Entrepreneurship has been a big part for the startup boom that has taken place in Scandinavia, particularly within Stockholm, and is also one of the biggest interests of Tyler Crowley. STHLM Tech Fest is right around the corner (next week, even!) so we at Joinville decided to grab Tyler for a quick interview regarding hosting STHLM Tech meetups.
When did you begin hosting the STHLM Tech events and what inspired you to create these events?
The first STHLM TECH Meetup was in Jan 2013, and has being going monthly every month since. The inspiration was seeing how important my friend Jason Nazar's event Startups Uncensored was in lifting the Silicon Beach community on the west side of LA.
What are some things people might not know about the Stockholm startup scene?
That Stockholm, a city of less than 1MM people, very similar in size to Austin TX, has 7 unicorn tech companies. That the top games like Candy Crush and Minecraft, and the top music apps Spotify and Beats and even Tidal all came from Stockholm.
What do you think has been a catalyst for the expansion of the startup scene in Stockholm?
It's the typical formula I share with some cities -- First, a venue that brings everyone in 1 space which has co-working + event space to host more meetup groups + meeting space where everyone can schedule their coffee meetings. Second, a monthly event that brings all the smaller meetup groups together and is the stage where VIPs visiting from out of town can be on stageand meet everyone, and also impress the politicians and press with what is happening in their backyard. Third, a social media hashtag like #sthlmtech, #siliconbeach which acts as a way to show the world everything that is going on in your town but also for everyone locally to share a common channel to share events, news, hirings, etc.
How big of a difference is there between Silicon Valley and Stockholm?
Quite a big difference in some ways, and very similar in others. The most obvious being that Sweden takes 4 weeks off each summer, and don't answer email during that time. This sounds absurd to many in US, but then you realize, it really does help to disconnect and come back with fresh eyes. And why not have the whole company or even country take their holiday at the same time rather than constantly wondering who is out of the office THIS week.
Could you name some of the biggest up and coming startups this year?
Fishbrain, Lifesum, Tictail, Truecaller jump to mind first, ask me again next week 🙂