Sweden Innovation Days matchmaking success

Our biggest matchmaking of the year, Sweden Innovation Days has led to a fantastic 126 concrete follow up meetings since the event took place in March.

The three-day digital event saw corporates and startups from 10 participating countries connect to explore potential innovative solutions for their specific challenges. 

This time 58 corporates and public sector organizations from Sweden, Brazil, France, Germany, USA, Canada, India, South Korea, Japan and Israel met with 214 startups and scaleups in 349 meetings across all three days.

Filip Tideman, Ignite’s Vice Project Leader for the Matchmaking at Sweden Innovation Days, said “bringing together innovative startups with multinational corporates in a time marked by numerous societal and environmental challenges is vital to foster and accelerate groundbreaking innovation.

There have already been 126 follow up meetings, as well as seven LOIs signed and three POCs recorded since the event in March. According to Filip this highlights the willingness of the participants to join forces and address the challenges of today. 

“We have already seen an impressive 45% of the initial meetings evolve into deeper dialogues. This early progress serves as a promising sign, foreshadowing the transformative potential that lies within these collaborative endeavors,” says Filip.  

Though pilot projects usually take at least 6-12 months to plan and commit to, early emergence of a handful of projects highlights the early success of the matchmaking.

Filip Tideman (Ignite Sweden)

Insights into global startup potential

The matchmaking at Sweden Innovation Days allowed corporate participants to meet not only Swedish startups but others from any of the ten countries, expanding their awareness of the solutions available globally. 

For Ola Noren, Manager Metallurgy Products at ABB, Sweden Innovation Days provided fantastic insight into what startups exist within their field of interest. 

“Finding the right companies is challenging and using the Ignite network was a good way to get a shortlist of potential partners and to identify new technologies. I see working with startups as a potential way of expanding into new technologies or supporting us in digitizing our offerings,” he says.

Ola Noren (ABB Sweden)

Indian building materials and construction solutions company, Infra.Market’s Senior General Manager – Strategy, Mohit Khemka also shared that Sweden Innovation Days helped them gain a wider perspective on what’s happening at a global level. “It has helped us in facilitating innovative, young companies from Sweden and other places get access to the large and rapidly growing Indian market,” he adds.

Why startups?

For international companies looking to be on the cutting edge of their industries, working with startups is an obvious choice. The matchmaking at Sweden Innovation Days allowed corporates to meet innovative startups from the ten countries most suited to their specific needs.

This was the case for Kraft Heinz, who saw the matchmaking as a fantastic opportunity to broaden their perspective. “We aim to be leaders in the future of food, and to do this, we need the disruptive ideas that startups can provide,” says Maxine Roman, Innovation Collaborations & Partnerships at Kraft Heinz. 

She adds that Sweden was an obvious choice as “they have invested significantly into their startups, allowing them to flourish, and it’s an incredible opportunity to  engage with these external experts and foster disruptive innovation.” 

Maxine Roman (Kraft Heinz)

More than one type of success

Sweden Innovation Days provided a unique platform for corporates and startups to connect, with Infra.Market’s Mohit Khemka sharing that the meetings exceeded their expectations. “We have been in touch with a few start-ups post SID event, and are discussing potential areas of collaboration to create a win-win partnership.”

Through the Ignite process, corporates met with startups that they may not have otherwise thought to meet. 

“The quality of the startups we met was very high. It was also positive to meet startups that stretched our objectives and could meet our needs in unexpected ways,” says John Topinka, R&D strategy Lead, NexT Generation Ingredient Technology Group at Kraft Heinz.

Many of these meetings led to ongoing discussions for the participating companies but this is not the only sign of success. 

“It’s important to add that pilot projects are not the only indicator of success and we are building an ecosystem. We want to establish this internally so we can connect with innovative startups when the time is right,” says Maxine.

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