Skåne Startups Spring Activities Update 2021
Skåne Startups enable entrepreneurs to realize their business ideas, dreams, and ambitions. We are driven by engagement and commitment to supporting the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. We build long-term relationships with aspiring founders, global investors, and ecosystem players and bring these gamechangers to the same table to build a better Skåne region. Our vision to build the most connected, vibrant, and inclusive startup ecosystem in Sweden.
Amidst a global crisis, we seized the digital realm by its reins. We reunited hundreds of members of the Skåne community through the power of live online events and made the virtual world the home of innovative ideas.
Starting from February 2021, we have been organizing Investor Chat & Startup Pitch Zoom events to connect founders in Skåne with investors globally. In total, we've hosted 5 Zoom startup investors events with 328 tech enthusiasts participating. We presented 27 ambitious founders from Skåne to 5 global investors from Tokyo, Stockholm, London, and Paris.
Despite the impact of Covid, we have revitalized our Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE) Project. Since March, we have brought together a small group of female entrepreneurs to share experiences in our weekly WiE Monday breakfast. In total, we've organized 7 WiE breakfasts with 56 women (students, pre-founders, founders, and leaders) participating. They had fascinating discussions on topics such as gender equality, sustainability, the future of food, and AI.
We also started to organize Friday Founder Fika in late April, a weekly in-person and digital fika where we invite highly influential founders to share their experiences and learning with other founders.
Below you can read details of all our activities from February to April 2021.
Investor Chat & Startup Pitch
The goals of this project are two-folded.
Firstly, we aim to help founders in Skåne have better access to risk capital.
There are many reasons why startups fail. Lack of funding is one of the key reasons. It is relatively easier to apply for funding (Vinnova, Almi, and local accelerators) for early-stage startups. However, it can be challenging when founders are looking for later-stage financing. Therefore, we connect founders with international investors who can invest with a larger ticket size.
Secondly, we aim to educate global investors on the tech and innovation ecosystem in Skåne Region. Skåne is not the region that global investors prioritize in looking into when they scout deals in Europe. The majority of venture investment goes to Stockholm. Yet, there are extraordinary founders and exciting startups in this region. For example, in 2019, Malmö based startup Mapillary was acquired by Facebook; Modcam was acquired by Cisco Ventures. Therefore, we do business development and outreach activities to build relationships with world-renowned investors and educate them about investment opportunities in Skåne.
1, February 3rd – Early-Stage digital Startup Pitching with Japanese Angel Investor.
Total registrants: 86
Investor background information:
Tatsuro Shimada (Tatsu) is the co-founder of the Tokyo-based mobile Q&A app Connehito Inc., created for female users centered around childcare. During the eight years of his entrepreneurial journey as CTO, Tatsuro and his team have grown the company up to 7 million users. Thus, it is no wonder that in 2016 the company was acquired by the Japanese telecom giant, KDDI.
After the exit, Tatsu has been an active angel investor, traveling across the globe and meeting some of the most ambitious founders. He has invested in more than 20 companies worldwide, ranging from a startup providing efficient ambulance service in Nairobi, Kenya, to a platform offering smart web analytical tools in Helsinki, Finland. You can read more about this in his blog.
Selected Startups pitching:
Petronella Gustafsson of Progressme.se: Progress Me works actively to strengthen young people who have or have had, some form of eating disorder. Download our app to build your self-esteem using evidence-based methods. The company closed 500,000 EUR funding in April 2021.
Tim Schulz of GetBej.com:Bej consists of a large and secure network of parents who offer support, new friendships and a sounding board for your questions regarding parenting. The company was acquired by Preglife in April 2021.
Hans Brunk of Cookiejarmoments.com: At Cookie Jar, we are advocating for something new. Something real and personal. We want to steer away from curated feeds and staged photos — and move towards a more mindful, personal, and genuine way to share our memories with your loved ones.
César Suárez of Xerify.co: In the education sector, we support the digital transformation of institutions so that they use Xertify technology and connect with the world. The great beneficiaries will always be the students and graduates by being able to carry and demonstrate their academic documents.
