Today we kick-off the inaugural The Nordic 100, designed to recognise the most influential and impactful individuals and organisations in the Nordic technology and startup scene.
Our judging panel deliberated long and hard, first sorting through the hundreds of nominations, before settling on the final one hundred, and eventually ranking them in order. All judges were given an equal say and deliberated long and hard on their final choices.
But enough of the formalities, without further ado, we are proud to reveal the first finalists of The Nordic 100 2016.
Karsten is a serial entrepreneur and one of the most active community builders in the Øresund region. In addition to running Contentor, Mindpark and MotioMera, he also oversees oresundstartups.com and is an active member of driving the #CPHFTW movement forward in Copenhagen.
Based in Stockholm, Therese spends a lot of her time outside of the city, regularly travelling the world as a motivational public speaker. This is in addition to running her award-winning startup 30MinMBA, allowing you to learn bite-sized chunks of business knowledge when it is convenient for you.
Jan has been instrumental in Arctic Startup‘s transformation from ‘just a blog’ to a full-blown media company. In particular Jan has been heavily involved in turning Arctic15 into one of the best events in the year in the Nordics.
Tayyab’s story is central to the ongoing debate around the legal restrictions regarding attracting talent in Sweden and the Nordics. Ordered to leave the country following being paid too little pension by a previous employer, Tayyab’s case sparked uproar amongst the Nordic startup community. While Tayyab still awaits the outcome of his appeal, there’s no doubting that the impact of the decision will be felt either way.
Sarah is a powerful presence in the Swedish and e-commerce communities, through her roles as the CEO of Nordic e-commerce Knowledge and Board Member at Young Entrepreneurs of Sweden and Malmö Startups. Before all of this, she was the founder of e-commerce startup SavvyJane.
Jason is one of the community builders in Sweden attempting to prove there is life outside of Stockholm as well. Based in Uppsala, he’s leading the charge there, with events like Uppstart attracting the International community to the city. In 2017 he is opening up Base10, a co-working space set to be at the centre of the Uppsala ecosystem.
With International expansion a necessity or goal for most Nordic startups, Lemonsqueeze are not short of interest. Having helped companies like Falcon Social expand to the U.S, Lemonsqueeze are now expanding their efforts across the region, with their latest office popping up in Iceland.
Northcap are one of the mainstays of the Nordic venture scene, particularly in Denmark. Recently they’ve increased their activity in Sweden. Swedish eSports startup Znipe is their latest investment, demonstrating that just because they’ve been around for a while doesn’t mean they are afraid to look at interesting new verticals.
Toni has been a central figure in growing the Helsinki and Finnish ecosystems for the last eight years, where in that time he has founded the Boost Turku Entrepreneurship Society, Boost Startup Farm, The Founder Institute Finland and ran the AppCampus accelerator and funding programme. These days he is Microsoft’s Startup Evangelist for Finland.
Fond of saying she tweeted herself into a job, Maral’s enthusiasm and networking skills has seen her burst into life as a well-known figure in the Stockholm scene. First through a co-founder of Peppy Pals, then as the co-host of Startup Grind Stockholm, Maral is now the marketing and community manager at STING accelerator.
A grassroots organisation designed to strengthen and promote the Malmö startup ecosystem, they’ve certainly made an impact in 2016. Whether it’s small knowledge sharing meet-ups or gathering 750+ people from the ecosystem together at one time, Malmö Startups are providing tangible inspiration and assistance to the local community, one that can sometimes be (unfairly) overlooked.
Heidi is the founder of GeekGirlMeetup.com, an initiative that now has chapters in fourteen different countries and has played a pivotal role in levelling the playing field for women in tech. Having been the Director of UX Research at Index-backed Lookback, Heidi is now Senior UX Lead at Screen Interaction.
Long before Stockholm was the thriving hub it is today, fifteen years ago Pär founded STING, a community-based accelerator that is still playing a central part in the Stockholm of today. In addition, Pär has co-founded THINGS and was one of the instigators behind SUP46.
Trendsonline.dk are one of the longest running tech blogs in the region, and also one of the most prolific, as they churn out article after article on what’s happening in the Danish tech scene. 2017 has also seen them turn their attentions to covering wider tech news outside of the Denmark, while maintaining their ambitions of being first to cover the next exciting Danish companies.
Danish politician Margrethe has one of the most difficult jobs in Europe in her position as European Commissioner of Competition. Tasked with holding American tech giants accountable for tax and anti-trust issues, Margrethe has taken the battle to Google, Amazon and Apple over the last few years.
Gulnaz is the CEO of EasySize, data-driven technology predicting the correct clothes size. In addition to founding one of Denmark’s most promising startups, Gulnaz is also one of the co-founders of Women in Tech Denmark and is a leading voice in pursuing better gender diversity and helping and inspiring women interested in the tech scene.
Sissel has turned her idea for a guidebook to help her navigate the Berlin startup scene when she lived there, into a fully-fledged business. Startup Everywhere now has Startup Guides in 10+ cities across Europe and recently launched an online platform to become the main resource for any entrepreneur visiting a new ecosystem.
Now at Reaktor Ventures, one of the most active investors in the region, Rudi previously ran investor relations at Slush, making him one of the most connected people in the scene, and an expert in connecting and helping others.
Riku was CEO of Slush in 2015 and was instrumental in launching and establishing The State of European Tech into the most comprehensive and respected report on what’s really happening in the European tech scene. Although still a Board Member at Slush, Riku has recently announced that he has joined Wolt, founded by fellow ex-CEO of Slush Miki Kuusi.
Universal Avenue have had a good year. After raising $10 million led by Eight Roads in July for their on-demand sales force, in the second half of the year, they continued to increase their presence in the UK while also expanding to the U.S. 2017 looks set to be even better one for them as they continue to grow rapidly and aggressively.
Tune in at 10am CET tomorrow as we reveal places 80th to 61st in The Nordic 100 #Nordic100