Malmö: A Top-Notch Location For Every Founder

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Being a well developed city, Malmö is helping entrepreneurs to realize their projects while providing them with all the support they need. Find out more about how to start your business Malmö!

Rapidly growing, Malmö has transformed tremendously in the last 20 years from an industrial town on the decline to a global city and a hotbed of innovation. The visionary pearl of Sweden aspires to be a clean tech city developing interests in ICT companies, creative industries, IT industries, life science research, tourism, retail, hospitality, packaging sectors and mobile media. It also forms part of Medicon valley, an area stretching from southern Sweden to Eastern Denmark, the world’s leading clusters in biotechnology with more than 41,000 employees and 5000 clinical researchers.

Along with all the fascinating developments, Malmö is currently considered as one of the better cities in Northern Europe to set-up a company in, with universities nearby in south Sweden and Copenhagen, affordable housing, high availability of tech skills, lower cost of expenses and active angel scene. Malmö lies in the warmest parts of Sweden in Skåne region and houses mostly a young population and a rich, diverse mix of cultures with over 170 nationalities and a highly skilled workforce. There are plenty of cultural attractions, ancient monuments and beautiful national parks in this region.

Malmö has been listed top ten before in the Forbes list of the most innovative cities and it is no wonder why. There is an entrepreneurial spirit here and the city has been featured in national business startup rankings for a number of years. It’s thriving startup scene features 7 new companies being started every day (as statistics show in 2014). Ranked the fourth most innovative city in the world based on the number of patent applications per 10,000 residents, about 30 companies have moved their headquarters to Malmö during the last 7 years.

Attracting plenty of activities with brilliant minds due to its forward-thinking culture, there are more networking events, test bed facilities and physical meeting points to create business opportunities and drive skills and technology development. Within the startup community, there is a trend towards small, smart, low-capital solutions aimed at multiple areas of industries and customers and also a change in trend in investment in companies, from private equity funds to industrial investors with a long-term strategic interest.

If you are planning startup opportunities here, check out the resources to work with in the following paragraphs.

On The East Side Of The Øresund

Advantages Of Starting Up In Malmö:

  • Strong startup scene with grass-roots organizations that cooperate with government initiatives.
  • Malmö is the economic center of southern Sweden with excellent infrastructure.
  • Train transport to Copenhagen (of short 30 minutes train ride) and close to foreign markets London, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Finland, Germany, and Poland.
  • A vibrant and young pool of talent to draw from as Malmö houses the country’s largest university with 26,000 students.
  • Third largest city in the country with international favorable cost location and good quality of life
  • Plenty of growth attracting investment capital.
  • Future planned projects like the expected completion of fehrmarnbelt tunnel by 2024 between Denmark and Germany, promoting the growth of cross-border regional activities.
  • Two new major research facilities 20 km north of Malmö (in Lund) to be ready soon, fuelling regional growth. A synchrotron light laboratory, MAX IV, that will be an asset to 2000 scientists yearly and scheduled to be ready in mid-2016. ESS (European Spallation Source) will be the world’s most powerful neutron source for materials research, a collaboration between 17 European states and will open in 2019.

What Startup Founders Have To Consider:

  • Small local market reach. For a bigger market, needs to work on reaching out to other countries in Scandinavia and countries surrounding the baltic sea area.
  • Some startups not focusing on the industry may find it more challenging to thrive. However, with the ever-present community and associations’ help, it isn’t difficult and one may even get a better chance to shaping the future in this area.

What’s New In Malmö’s Startup Scene?

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Although Malmö is a world-class city to do business and invest in, it keeps its small town feel and friendliness. Getting around to its various charming attractions is easy by train, bus, bicycle or taxi. There is no lack of activities one can join in this vibrant city where the caring is sharing mindset is very prevalent. There is strong synergistic cooperation between entrepreneurs, industries, and businesses creating a dynamic environment perfect for turning budding ideas to reality.

Find Info About Upcoming Events, Meetups & Other Occasions:

  • Malmö Startups is a grassroots movement by the startup community to enrich the startup scene in Malmö and nearby cities. It hosts interesting events, brings experienced speakers to courses, gives introductions for startups and organizes monthly meet-ups.
  • Foo Café is a place where technology and media enthusiasts meet. There are listed meetings and conferences very relevant to the start-up world.
  • Drivhuset offers free guidance, courses, higher education and chance to connect to with a broad network in Malmö to start and run businesses. Also, sign up online to gathering place for young entrepreneurs and business owners, a forum where all can exchange and share experiences, tips, and knowledge with each other.
  • Kompanjoner allows one to search for partners and partnerships to run a business together.
  • Oresund Startups displays news and happenings about startups in Malmö and collaborations with surrounding cities Copenhagen, Lund and Helsingborg.
  • Malmö business event’s section lists the various business talks, conferences and meetings happening in Malmö.

