Why would someone start a startup fund in 2016? We aren’t starting a fund. We are starting Nordic Makers. Nordic Makers (www.nordicmakers.vc) is a collective of angels that founded and built great companies. We care about founders, about great products, and about the Nordic region and Nordic values — all with a global mindset.
As a founder, no one can hear you scream
When we started our first companies we were rather alone, in a very immature startup ecosystem. Non-existing actually. Since then the ecosystem has blossomed but so have also the amount of investors. Or allow us to say “investors”. The range of people wanting to invest are all from realtors and bankers who know money but not companies, to people who built great companies, but not tech companies, to serial entrepreneurs wanting to help. We wished that there were people we could talk to who had been there before. Not only the good days, the extremely busy days, and the hard working days, but also the shitty days. About the founder fights, the lost vacation and the not-appearing product market fit.
You shouldn’t have to read the fine print
With a lot of investors there are also a span of terms, from robber baron terms to ultra-founder-friendly. As angels we have individually always wanted to be the good guys, because we know that our success was not only due to skill, but also grit, luck and supportive people. As Nordic Makers we are not focusing on getting a certain chunk of your company — or even worse, thinking of how to push you out. We are thinking of how to make the business fly, and how to make the next round. We want founder-friendly, and future-round-friendly, terms. We like to be honest and direct in all communication, legalese and real life. And yes, we want to be treated nicely too :)
Herring, sharing, and caring
The Nordic culture is not an alpha-male viking culture, but actually a culture of sustainability. If you want a company to succeed you need the people not only to survive, but to thrive. We believe that having a learning organisation where people don’t only work for titles, salaries, and perks but for learning, accomplishing, and having a good time is a better way to get there. There is a reason why the Nordic languages have a (rather unique) word for “enjoying work” (arbetsglädje/arbejdsglæde).
Alexander, David, Erik, Hampus, Klaus, Lars, Martin, Thomas, Thorvald, and Tommy. (Yes, we wish we weren’t all white dudes…)