The latest edition of Medtech Matchday gathered 150 representatives from startups, corporations, public sectors, and innovation hubs at GoCo Health Innovation City in Gothenburg.

Focusing on pioneering solutions within the medtech sector, the fourth edition of Medtech Matchday aimed to foster connections, explore potential collaborations, and discuss the global scalability of medical technology.

“It is more important than ever to support the medtech sector if we want it to keep growing and accelerate in Sweden. One way of doing this is to matchmake the big industry players with small startups to find ways to deliver better products and solutions to the market, thus creating patient value,” says Lena Strömberg, Program Director at Medtech4Health, one of the main organizations behind the event.

Facilitating Connections with Potential Customers

The event kicked off with a matchmaking session, during which nearly 60 tailored meetings took place between 11 industry leaders and public organizations, and 40 innovative medtech startups. The meetings have already resulted in 20 ongoing discussions and the signing of two NDAs.

“The Medtech Matchday aimed to bridge the gap between medtech startups and potential customers in both the public and private sectors. The objective of the meetings was to explore potential business collaboration opportunities. Each meeting underwent a curated process to ensure genuine business potential. I am delighted that our efforts have yielded such impressive outcomes in such a short timeframe,” says Shara Fägerwall Tawfik, Event & Partner Manager at Ignite Sweden and project leader for the matchmaking session.

Sting’s business coach, Olof Berglund, has been part of the organizing team for Medtech Matchday since its first edition in 2018.

“As an incubator, these events are extremely important because we really need to facilitate connections between our startups and large corporations or organizations like hospitals. Generally, it’s very difficult for startups to access the right person within these organizations,” says Olof.

Prior to these meetings, the team conducts interviews with all participating corporates to gain insight into their specific needs, objectives, and current challenges. This allows them to effectively match them with suitable startups.

Portrait Olof Berglund
Olof Berglund (Sting)

“It is a lot of work, but when it works, it really fosters collaboration between these two parties,” explains Olof.

Sting is one of the nine incubators that are part of ALIS, the Association of Life Science Incubators in Sweden, which actively collaborated in the matchmaking process. The other incubators are GU Ventures, KI Innovations, LEAD, Medeon, Sahlgrenska Science Park, SmiLe, Umeå Biotech Incubator, and Uppsala Innovation Centre.

“Through ALIS, we have a vast network of startups across Sweden in various fields such as pharma, medtech, diagnostics, and biotech. They have been instrumental in collaborating on this event. They have helped in both recruiting large corporations and organizations from their regions as well as in matching their needs with their regional networks of startups. As a result, we had excellent coverage from all over Sweden thanks to their networks,” says Olof.

Startup Collaboration Key for Medtech Enterprises

The matchmaking session featured a lineup of industry leaders and public organizations, including Alfa Laval, Arjo, AstraZeneca, Bonnier Healthcare, Capio, Elekta, Johnson & Johnson, Karolinska University Hospital, Länsförsäkringar Skåne, Mölnlycke Health Care, and Wellspect HealthCare.

For the participating corporates, Medtech Matchday was a great opportunity to get in contact with startups developing groundbreaking technology.

Håkan Hagström, Front End Program Manager at Arjo, expressed the significance of nurturing partnerships with startups for his company.

“We are a relatively large company ourselves and we run our own agenda on the R&D side, but we also recognize that there are technologies and areas that we do not cover. So, we look a little bit sideways and see how new technologies can complement the more traditional technologies and solutions that we usually provide.”

It was the first time that the Swedish medical multinational participated in the Medtech Matchday.

“I think it is very important that the companies get to meet on this first informal basis without too much administrative burden regarding NDAs.”

Startups as a Fast Track to the Future

“At Karolinska University Hospital, we are thinking a lot about how to engage more with the innovation ecosystem and the startup community. We thought Medtech Matchday would be a really good opportunity to jumpstart the initiative I am engaged in called Solution Enabler Programs,” says first-timer Andreas Hager, Open Innovation System Facilitator at the world-recognized hospital.

He also explained that the university hospital’s focus is for obvious reasons primarily on the present moment, whereas startups offer a pathway to envisioning the long-term trajectory.

“Generally, when we at a frontline unit think about the future, it’s about tomorrow or even in the next 30 minutes. But now the leadership is asking: ‘We need to develop a way to think about the things we will be doing 3 or 5 years from now, who could be a speaking partner?’ And the startup community is already there, in the future. So talking to them can be a way for us to talk to the future!”

