‘She’s a forerunner and inspiration for startups’

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'
Niklas Zennström, Jane Walerud and Jessica Stark. Photo: SUP46
A US-born entrepreneur who has helped pave the way for women in tech has joined the ranks of some of Sweden's top innovators and businesspeople in a Swedish startup hall of fame.

One of Sweden's most well-known angel investors, Jane Walerud, has been involved in helping Swedish startup success stories such as Klarna, Lensway, Bluetail and Tobii get off the ground.

She was honoured for her work by key Stockholm startup hub SUP46 when she was inducted into their Startup Hall of Fame at a big ceremony in the Swedish capital on Thursday.

“Jane Walerud has been a forerunner and inspiration for the startup ecosystem and we are grateful for everything she has done to help early-stage startups in the community,” said SUP46 chief executive and co-founder Jessica Stark.

“She is also a great role-model in the continuous work to get more women both funding and founding new exciting startups,” she added.

Now in its third year, the Startup Hall of Fame have previously honoured Spotify founder Daniel Ek and the Swede behind Skype and Atomico, Niklas Zennström, who was there to hand over the prestigious trophy.

“Great cities are built on communities and not individuals. Stockholm has become an important tech hub in Europe due to the passion, drive and re-investment of entrepreneurs like Jane, supporting and mentoring others. Success breeds success,” said Zennström in a statement.

Also boasting titles such as chief executive of Zürich-based data optimization firm Teclo and member of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Innovation Council, Walerud said she hoped her award could inspire other foreigners living in Sweden to start their own business.

“I really look forward to seeing a t-shirt signed Jane Walerud on the wall in SUP46’s entrance – it is a great honour! I hope I can inspire other women from around the world to go for a career within entrepreneurship; it is exciting, profitable and educational,” she said.