Disclaimer: I originally wrote this for the Startup Extreme Blog. I was not given anything in return to write this post, I am just a supporter and of the opinion that the event is needed in Norway.
The importance of a startup event bringing an ecosystem together and inviting the outside World in, should not be underestimated. Recently on The Nordic Web, we ran an analysis looking at International tech media coverage vs activity (investment) for the Countries in the region.
The primary reason as to why Finland fared so well compared to its Nordic neighbours was due to the impact that Slush had. Finnish startups used the event to launch new products, get exposure, and speak to journalists. And even though there were startups originating from lots of different Countries at the event, it’s only natural for journalists to be curious about the startups that exist in the Country that is putting on such an impressive event. There is no doubt that Slush has been a major factor both in Finland’s reputation and performance as one of Europe’s hottest startup hubs.
Finland’s performance in this analysis was in stark contrast to Norway’s, who it is fair to say, did not feel the attention of the International media much at all, and in fact only accounted for around 5% of the coverage received by the Nordic Countries.
And it’s not just media that are attracted to the best events, more importantly it’s International investors. Creating the opportunity for international investors to come and easily visit the Countries/regions best startups is extremely valuable for an ecosystem and can result both in increased capital being available and higher valuations.
As an example, in 2014, investment rounds with U.S. based investors involved were significantly higher than those without.
But at the minute Norway is not seeing any of this upside.
In 2014, outside of Norway, Norwegian startups only raised money from British based investors. This is in stark contrast to Finland, Denmark and Sweden who are all attracting significantly higher amounts of investment both from the United States and from Asia and the bigger European Countries.
There is a clear need for Norway to increase its visibility as a startup hub, in order to attract media and investors, ingredients that are vital to an ecosystem growing and succeeding.
And if Startup Extreme even has a percentage of the impact on Norway that Slush has had for Finland then the event will have been a success.