Sweden Canada Innovation Days Success

A delegation of Swedish startups and incubators travelled to Toronto for Sweden Canada Innovation Days to explore the ecosystem and meet Canadian corporates.

Swedish delegation of 10 people smiling at the camera in front of the DMZ sign

In September 2022, representatives from nine Swedish startups, Algoryx Simulation, Cellfion AB, Ekkono Solutions, FLOX, Gleechi, Kairos Logic, Repli5 and SentianAI, along with incubators, Create, Uminova, and ENN, joined the Ignite delegation for the Sweden Canada Innovation Days. 

The event aimed to strengthen connections between the two countries and included ample opportunities to share best practices and explore the Canadian innovation ecosystem.

Why Canada?

Sweden and Canada have many similarities and for Atulya​ Verma, Principal Engineer Geotech and Geology at BESTECH, a Canadian corporate specializing in engineering, automation, software development and environmental monitoring services to global mining companies, there are many benefits to connecting the two countries. 

“The industrial challenges faced by Sweden and Canada have lots in common as well as their respective geographical and demographic situations. There is substantial opportunity to learn from each other and forming connections is valuable because the complementing skill sets can benefit from each other,” he explains. 

Joakim Stenman, Business Development Manager, Repli5, a Swedish startup working with synthetic data and digital twins agrees saying Canada is important for them as it is a huge market for mining operations and their supply chains.

“I was very pleased to get an opportunity to pitch our company for the entire conference, but also to be able to physically meet up with one of our POC partners on the spot!

By attending the conference and introducing our company to several key industry stakeholders, our main goal was already fulfilled. I hope that it generated some interest from Canadian organizations,” he says.

Exploring the Canadian Innovation Ecosystem

The delegation spent three days attending a range of roundtables, workshops and networking events as well as a tour of the local innovation ecosystem and an in-person matchmaking with Canadian corporates.  

To kick off the trip, startups visited the DMZ, a leading Canadian tech incubator that not only aims to foster market opportunities for Canadian startups but also helps international ones explore the North American market.

“We believe that by sharing knowledge and resources to support one another, we can be a catalyst for global innovation.”

“Historically, there have been strong ties between Sweden and Canada in the cultural and economic contexts and we’re excited to continue growing this relationship in the innovation and technology fields as well,” say DMZ’s Sweeny Mangal, Senior Partnerships Lead and Andrea Richardson, Director of Business Development and International Projects.

Maria Olofsson, Operation Manager at Uminova Innovation and Process Developer at Ignite Sweden, agrees that this relationship building is the primary reason for delegations of this sort. 

“For us as an incubator, it is extremely important to meet actors beyond Sweden’s borders, partly to develop our business support, but also to give our companies greater opportunities internationally. We come home with new collaborations on so many different levels,” she says.  

For Carl Stålhem, COO at Gleechi, a Swedish startup that has developed hands-on VR training software, the visit to the DMZ was one of the key highlights of the trip.

“Aside from meeting interesting potential partners and customers, the visits to the DMZ and Vector Institute both stand out. Hearing about the apparent success of the Canadian National AI Strategy was also very inspiring.”

Advantages of Meeting In-person 

Another key aspect of the trip was the Ignite Sweden-Canada Matchmaking which took place on the third day. Many of the companies had previously met digitally, but meeting face-to-face allowed deeper conversations into potential future collaboration.

“For us, meeting in person is always beneficial as we are in the Virtual Reality industry. Experiencing VR live gives a much better understanding of the technology and its capabilities,” says Carl Stålhem, Gleechi.

The in-person format was also successful for BESTECH according to Atulya Verma.

“We see working with startups as an opportunity to work together for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Our meetings went well and we are already in the next stage of project discussions with a few of the startups.”

In addition to the in-person meetings, three more startups also participated digitally leading to 34 meetings in total. 

Sweden Canada Innovation Days was organized in collaboration with Ignite Sweden, AI Sweden, Business Sweden, The DMZ, European-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research and Vinnova – Sweden’s Innovation Agency. 

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