Robert Ilijason of Honestbox.se: We, Honest Box, make it easier for you to get started with an unmanned store. Whether it's trade in a vending machine, small shop, container in a paddle hall, farm shop - or wherever - we will help you get started.
2, February 17th – Early-Stage IoT startup pitching with Matthew Scherba, Investment Director of Tern Plc
Total registrants: 70
Investor background information:
Tern Plc is a Venture Capital firm predominantly invests in European IoT software companies, with proven technology, a commercial track record and significant cornerstone customers that can be grown substantially over a three to five-year period. They only invest in a handful of companies in a given period. One of their portfolio companies, Seal Software Group Limited (“Seal Software”), has been acquired by DocuSign Inc for a total consideration of $188 million. You can read more here.
Selected Startups pitching:
Alexander Koelbl of Headingon: HEADING ON takes the guesswork out of owning a vehicle. Compare quotes from garages in your area*. It is free, anonymous, and provided with no obligations. Stay fully organised with the renewal date overview and the logbook.
Yuan Xiong of Animals.ai: We are experts at developing algorithms based on computer vision and animal behaviors. We offer AI services that can turn dummy cameras into intelligent assistants that look after your animals 24/7 and interpret their body language to insight reports real-timely.
Mauro Pereira of Biketrace.se: We are a service provider making bicycles smarter and digitally connected. BikeTrace is pioneering integration of bicycles onto smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)
3, February 25th – Consumer Tech Pitching with Telia Ventures
Total registrants: 66
Investor background information:
YingYing Huang is the Investment Manager of Telia Ventures. She and her team have invested in some of the fastest-growing Nordic companies, such as the E-commerce for refurbished smartphones startup Swappie, and Human-eye resolution VR/XR startup Varjo. Before joining Telia Ventures, YingYing has worked in NFT Ventures as the Senior Investment Analyst and completed her MS in Finance at Stockholm School of Economics.
As the venture capital arm of Telia Company, we are looking for innovative ideas in consumer tech, enterprise software and network. We invest in Series A and B, with ticket size range from €1M to €5M, across Northern Europe and selected innovation hubs globally. We want to partner with teams that have ambitions and capabilities to elevate products, services and how we connect in society in a secure and sustainable way.
Selected Startups pitching:
Lars Tilly of NordAmps: NordAmps represents the convergence of research by global leaders in nanotechnology with leading-edge application needs. Our elegant transistor design combines the best of two worlds—the high performance of III-V materials in a scalable technology and the economy of scale supported by silicon CMOS-based manufacturing.
Jonas Ngoenha of Beazy: We help companies, agencies and organisations produce the content they need. Whether you need gear, studios or talents, Beazy Pro handles all the boring stuff and lets you focus on what matters.
4, March 11th – Digital startup Pitching with Partech Partner
Total registrants: 64
Investor background information:
Founded in 1982, Partech is a leading global venture capital firm based out of San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. Partech backs founders across all stages (seed, venture and growth), and invests across US, Europe, Asia and Africa. With $2bn AUM and over 200 investments in the past five years alone, Partech has been one of the most prolific VC investors globally.
Leon is a Principal at Partech’s €400m venture fund that invests across Europe, US and Asia. He sits on the boards of a number of highly successful startups and scaleups, notably including Toss (Fintech unicorn in Asia, valued at $2.7bn), ManoMano (European soonicorn in DIY marketplace), Kyash (leading neobank in Japan), Fresha (fastest growing SaaS-enabled marketplace for salons) etc.
Leon was previously an initial member and AVP at ID Capital in Singapore and a founding team member of Future Food Asia innovation platform. Prior to ID Capital, he was an early team member at Google, focused on operational transformation and open innovation projects for Google across 13 countries in APAC. Leon holds a Dipl.-Ing. in Industrial Engineering from École des Mines de Paris, Master’s and Bachelor’s in Environmental Science & Engineering from National University of Singapore.
Selected Startups pitching:
Daniel Gadd of Position Green: Position Green is a data-driven platform created to help organizations collect, manage, visualize and report all types of sustainability data. We help our users achieve simpler, smarter and more efficient sustainability reporting.