Building Trust Through In-Person Connections

One of the startups participating in the event is Re:Lab, which provides the life science industry with a circular, closed-loop chemical recycling solution for laboratory waste plastics, converting them into new plastics within a closed loop.

A startup needs clients to create value,” says its CEO, Flavio Ortigao. “The opportunity to meet corporates at events like Medtech Matchday is excellent. It was through these contacts that we have now developed our first clients. I had an excellent meeting today.”

The face-to-face format of Medtech Matchday enhanced the connections between participants, adding value to the event. The in-person format also creates for startups avenues for networking and spontaneous conversations with companies they hadn’t been matched with.

“I only have one meeting booked, but I am also meeting people on the go here between the sessions, so I’m pretty pleased with that. I have already had one pretty good spontaneous meeting. We have actually contacted most of the other corporates who are here today and said that we will try to meet them in between meetings,” says Thomas Krotkiewski, CEO of 3ngage.

The Gothenburg-based startup enables manufacturers to create interactive digital twins of physical products. Medtech is a key area for 3ngage.

“When you are building a startup, you are doing something innovative and something people haven’t tried before. There is also an issue of trust, and it’s much easier to build that trust when you meet somebody in person. It only takes your mind seconds to figure out if the person knows what they are talking about, if they have something that is really good, or whether it is true or not. That is much easier to convey in the physical meetings,” he adds.

High Interest in Collaborating to Address Sector Challenges

In the afternoon, the event transitioned into a dynamic conference featuring expert speakers from across Europe. Discussions explored governance in innovation and collaboration in bridging healthcare needs with medtech solutions.

The first session, moderated by Lena Strömberg from Medtech4Health, delved into the effective implementation of medtech innovations. David Lowe, Director of Health Innovation at the Scottish Health and Industry Partnership, opened the discussion, followed by a panel composed of Penilla Gunther (FOKUS Patient & Patient Safety Foundation, EU), Göran Henriks (Region Jönköping), Göran Larsson (Region Västerbotten), Fredrik Koffner (Cuviva), and Cecilia Edebo (Sahlgrenska Science Park). The session also included a live Innovation Hive segment that provided many valuable suggestions to enhance the implementation of innovative medical technology.

The main takeaways from this session were to think like an investor rather than an inventor, to focus on market validation and customer adaptation, and to involve all stakeholders as early as possible.

Magda Krakowiak, Director of EIT Health Accelerator, opened up the second session around what it takes to scale up as a medtech company. Britta Stenson from Business Sweden moderated a panel discussion featuring speakers such as Anna Bergstrand (Vinnova), Fredrik Wikell (Intuitive Surgical Sárl), Hanna Sjöström (NEOLA Medical), Ana Isabel Gonzalez (Madrid Health Authority, SERMAS Madrid), Magnus Björsne (Bio Venture Hub Gothenburg) and Antony Gemmell (Johnson & Johnson).

To foster more scaleups in the next five years, speakers emphasized the vital role of stronger partnerships to ensure growth and address unmet medical needs effectively. They also highlighted the need for a national life science strategy centered on profitability and internationalization, backed up by experts from academia and leading companies.

Additionally, there was a push for increased international showcasing of Sweden and its companies, alongside efforts to strengthen talent attraction and retention domestically. Furthermore, participants emphasized the importance of globalizing Swedish companies and the life science sector as a whole, coupled with sharper funding mechanisms that prioritize quality over quantity in project funding.

According to Lena Strömberg, a key insight from the event is the widespread interest among various stakeholders to collaborate in addressing sector challenges and a mutual sense of emergency.

“Everyone recognizes the problems but also sees opportunities. I’m really thrilled to hear all the enthusiasm and engagement to be part of the solutions and collaborate together to improve patient outcomes in the long run. I’m confident that everyone left the event with at least one new contact and insight, and hopefully, a heightened sense of a nurturing community,” says Lena.

The day culminated in a joint mingle hosted by Alfa Laval, providing valuable opportunities for attendees to connect.

Lena Strömberg (Medtech4Health)

Medtech Matchday was jointly organized by Medtech4Health, AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network, GoCo Health Innovation City, Ignite Sweden, SISP – Swedish Incubators & Science Parks, Sting, and Swedish Medtech. The event was possible thanks to the collaboration of these organizations: EIT Health Scandinavia, GU Ventures, KI Innovations, LEAD, Medeon Science Park & Incubator, Västra Götalandsregionen, Sahlgrenska Science Park, SmiLe Incubator, Umeå Biotech Incubator, and Uppsala Innovation Centre.