Regular Events & Meet-ups:

  • Women Founders Breakfast and Tools of the trade are monthly meet-ups where participants share challenges, experiences, and aspirations. Formed by Malmö Startups, join this facebook group and get inspired.
  • Startup Dojo – Don’t miss this monthly opportunity to mingle with fellow entrepreneurs, share advice, test ideas as well as listen to talks given by experienced entrepreneurs. Increase your chances of finding like-minded co-founders and investors here.
  • Startup Ol holds monthly meetings for entrepreneurs in different locations in the Skåne region, one of them being Malmö.
  • IKF Malmö is a non-profit, non-political or non-religious affiliated international woman network in Malmö. They have activities centered around mentoring, workshops, networking and skills development. They also arrange regular social activities like open houses and cultural evenings.
  • Malmö Inventor’s Association is a nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes ideas and inventive activity. Members meetings are held once a month which also includes talks from experts, entrepreneurs or innovators. This can help create contacts and opportunities. Mingle, enrich and be enriched by the community and come away with useful contacts. The association partners with unions SUF Helsingborg and Opfinderforeningen DK and Scanian Engineering Club. Hence, members get to participate in activities organized by these unions. You also have the chance to be a member of the PEF, the Swedish Inventors Association. They have a youth section running a meeting place as well.
  • NyföretagarCenter Syd helps entrepreneurs deal with the issues and problems from the business start. Free advice and help with ideas on the business concept and advice on how to proceed. They are a point of contact in a large network of people and companies who have expressed interest in successful entrepreneurship. Check out the calendar for the regular events with talks held here.
  • At NyföretagarCentrum Öresund you will find regular events posted on their calendar. They give free individual, confidential and business advice to start and run businesses – receive advice from experienced entrepreneurs and fast track into a network of partners in legal, tax and finance aspects.
  • Young Entrepreneurs of Sweden is a member-driven organization that build networking, develop and support talented young entrepreneurs so that they have a bigger impact, actively involve in contributing to a better world. During events, meetings and online creating YEOs venues where entrepreneurs meet to be inspired by, learn from and help each other.

Yearly Or Major Events, Festivals, Conferences:

  • Nordic eCommerce Summit is the leading international e-commerce conference in Scandinavia held yearly in Malmö in November where the most innovative and influential people from around the world meet to share their experiences and expertise about eCommerce and its future.

Increase Your Ouput In One Of Malmö’s Co-working Spaces

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Looking for a creative space to brainstorm, meet fellow enthusiasts, business gurus and change the world? Look no further as we dive deep into the various valleys of startup abyss!

Co-working Spaces In Malmö:

  • Get your creative juices flowing at STPLN. A 2000 square meter meeting space divided into various rooms for different functions, it has free drop-in offices with cheap delicious coffee and even woodworking workshops, textiles creation space, bicycle building room, stage room and children handicrafts making/program room. You can hold conferences, workshops, seminars events and exhibitions with high-speed internet and creative settings. Contact them if you would have a unique project and would like to have a special set-up space for it.
  • The Ground is a co-working space for startups who build digital products. Meet cool fellow entrepreneurs, makers, shakers, rainmakers who want to build scalable things with impact on many people.
  • Originally a meeting place for entrepreneurs, developers, and angel investors, Minc offers various type workspaces with wireless internet, furnished room or open space, cleaning, printer and access to meeting rooms and reception. Get ready to move in quickly as you can be connected within a day upon signing the contract.
  • Media Evolution City is located in the fashionable Vastra Hamnen (West Harbour), focusing on mobile and media companies. Here, you find types of offices of your choice to work in and there is a wide range of meeting rooms to choose from. There are also conference facilities and meeting places.
  • Drivhuset Conservatory has offices for a reasonable price. There is wireless internet access and other facilities. Get to meet other businesses here at the common breakfast meetings.
  • At Medeon you can rent an office, wider premises and conference space for life science projects.
  • Djakne Kaffebar is an entrepreneurial café welcoming creative people to meet as well as work on their laptops.

Take Care Of Your Finances In Malmö

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Being an entrepreneur in Malmö means that you will find abundance of great chances to develop with relevant help from many investors committed to your success. Hone your skills, overcome your challenges, get education tailored to your growth with experienced advisors in Malmö.

Incubators:

  • Minc selects entrepreneurs in areas of IT, design and digital media and helps these entrepreneurs to build companies in a 2-year incubator program.
  • Medeon incubator is for business ideas in medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. You get a specific growth environment with access to industry-specific coaching, business consulting, training, and other services. You also get a range of support depending on what is suitable for your needs, from business consulting, business skills trainings, networking activities, access to venture capital networks and office space with well-rounded facilities.
  • Start-up studio help enterprises and entrepreneurs launch awesome new products and make them grow through coaching, training, workshops or a full implementation of an in-house startup studio all ready to explore and innovate at competitive speed.

