Opening New International Markets for Scaling Companies

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.

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