Ignite Sweden led a Swedish startup delegation to Seoul to foster business opportunities with local corporates and organizations.

Accompanied by the startups AlixLabs, Deversify, Hopsworks and MYVOX, our colleagues Elijah Aldana and Sara Hamlin delved deep into South Korea’s buzzing innovation ecosystem.

This was the second visit to South Korea for Elijah and Sara. Last September, they embarked on a delegation trip to the country accompanied by representatives from various Swedish incubators and science parks.

“After our visit in September, we gained invaluable contacts to support us in creating relevant opportunities for Swedish startups,” says Elijah Aldana, Project Leader Matchmaking at Ignite Sweden.

Ignite Sweden has been working with South Korean organizations for the past four years through five matchmaking sessions where Swedish startups were digitally connected with many of their leading corporations.

“Taking a group of startups to the country to explore the local ecosystem and meet corporates in person was a long time coming. After this trip in March, we can see the synergies and eagerness to collaborate with Swedish startups,” he adds.

Tackling the Barriers to Entry into the Korean Business Market

On the first day of the journey, the focus was on gaining insight into conducting business in South Korea, alongside exploring the opportunities and challenges for Swedish companies in the country.

Business Sweden provided an introduction to the Korean market and its business climate, while the Embassy of Sweden in Seoul offered a comprehensive overview of innovation in Korea. This included detailed guidance on Sweden’s strategy to enhance engagement with the Korean market, outlining what Sweden can offer and what Korean companies can bring to the table.

The startups also had the opportunity to learn from the personal experiences of Security Office, a Swedish SME within cyber security established in the country.

“In just a few days, the mental and practical barrier of entering the Korean business market was lowered, with great learnings of the culture, history, business mindset and new contacts,” says Louise Ribrant, VP of Business Development at MyVox.

Visit to South Korea’s Silicon Valley

A visit to Pangyo Techno Valley, known as South Korea’s Silicon Valley, took place on the second day of the journey. The delegation visited two government-funded initiatives: the Global Digital Innovation Network (GDIN) and the K-Startup Grand Challenge.

GDIN supports local startups in their global expansion efforts through joint venture programs, aiming to promote startup-to-startup innovations and find technological alignments for future co-developments, while K-Startup Grand Challenge is a soft landing program providing international startups with office space, local employees, coaching, and funding opportunities.

“We learned about GDIN’s Joint Venture Program and how the initiative funds and supports collaborations between startups, creating mutually beneficial opportunities. The startups also had the chance to meet, a Swedish Edtech startup who shared their experience in the program,” says Elijah.

Exploring More Potential Collaborations within the Korean Innovation Ecosystem

The delegation program also included a visit to D.Camp, one of Seoul’s most vibrant incubators, founded by 19 financial institutions. The goal with this visit was to gain an understanding of support and incubation options offered to the startups.

The startups also attended a Google for Startups event where they had the opportunity to speak spontaneously one-and-one to the President of Google APAC, Scott Beaumont.

“Ignite offered us what is possibly the best possible outcome from a business standpoint within a week: a better understanding of the local ecosystem, a better understanding of the business potential, and most importantly, tools and partners to achieve results,” says Lex Avstreik, Head of Strategy at Hopsworks.

Connections with Korean Organizations with Potential for Collaboration

The delegation program concluded with a matchmaking session where the four startups had the chance to connect with nine Korean organizations, including corporates (Bujeon Electronics, Samsung Ventures, and LG Innotek), public organizations (Korea Core Industrial Technology Investment Association – KITIA), SMEs (PDxen, AiV, and Wiz Wing), and VCs (Big Bang Angels and AGCC).

“The degree of preparation that Ignite put into all the matchmaking meetings was world-class,” says Deversify’s CEO, Anders Murman.

Many of these meetings were continuations of conversations with corporates they had previously encountered through Ignite.

“South Korea is a highly localized country requiring long-term trust and relationships to be built over time in order to develop successful partnerships. We saw great progress in these relationships between the startups and South Korean companies and positive next steps established for Swedish startups and key actors in the local ecosystem as a result from this delegation journey,” concludes Elijah.

