Battle of the Nordics – what happened at NSC

Missed the Nordic Startup Conference? Here is what happened.

The conference, held for the first time, had set the ambition high – to gather leading investors and entrepreneurs in the Nordics, and have a day full with talks, panel discussions and, of course, pitches.

The high ambition were achieved. Keynotes included venture capitalist Max Niederhofer (DE/DK) from Sunstone Capital and serial entrepreneurs Carl Silbersky (SE). Besides that the panels and talks where filled with entrepreneurs from every Nordic country.

Highlights

Max Niederhofers opening keynote called for further confidence in the Nordic startup scene.

“Everything is amazing and nobody is happy”

– was one of Max statements, referring to his opinion that the Nordics are producing world class startups, but are still complaining that everything is missing. Something he argued is not the case – it is not capital, or entrepreneurs, or good ideas, or anything in particular that is truly missing. We are already doing it.

Besides the 3 main keynotes there where 6 panels, that went thru a wide variety of subjects – everything from venture capital in the Nordics, a panel on startups from the Nordics that are changing the world, and talks about failures and bankruptcies.

Pitches – battle of the Vikings

At the pitching contest there was a nice twist – every Nordic country was represented by one startup. The startups where chosen by one accelerator in each country, those being: Startup Sauna (FI), Startuplab (NO), Startup Reykjavik (IS), MINC (SE) and Accelerace (DK). This was an interesting way to choose startups for the pitches, and made for an interesting setting.

The startups where:

  • Ambronite (FI) – Nutritional snack that aim to revolutionise food.
  • Kahoot! (NO) – Enabling better tools for classrooms and making learning fun.
  • GolfPro Assistent (IS) – E-learning for golf professionals.
  • PinMeTo (SE) – Making data of every location in the world accessible.
  • Templafy (DK) – Managing templates for large corporates on all devices.

All of these, except Ambronite, where B2B startups, which made for rather interesting pitches – because the market opportunity often might not be that clear for outsiders, but are often huge. Also, many of startups where run by serial entrepreneurs or experienced entrepreneurs – making the business models solid and the ambitions high in each of them. A great lineup, that also highlighted the huge variety in the Nordic startup scene – not just geographically, but also in fields of business.

Winner of the battles of the Vikings was, after a long and hard deliberation by the judges, Templafy – who had an extremely interesting pitch and business case, and could already prove impressive traction, matched by equal big ambitions. Their aim, to define a standard in a whole business section, is something they are already on track to do. We will definitely here more from them in the future!

Personal thoughts

Our opinion is not completely un-biased. We at Øresund Startups were a media partner (althou we have no financial ties to the conference), and I myself was involved as the moderator the Battle of the Vikings pitching contest. However, my expectations of the conference where met and exceeded. They managed to gather a lot of important people in one venue.
Also refreshing – that there actually weren’t keynotes by US or other foreign entrepreneurs, something a lot of conferences often seem to believe is a must. Instead, the wide variety and expertise from the Nordics got a chance to shine. A good move, and something that I think will help boost the confidence in the entire region.

We look forward to next years event. You can read up what others thought over at Trendsonline as well.

Want to know what more larger conference are held in the Øresund region this spring – check out the summary we made.

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