Vincenzo De Salvo of Yourspeechfactory: Our AI coach helps you monitor, develop and maintain communication skills needed in the modern meeting environment.
5, April 21st – Food Industry Startup Pitching with Rebecka Löthman Rydå from Industrifonden
Total registrants: 42
Investor background information:
Rebecka Löthman Rydå’s investment interests range from transformative business models to deep tech/ML. Prior to joining Industrifonden, Rebecka held the position of investment manager at Zenith Group, a VC-fund focused on technology investments with portfolio companies such as Truecaller, Leeroy and Zound Industries. Her previous experience also includes various positions at the investment fund Varenne Investment, such as investment manager and interim CEO, and at Ernst and Young Sweden.
Selected Startups pitching:
Women in Entrepreneurship
Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE) has regained strength. It is Skåne-based women entrepreneurs’ community. The initiative aims to advance diversity and inclusion in the broader ecosystem in Skåne. In collaboration with our ecosystem partners, we started to host a weekly intimate breakfast for women who are interested in entrepreneurship since March.
1, March 1st, WiE Breakfast at the Ground
We invited 2 females software developers to share their experiences on changing their career paths. We had an insightful talk about the opportunities for women in technology, the challenges they face, and the stereotypes that must be overcome.
Co-Hosts: Thimar Innab, CEO of The Ground. The Ground is a digital expert hub in Malmö. It is an entrepreneurial co-working space and community filled with hard-working, nice people who build scalable digital products.
Yanwei Zhu: She is a self-motivated web developer who loves thinking outside the box, creating visual & functionality with code and other media. She has a Bachelor degree in Sociology from Wuhan University, and a Master's degree in Social Studies of Gender from Lund University. She has taken an intensive training program in software engineering and development provided by KTH.
Anna Holmwood: She has worked for a decade in the publishing industry focused on Greater China B2B sales. Now she has embarked on a new learning journey in business design alongside data science and AI as tools for positive change.
2, March 8th, WiE Breakfast at MINC
As part of our mission to encourage female talent and to commemorate Women’s Day on March 8th, we held an intimate breakfast with female founders in collaboration with our partner MINC. We invited 5 female entrepreneurs to join the breakfast. At the event, we learned from everyone's thriving backgrounds and paths through the venture. These female talents spoke openly about their ideas, their goals, as well as their concerns and barriers. During the breakfast, they exchanged personal learnings, received support and advice from each other.
Lorena Ojeda Urzua: She is originally from Chile. She worked at Ventilation company specializing in Industrial and restaurant design in Malmö. Now she is part of Minc Start-Up, using her skill set to explore entrepreneurship.
Pamela Nunez Wallgren, CEO of Finch, an adaptive design tool for architects.
Tatiana Amaya Vanegas, CEO of ClowID, the only digital Smart Receipt customer engagement solution with zero development upstart for merchants, and complete end-user anonymity.
3, March 15th, WiE Breakfast at Goto10
Gudrun Hauksdottir is an entrepreneur making waves while creating an impact. We had the pleasure of having the uber-cool persona in the music industry to give a presentation on how to get things done. She talked about her career in the music industry and offered her advice for young women.
Gudrun's experiences inspired young talents to discuss future prospects for women entrepreneurs. We also talk about some social problems that block female progress in the industry, such as Impostor Syndrome or Queen Bee Syndrome.
Co-Hosts: Aisha Mossberg, Community Manager at the Swedish Internet Foundation, an independent, business-driven and public-benefit organization; and Sabina Miradora, Verksamhetsansvarig at Mindpark Malmö, a creative coworking and event space.
Yiddi Yam: She studied law in Adama University in Ethiopia and continued to study an intensive course of Computer Software Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Now she is looking to start her own business.
Alexandra Vancic: She is a Serbian diaspora who grew up in Vienna, Austria. She is currently MSc student of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Lund University. She started a startup project called La Box dealing with PMS (Premenstrual Syndromes).