This delegation journey to South Korea was possible thanks to the support from Bigbang Angels, Business Sweden, the Embassy of Sweden in Seoul, and Vinnova.

Relive the two side events we hosted at the annual conference, focusing on innovation in the public sector and the Swedish Climate Startup Map.

Ignite Sweden was once again a part of Sweden Innovation Days, which took place in late March. This year’s edition of the digital conference was dedicated to innovating for resilience and making a tangible impact on our society, environment, and economy. You can rewatch the full conference here.

During the conference, we hosted two sessions together with our lead organization SISP – Swedish Incubators and Science Park. Below, you’ll find more details and the opportunity to rewatch these sessions.

Innovation in the Public Sector with Ignite Sweden

Ignite Sweden facilitates a process to engage the public sector with startups, driving innovation and discovering solutions to meet their needs and challenges.
During this session, the City of Uppsala, one of Sweden’s largest municipalities, will share insights on creating scalable approaches to foster innovation and collaboration. The speakers are Annika Remaeus (Uppsala kommun), Robin Griffiths (Mimbly), and Marit Finch-Westin (Ignite Sweden).

The Swedish Climate Startup Map

The Swedish Climate Startup Map showcases 508 startups and scaleups contributing to accelerating the green transition.
Listen to Jonas Bergqvist (Almi Invest GreenTech), Karin Ruiz (Sting), Martin Lidstrand (Trifilon), Victoria Voss Bignet (Kavli) and William Bergh (Cling Systems) discuss how the platform serves as a linchpin in the innovation ecosystem, aligning disparate efforts, facilitating meaningful collaborations, and amplifying the collective impact on environmental sustainability. Moderated by Jenny Hedén Malm (Ignite Sweden).

As part of Team Sweden Tech, Ignite Sweden joined a deeptech startup delegation in Paris for matchmaking sessions with local corporates and participation in the global conference, Hello Tomorrow.

The Swedish deeptech startups that were part of the delegation were Aligned Bio, Archeri, BL!XT, Caplyzer, Flexpenser, Fusion Group, GREEN14, IPercept, Nano Textile Solutions, Novatron Fusion Group, NoviOcean by NOVIGE AB, Nrlyze, Oxide AI, Phoenix BioPower, PokaMind, Proligreen, Rivus Batteries, Re:Lab, Yangi and Zparq.

The delegation journey kicked off with a matchmaking session where 13 of the participating startups had the chance to connect with five global enterprises including BP, LVMH, L’Oréal, Saint-Gobain, and A2A, in over 20 meetings.

This matchmaking opportunity enabled the startups not only to continue conversations with corporates they had previously met through Ignite but also with the possibility to establish new connections and explore potential synergies with new enterprises.

Showcasing Deeptech Startups at Hello Tomorrow Global Summit

The journey continued with participation in Europe’s largest deeptech event, Hello Tomorrow Global Summit. The 9th edition of the event gathered over 3,000 attendees, including deeptech founders, industry leaders, and investors.

This was the first time that Team Sweden Tech, an initiative from Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Business Sweden, set up a booth to spotlight Swedish startups and scaleups at the event. The effort was coordinated by our lead organization SISP – Swedish Incubators & Science Parks.

During the two-day event, the startups had the chance to participate in the activities hosted at the Swedish booth, including mingling with the Swedish delegation, where they connected with corporate representatives and investors interested in learning more about the Swedish ecosystem and its deeptech startups.

The latest version of the initiative led by AI Sweden and Ignite Sweden now features nearly 200 AI startups from across the country.

“For the Swedish AI Startup Landscape entering the fourth year of this initiative and seeing 31 new startups signifies a vibrant and rapidly evolving landscape,” says Elijah Aldana, Startup Community Manager and responsible for the project at Ignite Sweden.

AI Bob, AI Medical Technology, ANYO Labs, cAIre tech AB, Cellda AB, CodeEasy AB, DeepTensor AB, Ebbot AB, Eivora AB, Emulate Energy, Fill Technology AB, Improvin, Inceptron, Innowearable AB, Lotus Field Analytics AB, MainlyAI, Mamones AB, ManoMotion AB, Nibela AB, NorthStat AB, OneTwo Analytics AB,, P3S – Patient Safety Surveillance Solutions, ProptechCore, Semanttic, Skald AI AB, Skoolie AB, T&S Engineering Intelligence AB, Tandem Health, Tasksmith AI AB, and Vectorview are the new companies featured in the Swedish AI Startup Landscape.

