Marie Wall, Deputy Director for Startups at the Ministry of Enterprise, said in her keynote at Ignite Sweden’s annual conference in Stockholm that the survival and competitiveness of the Swedish industry depends on scaleups.
She told the 300 strong crowd of industry heavyweights and startups that the challenges of digital transformation are spawning a new type of ecosystem of industry service providers. These are companies dealing with innovations such as sensors, data analytics, AI, robotics and 3D printing. Wall calls these scaleups co-creation partners.
– We need to reset our whole industry, explains Wall. Industry needs to focus on building the capabilities needed to successfully navigate the future in order to survive. Scaleups and startups within the areas of new technology are the key to creating strategic value for large companies.
A scaleup by definition is a startup being in the growth stage with an average yearly return of 20% and at least ten employees.
– They are so important to have in our ecosystem, continues Wall, who warns of the risk that they could move abroad to environments where this ecosystem is in place.
In order to secure the future of Swedish industry we have to build this partner and co-creation ecosystem. The challenge she highlights is how do we bring industry and startups together, and this is one of the reasons why Ignite Sweden is so important according to Wall. Ignite Sweden’s success is proof of this ecosystem. Since 2017, the national program has initiated over 100 collaborations and contributed to 2,400 meetings between large companies and innovative startups.
– Ignite Sweden is the tool we have to really foster this new ecosystem that we can secure not only that we have the startups that can be scaleups but also that we can secure that we get a scaleup ecosystem that our current industry needs to be competitive for the future. Last but not least, Ignite wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of the incubators from all over Sweden, where SISP is the cohesive force behind those, concludes Marie Wall.
About Ignite Sweden
Ignite Sweden is a program aims to initiate collaborations between startups and established companies. Since its start in spring 2017, Ignite has organized matchmaking events all over Sweden connecting 410 startups with 132 corporates, resulting in more than 2400 meetings and most importantly over 100 commercial collaborations.
Ignite Sweden is led by THINGS, STING, LEAD, MINC, and Uminova in collaboration with SISP. It is co-funded by Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency.