Stockholm–The Tech Start-up Paradise

The power of clearly defined place management and talent attraction strategies.

Wired - November 2013For the third year, WIRED Magazine´s European edition have visited the continent’s start-up hubs to identify the ten tech cities you need to know about. Their conclusion: Europe is on a roll and Stockholm, Sweden is in the midst of it.

The Stockholm start-up scene has exploded with massive global successes such as iZettle, Wrapp and Mojang and already mature companies like Spotify showing that the city produces winners. It is party time in Sweden’s capital city.

So, once again Stockholm has been acknowledged as one of Europe’s hottest start-up cites, but who are these highly knowledge-intensive companies, and why does Stockholm seem to be their own piece of paradise?


In 2007, the city of Stockholm developed a clear vision – to become the ultimate city for individuals to live and develop small and middle-sized technological intensive companies.

Based on this vision, the city has successfully attracted talented and driven students, researchers and co-workers from all parts of the world. Stockholm has become a place where the right-brained dreamers could meet the left-brained doers, and the blend came to be followed by a number of very successful companies.

In order to attract these intelligent individuals, giving rise to a city with the spirit that any technological product can be developed and reach market, Stockholm undoubtedly has come a long way with their place management and talent attraction strategies.

In this blog we often write about the importance of good place management strategies and well thought through strategies for talent attraction. Stockholm is a good example of how powerful it is for regions to collaboratively work with place management and talent attraction and what results can be achieved.

As I am found of stories of success, inspired by the WIRED article, below follows some examples of these technologically intensive, high growth Stockholm-based companies.

clip_image004The founders of Tictail came to develop one of the leading platforms for individuals to set up their own online store. The platform that was launched publicly in May 2012 is easy to use, very intuitive and nicely designed. No doubt that the platform, only ten months after the launch, partook 10.000 stores and only one month after that 13.000 active stores. Today over 24.000 online stores are using Tictail – speak of rapid growth!

originated in March 2011 and is a crowd-equity platform that connects specific entrepreneurs with investors and business-angels globally. It is one of the first crowd funding platforms in the world to offer both reward-based and equity crowd funding. It is claimed that FundedByMe has an investment pool of € 266 million a year. Talking about a company that really helps to build the Stockholm tech scene from inside.

imageThe founder of Osom utters that they have found a stand in which they are in the absolute forefront of emotional shopping. They define their product as a mobile market place for beautiful things. Osom is a version of Instagram, however, Osom has a buy button that allows the customer to by the specific products on the picture directly at the app.

imageBioLamina shows that Stockholm also is in the forefront to develop hard biotech. BioLamina provides their customers with the protein network that supports most animal cells, laminin, to a very low-cost. The range of defined human recombinant laminin matrices offered by BioLamina helps researchers to culture both stem cells and tissue-specific cells, allowing them to control and further develop cell research. The laminin can be used for both research and clinically purposes.

imageThe founders behind Narrative decided to develop a hardware that could document individual’s lives effortless. They wanted to capture the idiosyncratic personal data that makes up a life. By the size of a stamp, hanging on a thin lanyard, the initiators of Narrative developed a life-logging camera that every 30 seconds takes a five-megapixel photo while logging the time as well as GPS position.

Each day the connected app subsequently, based on faces, lights, GPS-positions and time, out of 2.880 photos, sort out 30 of them and creates an individual specific photo-diary. With the aim to raise $ 50,000 the producers launched the camera; only five hours after their launch they already had secured their ambition. Eventually they company secured $ 550,189 on Kickstarter where the hardware was primarily accessible.

The companies above are only a few of the many stories of success that came to be the result of Stockholm city´s clear vision and focus – some of the positive outcomes reached by applying active and conscious place management and talent attraction strategies.

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