“These companies, with their diverse and innovative applications of AI technology, showcase Sweden’s commitment to becoming a leading nation in AI development,” says Elijah.

AI Innovations for a Wide-Range of Sectors

The new startups in the Swedish AI Startup Landscape offer innovative solutions for diverse sectors such as agriculture, construction, education, energy, facility management, finances, healthcare, human resources, legal, manufacturing, pharmaceutics, and sports.

“Their contributions span across various sectors, demonstrating the versatility and potential of AI to transform industries. This development not only strengthens Sweden’s position in the European AI scene but also highlights the collaborative spirit within the region to push the boundaries of what AI can achieve,” adds Elijah.

A committee consisting of representatives from investors, large companies, academia, startups, and incubators meticulously evaluated the new startups based on various selection criteria, including their use of AI, scalability, access to and utilization of data, and the AI skills of their personnel.

Elijah Aldana (Ignite Sweden)

The Swedish AI Startup Landscape is part of the broader European AI Startup Landscape, which aims to enhance the visibility of AI startups across the continent. The European initiative currently includes more than 1000 companies from Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The initiative is a collaborative effort between appliedAI, Hub France IA, The Netherlands AI Coalition (NL AIC), Ignite Sweden and AI Sweden.

Check out the Swedish startups within the Swedish and the European AI Startup Landscape here.

Startups interested in applying to be featured in the next update of the landscape can read more on how to submit their application here.

These are the 31 startups added to the Swedish AI Startup Landscape

AI Bob: AI Bob is designed to significantly speed up the planning phase in architectural projects, reducing lead times from weeks or months to just minutes.

AI Medical Technology: AI Medical Technology has developed the smartphone application Dermalyser, a clinically validated AI-powered medical software device for skin cancer diagnostic support.

ANYO Labs: Research-based AI/ML solutions for drug discovery.

cAIre tech: AI DSS to predict and reverse chronic illness.

Cellda: A patented software platform that automates and standardizes the analysis of tissue samples stained with immunohistochemical techniques using specific antibodies.

CodeEasy: A story-based facilitation platform for teachers.

DeepTensor: Secure and privacy-enhancing technology for AI/ML applications.

Ebbot: A platform for creating generative AI chatbots that resolve questions and tasks by integrating with clients’ data and systems.

Eivora: Ownership data on all unlisted Swedish companies.

Emulate Energy: Emulate’s core technology transforms residential demand flexibility into a battery-equivalent resource.

Fill Technology: The next generation platform for external workforce.

Improvin: Offers primary data collection, insights quantification, and output verification services across crops and countries to food brands, mills, and processors.

Inceptron: Their patent-pending technology employs FPGAs to craft processors that run only client-tailored algorithms, slashing cloud costs, boosting performance, and saving energy.

Innowearable: Innovative sensor for sports and sports medicine

Lotus Field Analytics: Uses cutting edge AI tools and analytics to see patterns, trends and insights out of the chaotic flow of financial news and data.

MainlyAI: A platform that allows collaboration on AI projects.

Mamones: Streamlines diagnose codes for medical personnel with AI.

ManoMotion: Develops hand and body tracking, as well as gesture recognition technology, allowing users to interact with and control virtual and real objects on any camera-enabled device without the need for controllers.

Nibela: Helps users to manage their electricity.

NorthStat: Smarter prehospital care with data-driven simulations.

OneTwo Analytics: Diabetes decision support for patients and clinicians by AI/ML analysis of glucose data. Complete calendar synchronization in real-time with integrations to external calendars.

P3S – Patient Safety Surveillance Solutions: Improved care and patient safety through re use of electronic healthcare data & smart algorithms.

ProptechCore: Accelerates decarbonization of the built environment.

Semanttic: AI Copilot for UX Prototyping that teams use to generate new product and feature concepts, enabling faster go-to-market strategies.

Skald AI: An interface for any AI to understand other AIs and services.

Skoolie: A study counseling platform that can give recommendations for university degrees based on academic performance, ambitions, and skills.

T&S Engineering Intelligence: AI driven automated, individual check of technical drawings.

Tandem Health: Ambient medical scribe to automatically write medical notes.

Tasksmith AI: An AI-platform to deploy legally fine tuned language models.

