting meetings it was time for some organised presentations.

Tomas Ohlson took us through a nostalgic recap of the Hack, a really great reminder of how awesome the day in the bank vault was. It really is a fantastic thing how much the participants was able to create in just 10 hours and how positive impact the event has had on the tech-startup community in Gothenburg. With thanks to all the Startup Hack sponsors Tomas then gave the word to Mattias Petter Johansson of Soprum. The price they were promised as runners up in the Hack finally got delivered, two chrome casts plus two extra as interest for the time it took to get them here. Their video ad they made during the Hack got a lot of traction, they thought about building the actual app – but in the end they realised they it would be hard to get the economy of it all to work, really interesting idea though. Check it out on their site.

The team behind Überhead then took the stage, since the win of the Startup Hack they have been putting in as much time as they could scrape together into the project. They have gotten interest from investors and other startups. They haven’t anything decided, the future will tell what happens next.

One project that have gone from a quick hack at the event to a real service is Coindero. They had just launched their site 10 days prior to the RE:Meetup. Emil Janitzek talked about their journey from the Hack to release and how it is important to keep momentum, this he thinks can be done by keeping the “hack” mentality and focus on making. Taking some shortcuts will keep you on track, the bugs you can handle when released, this forces you to keep focus and continue when the release is done.

Petter from Recorded Future rounded up with an interesting insight into their service and the road to get to where they are today. Since they have an extremely complex and large system for analysing data they needed to have a lot of developer right of the bat, this means also a lot of capital. Now they are finally getting to a point where their numbers will be in the black. Right now they say they cannot predict the future, but they are getting there. Currently they analyse the output of over 600 000 news and social media sources to derive and map events, organisations and so on.
The company is based in Sweden and the US but the whole development team is right here in Gothenburg with no plans to move. Petter emphasises that he really thinks it is a great city with a great community, a lot of interesting companies and that we need more efforts like the GBG Startup Hack to get the community growing even more.

Tomas then announced that there are plans on making the GBG Startup Hack an annual happening and that they are now aiming to get the next hack going around the same time as last, though he cannot guarantee that it will be exactly the 3rd of May.

Also the crew is looking for people to help with organising the next startup hack, so do not hesitate to ping @gbgstartuphack if you’re interested or just curious as to what is happening and what you can do to help!

All in all, it was a great night with a lot of impressions. It is always great to se entrepreneurs, developers, students and management people under the same roof all discussing new ideas, trying to find people to join their project/business. The community in Gothenburg is really growing and to have companies like Recorded Future take a more active role in the community, by giving people a place to meet, inspiring with stories of their journey, will really be the fuel that can keep the movement going.

Heading out of the office through the halls surrounded with laughs and intense conversations about ideas and projects and the tunes of ‘star wars cantina song’ in the speakers I cannot help to feel a great excitement over the future of this city.

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