With the OpenTechSchool I recently spend ten days in Stockholm. As we are about building local tech initiatives me and Bea made sure we are super embedded in the local startup scene. We even had the chance to stay at the famous Hus24 - the co-working-co-housing-space for startup people coming to the city. Which gave me early on the opportunity to talk to many startup people, and I gotta say, I am impressed.
I have been following what is going on in the Northern Europe and Scandinavian Tech Startup scene for a while already. Not only because many successful startups here in Berlin were initially funded by Scandinavian people moving here - some argue, almost all interesting, unique startups even - but because I sensed there something going on there. And there sure is.
Not only are they super good engineers and make beautiful designs, they also know pretty much exactly what they are doing business wise and what they are heading for. And even more than the Germans, they take care they built something worth-while before putting it out there. And with out there I mean leaving their home markets to internationalize it.
Which also gives it the drawbacks, we have here in Berlin. Looking at all Scandinavia (which is what most startup people form Stockholm seem to be doing), it looks like a market big enough to spend some time with. So even for a lot of really good product, working very well in those markets, we have never heard about them, because they were just to careful in expansion. But looking at it with that in mind, one has to admit, that the record history of Stockholm contains not only more exits of higher evaluations but also simply more creative and just better products in the tech industry over the last couple of years.
I really liked the Atmosphere there, though there is still a bunch of things that, even according to their own view, is missing. One being exactly the part we are working with the OpenTechSchool: shared knowledge and tech communities. Especially around coding and startups there is very little going on in Stockholm. In that sense, they are saying, the Swedish are just starting to melt ;) .