Vectorview: Analytics and evaluations for LLM apps.

The evaluation committee

Adam Edström (RISE)
Agneta Jacobson (AI Sweden)
Amy Loutfi (Örebro University)
Daniel Gillblad (AI Sweden)
Erik Borälv (Vinnova)
Ingrid Af Sandeberg (Stockholm AI)
Jakob Engdahl (Statistics Sweden)
Martin Rugfelt (Sentian)
Patrik Kägu (Almi)
Raoul Stubbe (Sting)
Rebecka Löthman Rydå (Inventure VC)
Rickard Lönneborg (Codemill)
Stina Lantz (SISP/Ignite Sweden)
Vik Li (Ericsson Ventures)
Vishnu Rajanikanth (Volvo Group)

Ignite Sweden brought a startup delegation to the prestigious conference Swiss Nordic Bio in Zurich to meet potential customers and investors.

Joined by the Swedish startups MyCural, Pharmnovo, and Sortina Pharma, our colleague Arwin Zendehrokh attended the conference, which focused on biotech, healthtech, and pharma.

The primary focus of the conference was to facilitate meaningful interactions and collaborations among key players in the life sciences domain. The event brought together over 200 Swiss and Nordic startups, pharmaceutical giants, and investors.

For the startup delegation, this presented a golden opportunity to forge new partnerships, gain industry insights, and showcase their cutting-edge innovations to a diverse audience. They engaged with investors, other life science startups, and Switzerland’s innovation agency, Innosuisse, to gain insights into the local ecosystem.

Follow-up Matchmaking with Swiss Corporates

During the conference, the startups had the opportunity to continue discussions with corporates they had previously met through Ignite during a matchmaking event held last year. This follow-up matchmaking allowed the startups to nurture existing connections, explore synergies, and delve deeper into potential collaboration avenues with Swiss corporations.

“The Nordic countries and Switzerland share many similarities and collaboration opportunities within the life science sector. Delving deeper into each other’s ecosystems is crucial to promoting stronger collaborations, and fostering a tighter dialogue between our stakeholders is key to achieving this. Despite working in diverse ways, there is room for mutual learning, and addressing this aspect can accelerate the commercialization of life-saving innovations,” says Arwin.

This delegation journey wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation from Business Sweden and Vinnova.

This updated version of the curated map highlights a selection of 508 environmental startups and scaleups.

42 climate startups and scaleups with solutions for tackling the climate crisis have officially become a part of the Swedish Climate Startup Map.

The latest edition of the Swedish Climate Startup Map showcases an impressive selection of 508 environmental startups and scaleups contributing to the green transition with their climate innovations.

The new companies in the Map offer a wide range of technologies for various sectors, including agriculture, construction, energy, food, forestry, manufacturing, transportation, waste, and water.

The Swedish Climate Startup Map aims to provide a platform for these groundbreaking companies dedicated to accelerating the green transition. This will increase their visibility, helping them to attract investment, customers, and talent so they can scale up their technologies.

The project was initiated by Sting in 2020 as part of Startup Climate Action, funded by Vinnova, to showcase innovative startups working towards creating change and solving our many climate challenges. The initiative is now led by Chalmers Ventures, Dalarna Science Park, Ignite Sweden, LEAD, SISP Swedish Incubators & Science Parks and Sting, and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Swedish Energy Agency, Tillväxtverket and Vinnova.

Click here to visit the website and explore the Swedish Climate Startup Map
Click here to apply for becoming part of the Swedish Climate Startup Map

These are the 42 startups and scaleups added to the Swedish Climate Startup Map

HEJMAS Agrifibre Technologies AB
Hyggligt Skogsbruk AB
Ljusgårda AB
OlsAro Crop Biotech
Re:meat AB
Sustainable Food Waste SFW AB

Elementric AB

Algeno AB
EcoTech Solutions
MEGA Energy Systems Sweden AB
Nabla Analytics

Climate Tracker Initiative AB
Footprint Level
Nobon AB
Planeten Panter AB

Impulso Retail Sweden AB

The Train Brain (Commuter Computing)

Cresponix AB
Renasens AB

OE Systems AB

Lignin Industries AB
Lignoflow Technologies

Valys AB

Claims Carbon

The first matchmaking of the ScaleAble project, and Ignite’s 100th event, gathered 80 corporate and scaleup representatives from Estonia, Finland and Sweden in Norrköping.

