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This Stockholm building to house huge social startup hub

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This Stockholm building to house huge social startup hub
The new facility will be inside an old tram warehouse in central Stockholm. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
12:29 CEST+02:00
One of the founders of leading Swedish tech company Klarna has unveiled an ambitious new Stockholm hub designed to support tech entrepreneurs who are keen to solve social problems.

Niklas Adalberth has invested 170 million kronor ($19.85 million) into converting the old tram warehouse on Birger Jarlsgatan in central Stockholm into the 2,400 square metre Norrsken House.

Described on its website as "Europe's biggest hub for social impact", it is designed to be a working and meeting place for hundreds of social entrepreneurs from across the world.

A significant chunk of the money Adalberth has ploughed into Norrsken House came from selling some of his shares in payment service provider Klarna, which he co-founded in 2005.

“This is my life's work. I will end up putting more time into Norrsken than I did at Klarna, which I led for 11 years,” Adalberth explained to newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

“I don't think a big bag of money would make me happier and I can only eat so much tenderloin steak per day,” he added.

Due to open after the turn of the year, Norrsken House is planned to not only be an office for social entrepreneurs, but also a place where they can meet and work with philanthropists, lawyers and knowledgeable people in the social entrepreneurship field.

The state of the art facility will contain film and photography studios, 3D printers, virtual reality equipment, and a meditation room. It will also provide a playground for children and space for pets to be brought to work.

The hub is the third prong of Adalberth's newly formed Norrsken Foundation. The other two are a lab designed to help projects in need of funding (the first example of which was an app users can use to expose corruption), and a “business incubator” which provides small amounts of money and expert knowledge to help entrepreneurs who want to solve social problems.

Last week, American entrepreneur and STHLM Tech organizer Tyler Crowley explained in an interview published by The Local why he thinks Sweden has a unique role to play in the growth of social entrepreneurship. 

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