Nordic Tech Startups: Why Scandinavia is a hotspot for tech start-ups

Naturally, when people think of hotspots for tech startups, they think of Silicon Valley, China and Singapore; but have you considered The Nordic Region?

Nicknamed as ‘the Silicon Valley of Europe’ or even ‘home to the Silicon Vikings’, the Nordic region has recently emerged as an ideal location for tech start-ups to thrive. As a result, the number of tech startups has rapidly grown in the Nordic region, not to mention, being the birthplace of tech giants Spotify and Skype. But why is it such a hotspot? In this article we are going tell you why.

Nordic Industries

Traditionally, when people think about the Nordic region, they focus around the sea, with oil, gas and fishing amongst its most famous industries; but with the world gradually starting to realise these resources are somewhat limited, many Norwegians are instead turning to technology.

Within Scandinavia, Sweden is undoubtedly one of the leading innovative countries, as the birthplace of Spotify and Skype. As well as many other successful companies, such as iZettle and King.  Stockholm, the capital of Sweden is becoming well-known across the tech circles as a hub of entrepreneurial activity, with almost one-fifth of the entire workforce working in tech, which is the highest compared to any other city in Europe. In Stockholm it is estimated that the technology industry has the largest share in the labor market, with the most sought out profession being the programmer.

The Nordic Economy

With high standards of living and low-income disparities, the Nordic economic model is often cited as a role model for other countries looking for economic stability and opportunities.

With a combined population of 27 million and a GDP of USD 1,5 trillion, the Nordic region is ranked as the 5th largest economy in Europe and the 10th largest economy in the World. (

Its economy is based on a combination of free market capitalism and high level of social benefits, underpinned by creative destruction, which is ideal for tech startups. (

The national government has endorsed numerous innovation policies to support tech companies’ growth, from grants to R&D tax credits. The Danish Government have also got their own Digital Growth Strategy policy in place and plan to allocate €134 million to innovation projects until 2025.

“87% of Nordic organisations plan to sustain or increase their tech budgets up till 10% in 2020. The main part of tech budgets are spent on operations and 21% spend on innovation.” (

The Nordic Population

With lower tuition fees, The Nordic region typically has a higher percentage of diverse university educated professionals. Furthermore, from an early age in education Scandinavians are taught to have a critical mindset, where they are encouraged and taught to question, see problems as opportunities and then find solutions.

They are also often early adopters of technology, with the highest Internet penetration (97%) and Smartphone penetration (96%) in Europe. (

Naturally, Scandinavians are very curious about the latest technology. The Finnish for example, jump from intermediary technologies straight to the most modern technologies to always remain competitive. The European Union’s Digital Economy and Society Index today consistently ranks the Nordics as one of the top spots for digital connectivity and adoption.

Find Out More

If you work for an IT/Tech company looking for advice about the Nordic region our team are happy to offer their guidance and expertise.

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