“Scale-Able is a project funded by the Interreg Central Baltic Programme with the main goal of focusing on untapped potential between the collaboration of corporates and SMEs or startups,” explains Project Manager Helene-Terese Jürgenson from the Estonian organization Tehnopol, one of the partners of the international joint project along with Norrköping Science Park, Ignite Sweden, SISP, and Business Turku.

The two-day event, hosted by Norrköping Science Park, included visits to the test-beds Printed Electronics Arena and Visualization Center, a workshop on corporate-scaleup collaboration, a networking dinner with the participants, and last but not least, a matchmaking session between scaleups and corporates.

Matchmaking Connecting Scaleups and Corporates

The matchmaking session connected 50 scaling companies from Estonia, Finland and Sweden with 15 leading corporations in more than 85 tailored meetings.

“We encountered such enthusiasm. It’s very inspiring. I am impressed by the scaleups we met, how passionate they are about their missions and their companies, and how they present them to us. We had several good matches,” says Saab’s Sam Nicander.

Saab was one of the corporates participating in the event. The corporate lineup present in Norrköping included with CMPC Ventures, Elisa, Elomatic, Fortum, Lunden Food, Royal Caribbean Group, SEB, Siemens Energy, Skanska, Stena Metall Group, Södra, Thermory, Turun Osuuskauppa, and VDL Enabling Technologies Group.

Fredrik Löfgren represented the Swedish scaleups Dyno Robotics and Around the Corner.

“I believe I will be in touch with everyone I met. I have been in six very good meetings, and we have already scheduled some follow-up meetings. I am completely sure that this will eventually lead to business,” says Fredrik.

Ignite’s Head of Sales Coaching, Christian Malmsten, who listened to nearly ten meetings during the day, highlights how well-prepared and knowledgeable the scaleups were for their corporate meetings.

“They have been clear about what they want, what they’re looking for, and there has been quite a natural discussion at the end about what the next steps are. I think that has actually stood out at this event, that we have had more prepared startups, and that warms my ‘sales coaching heart’.”

In-Person Cross-Borders Matchmaking

Despite the participating companies coming from three different countries, most of the meetings took place in-person at Norrköping Science Park.

Tehnopol’s Helene-Terese Jürgenson emphasizes the importance of the event being face-to-face to break down the cultural differences between the participants.

“We don’t think about the cultural differences that often since we are from Estonia, Finland and Sweden, but they are there. To understand each other better, It’s better to have the events face to face.”

Marius Arras from the Estonian scaleup Processa Technologies highlighted the networking opportunities that the event created.

“The people we met at the matchmaking session I already managed to meet previously during the networking event. As we already kind of knew each other, we didn’t spend too much time during the meeting on telling who we are and where we are from, so we went more right into details. So that was the biggest value.”

Ignite’s 100th Matchmaking Event

The first ScaleAble matchmaking also marked Ignite Sweden’s 100th event. Coincidentally, our centennial event brought us back to Norrköping, one of the cities where we hosted our first matchmaking at SISP’s Sveriges Innovationsriksdagen in April 2017.

“Now we have come full circle. We started with our first event here in Norrköping and we are back here for the hundredth event. So far, we’ve facilitated over 6,800 meetings and had over 600 commercial collaborations as well. So it feels good,” concludes Ignite Sweden’s Project Manager, Arwin Zendehrokh.

The team behind the ScaleAble Matchmaking
Watch this video with company participants and partners sharing their insights from the first ScaleAble event.

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

During Sustaintech Matchday, 16 corporates and 36 environmental startups converged to explore collaborative opportunities aimed at addressing the challenges of the climate crisis.

Focused on innovative solutions that tackle the climate crisis, the fourth edition of Sustaintech Matchday brought together 35 climate tech startups and 16 corporates at KTH Innovation in Stockholm to work towards a more sustainable future. A total of 91 matchmaking meetings took place during the event, aiming to explore synergies and potential collaboration opportunities.

The corporate line-up included Swedish companies such as Alfa Laval, Boliden, Coor, Eltel, Fortum, Göteborgs Hamn, H&M, Ingka Group, Kavli, SAAB, and Stena Fastigheter, as well as international ones, including A2A (Italy), bp (UK), CMPC (Chile), Liebherr-Hausgeräte (Germany), and the Stockholm Representative office of Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan).