4, March 21st WiE Breakfast at Mindpark Helsingborg
We had the pleasure of hosting our WiE breakfast at Mindpark Helsingborg. We invited 4 female founders to join the discussion. They shared a bit about what they do and the challenges they faced starting their own business. We also discussed the obstacles faced by foreign women in Sweden, as well as the importance of creating support networks to encourage female participation in all areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Cecilia Löfberg: She is the founder of Ceanlo AB. Her team offers consultancy services in finance, business development, board work, and integration of the UN's global goals.
Maral Sohrabi: She is a consultant at lfant AB, a tech company delivering innovation through playfulness, curiosity and fearlessness. Her tremendous love of growing people and organizations led her to become the CEO & Founder of Interactive People AB - working to innovate the work environment management through digital tools and with an agile mindset.
Elena Sjödin: Founder of RobotMind, the world's first company to create a link between service robots and humans. They combine top-class technical competence with years of business practice to help companies embrace robotic technology with confidence. You can watch her interview here.
We invited 6 female talents to share their experiences on building a gender equality and diverse workforce. We discussed the challenges that women currently face in the workforce both in Sweden and abroad, especially the barriers and difficulties for mothers when climbing the professional ladder. We also talked about the problems that are still evident in society on issues of equity on opportunities.
Brandy Xu: She was the Marketing Manager at MiniFinder Sweden AB and she has great experience in digital marketing within the innovation and technology industries. Now she is starting a new company called Knologram.com, a knowledge management solution company.
Lizen Johansson: She runs the SPIRA project at MINC, an initiative from the Skåne region to provide support to startups (NEWBIZ) and growth companies (BIZ) in Skåne. She also works for SURR, a communication agency that uses graphic design and videography to visualize brands, campaigns, and concepts through strategy and identity.
Natalia Szyszka: She works as the Co-creation Leader at IKEA Group. She creates the ways of working, tools, and solutions to enable great ideas to be realized. She is also passionate about psychology.
Fabiola Cordova: She is a researcher Ph.D. Candidate at Lund University. Her current research focuses on Marine Coastal Ecosystem Biodiversity and Services in a Changing World project. Before that, she worked for the United Nation in Italy.
6, April 12th WiE breakfast at Hetch Helsingborg
On this occasion, HETCH AB, as a space for innovative teams, was a perfect setting to talk about The Future WiE: what it means to be a women entrepreneur in a sustainable smart city. Discussion went on long and deep regarding what it truly means to be sustainable beyond greenwashing.
Eva Stal: She is a project leader of NSR with focus on sustainability issues. She is a cheerful soul with utmost strength in the internal and external relationship marketing. Previously she had decades of experiences in IKEA working on sustainability strategy. Read her story at H22 here.
Hanna Bergström: "When I die, I want to know that I have been part of making the world a better place, even if it’s only a small corner of it". She is the change maker. She is the Co-founder and board member på Matkooperativet Helsingborg. She is also an author of cookbook Vegan Vegan. Read her story at H22 here.
Rose Huang: She is currently the Head of Communication at Animals.ai, Sweden 1st animal monitor AI provider. Her passion lies in making complex brands, products, and solutions easily understood through storytelling, content marketing, and interactive campaigns both digital and traditional.
Andreea Neagu: She is the Sustainability Client Service Coordinator at WeSolve and MSc Sustainable Service Management student at Lund University.
Trace Tang: Originally from Malaysia, she has been living in Helsingborg 3.5 years. A distributor of well being products with state of the art technology which could change people's lives. She is open minded for new things and challenges and loves to meet new people.
7, April 19th WiE breakfast at Ideon Innovation
Breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles requires innovative thinking. This is why we co-hosteded an insightful breakfast with Ideon Innovation. Majority of the discussion also took the form of food innovations and feedback for sustainable and edible straws Ooble, founded by Divya. Feedback on Ooble was very positive, discussions continued regarding IP, financing, logistics and market value for Ooble. Vanja educated the attendees on mobile and battery life, what it truly means to be an engineer and how to make sure a product sustains in the current ecosystems. Her discussions were matched with Yang’s discussion on Solar Panels and the social innovation project they are doing in Kenya with her company mbegusolar.
