The Nordic scene is hot and Rising North is throwing more fuel at it

The Rising North fund announces four new projects that help Nordic startups become global leaders. If you have an idea how to help Nordic startups, apply before May 30th to get up to 50 000€ for your project.


Rising North is almost at its halfway mark and today we are announcing the next batch of projects financed by the fund. The goal of the fund is to help the next generation of Nordic startups with internationalization so that the companies can grow out of the region and become global leaders. Previously backed projects include among others a trip for VR-startups to Asia, an event around artificial intelligence and a Nordic delegation to New York City.

“While the Nordics represent only 3% of Europe’s population, it has managed to make more than 50% of billion dollar exits in region since 2005.”
- Nordic Entrepreneurship Check 2016, Nordic Innovation

The big challenges still persist

Even though the Nordics have stepped up the game and the region keeps on producing an increasing amount of successful companies, we have just started the race. There are still multiple challenges that are slowing down the growth of Nordic startups and they need to be addressed promptly. Old policies, access to later stage capital and top talent are some of the big challenges almost all local companies have to deal with.

Fortunately, Nordic policymakers have also realized the fact and are working hard on empowering entrepreneurship and innovation in the region through projects like Rising North. The Nordic countries themselves are tiny on a global scale but the Nordics as a whole is big enough compete with the other prominent startup hubs. Many of the Nordic unicorns were founded way back when the ecosystem around startups was still emerging. The support structures weren’t yet in place for founders. Today things are better. Most of the big Nordic cities have a thriving and growing ecosystem making it easier for founders to start bulding and get the help and resources when needed.

Now that we have finally got the fire going, it is just a matter of throwing more fuel on it.

Apply to get up to 50 000€

Rising North is three-year project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and operated by the Finnish Startup Foundation. Applications sent to the fund are evaluated once a quarter with the next deadline being on May 30th. Projects organized jointly by at least three different Nordic organizations can apply for a grant of up to 50 000€. Previous projects and more information can be found at risingnorth.org.

The new projects

Projects are evaluated by the Rising North Steering Board, which consists of entrepreneurs, investors and other ecosystem experts from the Nordics. They have the first hand knowledge of what the specific challenges are that companies are facing today. Like in the previous rounds, the Board had a tough time choosing the best projects but after long discussions the following projects got approved.

Investors on the Rocks is an exclusive event tailored to venture capitalists and business angels from North America, Europe, and Asia. They will be flown to Reykjavik where they will meet the Nordic tech and startup community while getting to enjoy the harsh, beautiful Icelandic nature. The main organizer of the project is Icelandic Startups, an organization that has been building relationships with the international investor community through co-Nordic grass root activities during the past few years. The event is set to take place in mid-August to coincide with the Reykjavik Marathon and Reykjavik Culture Night.

Nordic Angel Award is hosted by TechBBQ, the biggest annual startup- & tech-summit in Denmark. TechBBQ, Malmö Startups, Startup Norway and the Finnish Business Angel Network (FiBAN) are partnering together to organize a cross-border Nordic startup competition for the summit. The competition will have a jury of highly qualified Nordic business angels who will select startup applicants, two from each Nordic country, to participate in the pitch competition at TechBBQ. The goal is accelerate cross-border angel investments, collaboration and syndications as well as create awareness of cross-border syndication possibilities for companies looking for pre-seed and seed-stage funding.

Inclusive North seeks to connect the most promising Nordic startups in the inclusive business space with an international ecosystem of innovators, entrepreneurs and investors through two distinctive mechanisms. Selected Nordic startups will invited to participate in the The Inclusive Innovation Factory event held in Berlin in October. In addition, Inclusive North will seek to onboard Nordic startups onto the powerful Inclusive Business Accelerator platform. It is a global platform for connecting inclusive business ventures with investors, mentors, education, tools and other forms of support. The aim of the project is to help Nordic startups innovate, find investment, get exposure and receive support from an international network — and eventually scale to achieve the results and impact they are striving for.

#NordicMade x Singapore will be organized by the Finnish startup community hub and coworking space Maria 0–1. Associated program in Singapore will focus on building closer links between the Nordic hubs and strengthening the cohesion between South East Asia and the Nordics. This will be achieved through organising a community meet-up and selected events in collaboration and conjunction with Slush Singapore. The project is also a great opportunity for the Nordic startup community to connect with one of the most relevant startup hubs in Southeast Asia. The timing of Slush Singapore gives those interested in the world of Formula 1 the exclusive opportunity to also participate in F1 activities organized with the South-East Asian partners and the Slush Singapore. The end goal of the event is to enable the Nordic delegates, startups and community members, to connect with high profile locals, investors and executives attending Slush Singapore.

Read more and apply by May 30th on our website.