• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Startups
Women zoom into Swedish startup accelerator spots
Lisa Kjellqvist is CEO of Sniph, one of the winning firms. Photo: Sting/private

Women zoom into Swedish startup accelerator spots

Maddy Savage · 18 Feb 2016, 18:52

Published: 18 Feb 2016 11:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2016 18:52 GMT+01:00

Sweden may have a fast-growing reputation as one of the best places on earth to launch a startup, but most businesses still need capital to get off the ground.

That's why some 170 startups battled it out in the first investment round of 2016 by leading Stockholm incubator Sting last month.

The results are in and eight new entrepreneurial ventures have been selected to receive funding and for the first time, these include four firms led or co-founded by women.

Their companies include a digital platform to book and manage professional models, a subscription service for perfume lovers and an interactive events calendar for long-distance runners.

Peo Nilsson, programme manager and business coach at Sting Accelerate said he was "very excited about the diversified teams this spring", adding that there was also a "good spread of age and origin" that would help promote a strong group dynamic.

Each winning startup is set to receive an investment of 300,000 kronor (around $35,500) from Sting's angel-backed investment company Propel Capital. They'll also get 20 weeks of intensive coaching and the chance to move into one of Stockholm's leading co-working hubs for digital startups, SUP46.

"We are really looking forward to working closely with Sting during the spring, to increase the speed of growth in Sweden and globally," said Laura Lilja, CEO and co-founder of YouModels.


Laura Lilja, CEO and co-founder of YouModels. Photo: Sting/private

Sting's investment in female entrepreneurs comes amid a government push to encourage companies to boost the number of women on boards in Sweden and efforts to persuade more girls to pursue careers in tech.

Despite the country's image as a leading nation when it comes to gender equality, three quarters of all board members in the Nordic nation are men.

But Nilsson told The Local that Sting had not actively sought out more women for its latest funding round.

"We don't have any quotas or so, we simply try to select the best companies (...) it is usually about two out of eight that have women co-founders," he said.

"But I think that you could argue that we are pretty conscious when it comes to finding startups where at least one of the co-founders is a woman. We do that in a range of ways from sponsoring different events to word-of-mouth (...) getting into the right communities and events to tell women we are here to help."

The latest coaching programme from Sting is its sixth similar bi-annual initiative. Half of the startups selected in an earlier round in spring 2014 also had female founders, but were not offered any capital.

According to Startup Hubs Europe, Stockholm is home to roughly 8,000 startups, employing around 52,000 people.

The European Digital City Index for 2015 rated the Swedish capital third best in Europe for startups and second best for scaleups – the next step after the first phase, where a company has figured out a good business model and wants to expand.

Stockholm also boasts the largest number of billion dollar companies per capita outside of Silicon Valley, according to investment firm Atomico.

Here is how Sting describes its winners

Gaddr 
Gaddr makes it up to 25 times faster to add and follow a friend, business, influencer or other person’s social media profiles. 
CEO: Francisco Andreasson

Marqts 
Marqts.com makes it easier for investors to understand financial information so they can make better investment decisions.
CEO: Joakim Höglund (co-founded by Linda Kvarnström)

Story continues below…

Match2One 
Match2One makes it easier for advertisers to make automated and hyper-targeted purchases of ad inventory – also called programmatic marketing. 
CEO: Mikael Kreuger.

Mi.tv 
Mi.tv is the fastest growing online/mobile TV guide in Latin America. 
CEO: Fredrik Hellström.

Sniph 
Sniph is a smart subscription service for perfume, which makes it easy to discover new scents. 
CEO: Lisa Kjellqvist.

Teleguru
Teleguru is a fast-growing telecommunications website that is targeting the Polish market (58 million active SIM-cards). 
CEO: Filip Wisnander.

Worldsmarathons 
Worldsmarathons.com is the starting place for all long-distance runners from beginners to elite. In the comprehensive event calendar, runners can discover new challenging marathons and exciting destinations.
CEO: Charlotte Melchert.

YouModels 
YouModels.com is an online platform for booking and managing models with agency contracts. YouModels’ unique search engine allows advertisers to easily find and “book the look” without multiple contact points at different agencies. 
CEO: Laura Lilja.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Presented by American Express
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
File photo: Pixabay

Getting ready to jet off on summer holidays? Be sure to check out these tips and tricks for avoiding unnecessary headaches between packing and relaxing.

Royal husband: 'Britain should not leave the EU'
Sweden's Princess Madeleine and her British-American husband Chris O'Neill. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

What does this British-American husband of a Swedish princess think of Brexit and Hillary Clinton?

This Swede is the world's best mosquito catcher
Kristoffer Ekersund. Photo: Private & Johan Nilsson/TT

Yes, there is such a thing as the world championship in mosquito killing.

Which of these two Swedes is Vincent van Gogh's lost twin?
Ivar Arpi, a self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh and Petter Samuelson. Photo: Tomlin Studio & Private

Question: What is even more bizarre than a Swede who really, really looks like Vincent van Gogh? Answer: TWO Swedes who look like Vincent van Gogh.

Date set for verdict in asylum home murder trial in Sweden
The accused in court with a member of his legal team. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The trial of a man accused of killing a worker at a home for young refugees earlier this year has ended.

High security as Orlando top of mind at Stockholm Pride
This man might not actually be a police officer. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Nothing is being left to chance, organizers insist.

Fired Ericsson boss to get millions in payouts
Hans Vestberg of Ericsson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has fired its long-standing CEO Hans Vestberg, but said he will receive a severance package amounting to millions of kronor.

Sweden halves migration forecast figures for 2016
Refugees and other travellers arriving in Gothenburg last year. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The Swedish Migration Agency has cut its predictions for how many asylum seekers they expect will come to Sweden this year.

Private holiday rentals boom in Sweden
A youth hostel in Sundsvall, central Sweden. Photo: Helena Landstedt / TT

More tourists in Sweden are choosing to rent private homes from the likes of Airbnb – but the hotel industry is just fine.

My Swedish Career
'Fashion is this big industry that can really do better'
Social entrepreneur Stefanie Smith. Photo: Elinor Magnusson

The Local talks to US social entrepreneur Stefanie Smith about transparent fashion and why Sweden's startup scene is about more than just tech.

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Blog updates

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,347
jobs available