ArenaStart at the National Gathering


A national gathering for startups and scaleups in Sweden, was organised the 13th of October, organized by SISP with Stina Lantz as the moderator. The panel included other participants such as Klementina Österberg (formerly Jozsa) and representatives from the startup world like Andreas Allström from Einride. ArenaStart was at the gathering, initiating dialogues within the ecosystem.

Overall, the discussion focused on the fact that Sweden has a startup community and actors supporting startups and scaleups, but the support is insufficient. The main challenges identified were a lack of capital and expertise. Companies and talent are moving abroad because the infrastructure needed for scaling companies is lacking at the national level.

The challenges are structural, including the absence of a national strategy and a more favourable climate for startups and scaleups. Currently, public funds allocated through organisations like VINNOVA, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and incubators do not sufficiently drive innovation commercialization.

Closer collaboration with industry and business is crucial. Additionally, many startups are unaware of the opportunities available to them. The ecosystem consists of both commercial and state-funded actors, but there is a lack of structured exchange and cooperation for the benefit of startups and scaleups. This leads to isolated competence hubs and disjointed actors.

One possible solution (but not discussed at the gathering) is for startups that have gone through an incubator to receive one year of state funding, allowing the team to solely focus on developing and selling their product or service.

Combining state and investor capital could bridge the gap between angel investors and venture capital firms for capital needs ranging from 2-20 million SEK. This is sometimes referred to “The investment Gap”.

ArenaStart aims to find solutions for early-stage startups and scaleups in need of seed funding to facilitate market entry or scale their companies. Our goal is to ensure the success of 9 out of 10 startups, creating more jobs, innovation, and sustainable solutions in Sweden.