Overall physical distance and regulations were thoroughly followed but the vibrant energy of women supporting women reach goals and overcome entrepreneurial hardships were overwhelming.
Divya Mohan: She is the Founder at Ooble and a Product Developer at Probi AB. Ooble is the World's first edible straws. Divya has developed straws that are 100% plant-based, biodegradable, and cost-effective while being functional. Read her story here
WJ Yang: She is the founder of Mbegu Solar. At Mbegu Solar, her goal is to make the transition from fossil fuels to solar energy easier and faster for consumers in emerging markets. She has a master's degree in Innovation and Global Sustainble Development from Lund University. Previously she has volunteered in HIV testing and consulting in Kenya and she has made impact in renewable energy sector.
Vanja Plicanic Samuelsson: She is the Founder and CEO at Qoitech. Qoitech provides disruptive developer tools for energy optimization of battery-driven devices. Vanja also has an Industrial PhD from Lund University as well as a bachelor in Electromagnetic Theory and a master's in Electro Science and Technology Management. She was a senior manager for Sony Mobile Communications, during her many years at Sony she conducted in depth research and innovation in 5G Focus on Cellular IoT.
Wala Liliana Loubani: She is a passionate growth driver with over 10 years of experience in the SaaS industry and with passion for technology. She is the CEO of UrKip which is an Ai bespoke digital career coach. She has multiple award winner on EMEA, NEU and Global level at Stanford, Google, Apsis, Marin Software and Green Leads. She is currently enrolled at Stanford University on leading change and innovation and she is a Lund Alumni and University of Gothenberg Alumni as well.
Cara Feng: She is a current Lund University - Erasmus Mundus Food Innovation and Product Design masters student and a prospective aspiring entrepreneur in food innovation. She collaborates with Tetra Pak on her master thesis while being a social and environmental impact entrepreneurship consultant for 180 DC Lund. She is dedicated to sustainable and diverse food systems, and improving the value share for farmers in the supply chain.
Founders Fika Friday
"A healthy startup community is a densely connected, open, trusting network where the most influential nodes of the network are entrepreneurs."
The aim of this project is to offer an opportunity for aspiring founders to learn from highly successful and influential founders in Skåne so that they can get access to practical know how on how to scale up their business at a global level.
🚀 May 7th 4 PM CET | Online #FFF with Niclas Mollin, CEO of Occtoo and Rik Nauta, CEO of Donna.Legal: How to build a global SaaS business
Niclas was the founding member of inRiver, a market leader for simplifying Product Information Management (PIM). Now he is building the cutting-edge Experience Data Platform with Occtoo. Rik Nauta is the CEO of Donna.legal, a plug-in for Microsoft Word that highlights and links relevant information and suggestions in contracts.
An entrepreneur bringing headless tech to the market & a standing-up power-napper giving lawyers AI superpowers meet at a fika. If you want to find out how the story goes, you better tune in and see how it unfolds.
🚀 May 14th 12 PM CET | #FFF with Bogdan Tudosoiu, Co-Founder of Modcam: How to scale a B2B hardware company and what it takes to achieve a successful exit
A Romanian gamechanger, Bogdan ran an IT Service establishment at the age of 25. He worked as a radio engineer for 8 years. He would repair Philips, Ericsson and Samsung phones only to later become an accomplished inventor within Ericsson. Within a decade, he created a powerful computer vision IoT sensor (Modcam AB) in the tiniest version that one could find. The startup was acquired by Cisco in 2020.
🚀 May 21st 12 PM CET | #FFF with Mathias Thulin, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Get Accept: How to secure Series B and build a global business in Malmö
Entrepreneur of the year in Malmö 2020, Mathias wants to live in a world where emails are short, business happens in a natural way and people care about each other. His Youtube channel Inside Silicon Valley details his and his team's adventure.
After an early sales career as a teenager selling flowers to his neighborhood, he got passionate about building business ideas that people actually want.
GetAccept is a sales document and eSignature platform that helps salespeople communicate and engage with their clients to help them accelerate their closing process. It raised $20m Series B led by Bessemer to expand its sales platform for SMBs.