For the participating corporates, it was a great opportunity to get in contact with startups developing groundbreaking technology that can help them reduce their climate impact.

bp’s New Ventures and Supply Innovation Manager, Adam Brown, explains the importance of partnering up with sustaintech startups for his company.

“We are an oil and gas company by legacy. We have a 2050 ambition to be net zero. The way we are going to get there is accelerating five businesses that are focused on low carbon energy and sustainable energy. And we can’t do it on our own. We need to find game-changing technologies that we can scale and that can help us accelerate these five growth engine businesses,” he says.

This was not only the first time he met startups through Ignite but also his very first time in Sweden.

“Before meeting the Ignite team, I didn’t know how prominent Sweden is in terms of being a hub for innovation and startups. I’m impressed by the link up with science parks, universities and the private sector,” he continues.

Swedish Climate Tech Startups at the Forefront

During the event, the participating corporates had the chance to connect with environmental startups featured in the Swedish Climate Startup Map.

Danilo Randazzo, Head of Product Innovation at the German company Liebherr Appliances,
shared his perspective on Swedish environmental startups.

“In Sweden, there are many really innovative startup solutions that, especially within the field
of sustainability, could have a real impact. This is something that we at Liebherr are
interested in and the reason why we are coming to Sweden to meet all these startups,”

explains Danilo.

He adds: “I have had many meetings with startups all over the world, and I think that
Swedish startups have always been really prepared and informed. They knew who
they were talking to and what was of interest to them. I’ve always appreciated the structured and result oriented approach within these meetings and dialogues.”

“It was great to meet Swedish startups in person. We had some really good discussions with
them. It was very inspiring to get to talk about sustainability with them, even with startups that might not be a direct match. We are going home with many impressions and new impulses,”
says Danilo’s colleague at Liebherr, Mario Geiss.

The Value of In-Person Connections

While the virtual realm has become an integral part of business interactions, the in-person nature of Sustaintech Matchday added value to the connections among participants. This format allowed them to benefit not only from face-to-face interactions but also opened up opportunities for networking and spontaneous conversations with companies they hadn’t been matched with, thereby enhancing the overall value of the event.

Sting’s alumni company Cling Systems is one of the 36 climate tech startups participating in Sustaintech Matchday. The startup is developing a system that works as a market maker for end-of-life batteries that connects different stakeholders.

Cling Systems’ Albin Eklund and David Hjelmström met with four corporates during the event.

“The meetings went very well. We really liked that they were face to face. It was easier to get a feeling of understanding and to interact with the companies. This matchmaking is great because you get to meet large companies that are really interested in what you are doing. Then you have these 20 minutes to spark even more interest. It is a great opportunity to get into discussions on possible next steps.”

Clara Baker, Assistant Manager at Mitsubishi Corporation Sweden, thinks that even if they are used to meeting startups both digitally and in-person, there is a slight difference when meeting them personally.

“You can actually look them in the eye and shake hands. I think you get a stronger impression of a person when doing it face to face. There is a value there for us. You can also maybe have more time to have some general small talk or cover topics that you wouldn’t do when you speak online because there you focus more on speaking about the business, which is, of course, the important thing,” explains Clara.

She has also highlighted Ignite’s work in scouting startups for them to meet according to their corporate challenges.

“We can’t really look at every single company that exists. And for us, if an organization like Ignite has first done a screening and picked up ‘the golden ones’, that makes our work a lot easier because then we have some form of guarantee that these companies have good technologies and good ideas.”

Collaboration Key to Climate Tech Startup Success

For startups, the essence of success lay not only in developing groundbreaking products but in fostering relationships.

“We are creating our product as we go. We need as many long-term customers as possible, both for the sustainability of our business and to design the product for them with all the features they actually need. Working with customers at a very early stage allows us to implement their feedback into our product. If we can say that we have collaborated with a big company that everyone knows, it will be a testament to the value of our customer-driven approach, naturally leading to increased interest and trust from potential customers,” explains Max Wijk Stranius from Flowtropolis.

Flowtropolis is a multi-user XR platform that enables companies to create user-friendly tools for streamlining R&D, training and marketing. Their VR technology not only increases the likelihood of securing more deals but also reduces costs and the environmental footprint.

“We need customers as input on our future products that will be refined. We had really good meetings today and two very concrete next steps. We look forward to continuing talking with these companies and making them our long-term customers,” says his colleague Ylva Hansdotter.