2023 In Review

Ignite celebrates a record-breaking year marked by a substantial rise in the number of commercial collaborations and the highest follow-up rate since the initiative’s inception.

In 2023, Ignite orchestrated a total of 1,074 meetings connecting startups with corporates and public entities, resulting in an impressive 157 commercial collaborations throughout the year. This achievement surpasses a total of 610 startup partnerships since our initiative started in 2017.

“We have continued to break records this year. We have witnessed a substantial rise in the number of collaborations initiated in 2023, making it the year with the most collaborations since our inception,” says Sara Hamlin, COO & Director Partners and Engagement
at Ignite Sweden.

Another notable milestone achieved in 2023 is the increase in the follow-up rate from 55% to 63%, indicating that 6 out of 10 meetings between startups and potential corporate and public sector customers lead to further conversations towards initiating joint projects.

Sara explains: “This improvement can be attributed to various factors, including heightened efficacy in our internal processes, refinements in the corporate sector’s workflows concerning collaboration with startups, and an augmented proficiency among startups in successfully concluding deals.”

Sara Hamlin (Ignite Sweden)

Opening Doors to International Markets

Another noteworthy achievement is the successful connection of startups with 118 potential customers from 16 different countries, setting yet another record for Ignite. Notably, 40 of these participating organizations were introduced to startups through our initiative for the first time this year.

“We have connected Swedish startups with leading corporates from countries such as Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea and the USA for some years now. This year, we expanded our reach by introducing a new international matchmaking event with Switzerland. Additionally, we welcomed new corporates from Chile, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom, providing Swedish startups with opportunities to access even more international markets,” says Sasan Shaba, COO and Director International Cooperation at Ignite Sweden.

In 2023, Ignite organized the third edition of Sweden Innovation Days, facilitating interactions between 58 corporates and 214 startups from ten countries.

Sasan Shaba (Ignite Sweden)

The second edition of the European AI Startup Matchday in May expanded its scope by including companies from the Netherlands. Furthermore, two startup delegations were sent to Brazil and Canada, providing them with introductions to local corporations.

“Opening international markets to startups is not just about expanding business horizons; it’s about nurturing innovation, fostering global collaboration, and empowering entrepreneurial spirits to thrive beyond borders. Through our commitment to international events and delegation trips, we sow the seeds of opportunity, cultivating a landscape where startups can flourish, connect, and make an indelible mark on the world stage,” says Sasan.

More Startups from Incubation Programs

In 2023, a remarkable 533 startups engaged in meetings with corporates and public organizations orchestrated by Ignite Sweden. Nearly 300 of these startups were introduced to potential customers through our initiative for the first time this year.

The majority of participating startups are introducing innovations primarily focused on environmental and energy industries, closely followed by life science and industrial technologies.

“We are pleased to observe this trend as it signifies active engagement from both the private and public sectors in seeking startups capable of addressing challenges in these crucial fields,” says Sara.

Another highlight of 2023 is the notable increase in the number of startups affiliated with incubators and science parks throughout Sweden. A significant 60% of the Swedish startups connected with potential customers this year are currently participating in, or have previously participated in, an incubator program.

At present, Ignite Sweden has established partnerships with 27 incubators and science parks across the country. These collaborations have expanded the program’s capacity to provide support to a record number of startups in various stages of incubation or those who are alumni.

Ignite Sweden’s 2023 in Numbers

Commercial collaborations: 157
Meetings: 1074
Follow-up rate: 63%
Startups matched: 533
Corporates participating: 110
Public organizations: 8
Participating countries: 12
Incubator and Science Parks Partnerships: 27

Ignite Sweden in Numbers 2017-2023

Commercial collaborations: 610
Meetings: 6729
Matchmaking events: 99
Startups matched: 1523
Corporates: 315
Public organizations: 45

Share this article

Get inspired by the Ignite Sweden Stories and articles

Login for Ignite Sweden members

Sign in to our digital platform Ignite Magic to join our program, check out our upcoming matchdays, update your company profile, and access useful resources created exclusively for members such as legal templates and other material to help you prepare for your meetings.

Not a member yet?

Click on the boxes below to learn more about our memberships and get started.