Accelerators:

  • Tillvaxtmalmo helps create growth in businesses by offering courses, new networks, and funding. The company should have between 5-25 employees, paying customers and ability to create jobs.
  • Fast Track Malmö Accelerator is a program stretching over 5 months to help 5 selected startups.  Its main goal is to help the startups launch a product, meet world-class mentors, build an international network and raise an angel round. You get convertible notes, 30+ top mentors from the Nordics, weekly curriculum with educational sessions, free office space with startup hub with 300 entrepreneurs, half a million package worth in services and credits from companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Paypal. Lastly, a week in the US and a demo day to ensure your angel investment.
  • Clusterland Sweden helps SMEs in the ICT sector to grow and countries to create a sustainable environment for high growth, high innovative companies within IT, Telecom, M-Health, media and creative sector.
  • Agile Nordic is an accelerator supported by the energy company E.ON. The 6-month program supports startups developing solutions for the future of energy and sustainability. Since starting out in 2013, they have successfully accelerated 44 startups from IoT to smart boiler concepts.

Grants & Subventions:

  • Enterprise Europe Network offers free support and services to small and medium-size enterprises. They can help enterprises to access to EU funding, bring innovations to market, understand EU legislations and make international connections.
  • Business Checks for the internationalization of small businesses in Skåne decided by growth board of Malmö. Small businesses with 2-49 employees with at least 3 million in turnover gets to seek up to SEK 250000 grant to prepare and implement investments in new markets outside Sweden.
  • Structural/social programs that provide funding for your project. If you are a legal, private or public entity and you need more information and assistance, you can apply for funding of your idea or project here.

Crowd Investing Platforms:

  • Fundedbyme is a crowdfunding platform connecting investors and entrepreneurs. You can create a crowdfunding campaign and fund your company in three ways: through equity, loan or offer product/service in return. So far, nearly 15million euros been provided to 424 companies and ongoing, create your campaign here today!
  • Kickstarter is another crowdfunding platform and was launched in Sweden in October 2014.

Angel Investors:

  • Malmö Startups host events early stage startups get to present and meet experienced Angel Investors from Öresund region with the opportunity for investment. Startups can register here.
  • Connect Skåne is for companies who seek capital, working with Connect Skåne’s mentors and have gone through the process, that are deemed investable, you can connect to Sweden’s south region business angels here. There is a large investor network of business angels, over 140 members in Scania, experienced individuals from professional services firms.
  • Get access to over 5000 interested Malmö Angel Investors.

Venture Capital Investors:

  • Almi Invest seeks motivated entrepreneurs with newly established companies or is in an early expansion phase, business ideas that can build future growth. It has invested in 1.2 billion in approximately 400 growth companies in various industries. So with the experience, they know what is needed for success in developing and growing company in an early phase. They also do seek for other investors that will like to be actively involved in the process.
  • Connect Skåne has proven methodology, expertise and strong support from the business community. Entrepreneurs facing expansion export, transfer of ownership and other challenges will find the path to success.
    Submit your business ideas to have a chance in winning the Venture Cup competition with cash. And you get courses, workshops, digital education, guidance and professional feedback at the business idea stage. Several hundred people are involved in the training sessions and volunteer speakers from the industry and independent experts from the business community helps competitors gain valuable insight, refine and develop idea further. Tutoring is offered to students where they are given assistance on specific issues. Workshops are based in three competition rounds, “business concept” “pitch” and “business plan” and include methods. Submit your ideas in the areas of environment & energy, people & society, life science & technology and the web, software & media.

Need More Help? Ask Malmö’s Experts!

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  • Verksamt is collaboration among several Swedish government agencies with excellent source of Information and tools for entrepreneurs in Sweden. No more pulling your hair out as you sail through the process, from filling up business documents to figuring out taxes to employment of staff.
  • Swedish chamber of commerce is for Swedish companies and foreign companies. About 30 foreign chambers of commerce in Sweden, all based in Stockholm. They provide support to foreign companies who would like to set up a business in Sweden.
  • Almi business partner helps ideas transform into business reality. ALMI provides financing and advisory services for those are set to becoming entrepreneurs and those who have recently started. They also have free personal advice in 8 different languages, collaborating with IFS (International Entrepreneur Association in Sweden), giving practical support for entrepreneurs with a foreign background who are considering starting their own business or already running a business.
  • Coompanian is business advisory services that are free for new and established cooperative entrepreneurs. From ideas to business stage, they help you to analyse local needs and markets, seeking funding and create value through collaboration with other companies.
  • City Library Business services provide self-help and all services are free of charge. Staff are helpful with information retrieval based on your need. For more extensive information, you can book an appointment.
  • Uppstart Malmö is foundation along with strong investor support to entrepreneurs. The goal was to create growth and act as a positive force for new jobs and support small businesses so they can grow sustainably and profitably. Companies can access to new networks, financing and advice in its growth.
    There is a business pilot from city of Malmo to guide businesses through local laws and regulations. A quick and easy entry point for entrepreneurs. Existing and prospective businesses can call this number +46 (0) 40 343000 or email them at foretagslots@malmo.se to contact them about everything from permits and to finding the right people, organisations and agencies involved in business and entrepreneurship in Malmö.

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Last updated: February 23rd, 2017

The guides are like startup communities – they contstantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you have something to add to one of them or want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!

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