Swedish Startup Space

Berlin wants to steal Stockholm’s hottest tech-entrepreneurs

Written by on September 21, 2015

Representatives from Berlin’s startup scene are temporarily moving into an empty space designated for shops, in the middle of Stockholm. The goal is to have more Swedish startup’s come to Germany.

Music enterprise Soundcloud, food delivery services Delivery Hero and Hello Fresh all have something in common. All three companies have at least one Swedish founder – and a head office in Berlin.

Berlin Partner, promoter of industry and commerce, together with tourist organization Visit Berlin wants to find more talent and put the German capital on startup-Stockholm’s map. Starting today, Monday, they are opening a popup store on Mäster Samuelsgatan 2, in the middle of Stockholm.

“Berlin has become extremely attractive for entrepreneurs. We notice there is a trend where Swedes start their first company there and that a large number of Swedish companies initiate their international expansion in Germany”, says Ninni Löwgren who is responsible for market entry & business development at the German-Swedish chamber of commerce.

Together with her colleagues, she represents the two Berlin organizations in Sweden and assists in marketing the startup seminar which will be held on opening day. Swedish startups are invited to hear what possibilities there are to set up an office in Berlin. Representatives from Cleantech Business Park together with Germany’s leading science and technology park, Alderhof, will be on-site.

“A lot is happening in Berlin, it is an exciting environment to grow in. Among other things, the entire old airport Tegel will be rebuilt now into a startup center. The prices and level of costs is entirely different from Stockholm, for instance. You can afford to try out your business idea there”, Ninni Löwgren says.

There are several major differences in corporate culture between Sweden and Germany. According to Ninni Löwgren, who was born in Germany, some of the greatest are communication differences. Germans are a lot more direct, tough and handle information in another way.

“9.7 million people live in Sweden, and all of them have to be a cogwheel in the system for it to spin. But in Germany, which consists of 82 million people, the competition is much greater and an assessment of your competence is made from a young age. I carry that with me when I do business, I have to legitimize my role, we have a much more hierarchical structure”, Ninni Löwgren says.

So what does the German venture mean for Sweden? Fundamentally, it is a good rating of the Stockholm startup scene, Jessica Stark believes, who is the founder and CEO of startup-hub SUP46.

“I have heard rumors regarding several countries wanting to make greater efforts and market their countries in Stockholm. It is a natural development since there are so many exciting startup’s here. However, I feel I want to feed back to the manifesto.”

Jessica Stark is referring to the Startup Manifesto which was launched during the Almedal week on Gotland this year. 14 tech profiles support the manifesto where together they are demanding more vigorous action from politicians, to encourage the Swedish startup climate.

“This is yet another example of how these questions should be taken very seriously in order for us to manage keep startups here in Sweden. So far we are overjoyed of how it has been received.” Jessica Stark says.

The Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation recently appointed a person responsible for startup’s which she, of course, think is very good. But more is required.

“If that is all, I will be extremely disgruntled. We want to see concrete changes and we will naturally follow up the manifesto. Will there be additional fancy words or will there be real changes? I am expecting there will be. There is a great interest at last, and a new understanding.” Jessica Stark says.

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