The third Startup Live! organised by malmostartup was held yesterday, at a packed Slagthuset in Malmö, with over 1000 people registered for the event. A great chance for startups and entrepreneurs to meet, focusing on the Swedish side of this region. This time the stage program focused both on early and late-stage startups, tech, investors and also corporations and startups working together. A very encompassing agenda for a startup event!

IKEA and co-creation

The first part was about corporates and startups. IKEA Bootcamp, the new accelerator program started by IKEA together with Rainmaking, held the opening session. Per Krokstäde and Karin Blomqvist talked about their thoughts and experiences running the first batch of the accelerator, which had it’s demoday yesterday, in Älmhult.

“We believe in the idea that many brains create a better future”

– said Per, when asked why to run an accelerator at a large corporation as IKEA. This was a way to open up to the world and be even more innovative. He also mentioned that they have besides the accelerator program started a co-create IKEA platform.

“IKEA came to us and wanted to co-create an accelerator program” – Karin Blomqvist

IKEA Bootcamp is run together with Copenhagen based Rainmaking, and Karin there gave her insights into it. She was impressed with how true to their core value IKEA was – which means a lot as Rainmaking has been working with a lot of corporates and their innovation programs.

When asked what good advice to give others corporations when thinking about working with startups, Per mentioned that it is important to focus on the “gearbox”:

“Coprorates and startups work at different speeds. You need a good gearbox”

And regarding locating an accelerator program in the small town of Älmhult, that was not without it challenges Per mentioned.

“It was a bit of a change for some of the startups to move from a mega city to live in Älmhult on the campingsite for 12 month. During the winter”

Hampus Jakobsson talked about getting a real job

Hampus Jakobsson, one of the most active angels in the region, and recently elected Nordic business angel of the year, was also on stage, talking about his new job, with Blueyard Capital. When asked how it is to move to the “dark side” of investing, joining a VC, he jokingly answered:

“The dark side is just stronger”

Blueyard is investing in interesting startups, which was one of the main reasons for Hampus to join:

“We invest in anti-monopoly startups”

Hampus said, an approach to not build the facebook or google, but rather open up the ecosystems and create platforms for others.

Hampus also said that with him now working with investments, he can continue to do angel investing as a hobby, with a passion. He said he especially wants to focus on investing in things that matter to him, such as more female founders, something that was met with a spontaneous applause.

CTOs talking about people and technology

One of the sessions during the event was a CTO panel, with Cecilia Tufvesson from MinDoktor and Maria Hall from Prisjakt talking about leading tech teams to develop the products of the future.

Regarding diversity, Maria talked about her experience

“I think with a true diverse organisation with different people then you truly build the best products”

One topic was also remote teams, and how to operate that efficiently, but also regarding company culture. Here Maria gav her perspective:

“One of the myths regarding company culture is that it is hard.”

Buiding a SaaS international

The final panel was Niclas Mollin from InRiver and Hadar Cars from Industrifonden, who are also one of the most active VCs in the region, as well as being an early investor in InRiver. InRiver is a SaaS, powering a lot of the larger retailers product information, around the world. Niclas gave an insight into his story, which started unusual – he is not the founder InRiver, but joined as an early employee, and became CEO early in the startups phase

“I was the best sales person in the early team, that was why i got the CEO role”

InRiver expanded to the US quite early, when they where still only 20 employees. Reflecting on that, Niclas was quite clear:

“we were not ready for expansion”

– he said. Something that was confirmed by Hadar:

“It was first when Niclas moved to Chicago that it was sorted out.”

Early stage startups introduced as well

Besides the panels, there were also early stage startups presenting. Sandra Jönsson from the startup Wellbefy talked about what they are doing: enabling companies to become more aware of their employees’ wellness. And startup Repamera talked about instead of consuming, you can repair what you already have – and showcased the strength of one of their repaired jeans on stage!

Overall a very interesting evening filled with insights and details, and a lot of startup people.. and as the previous ones – there was some dancing on stage involved as well.

Image thanks to Fast Track Malmö.