A Place for Nordic Innovation in Silicon Valley

The Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley is a collaboration between several Nordic state organizations. It has been around since 2014 when it started as a joint Nordic project between Innovation Norway, Vinnova, Business Finland, Innovation Center Denmark and Innovation Center Iceland. Vinnova is Sweden’s government agency for innovation and provides funding for innovation projects and the research needed to develop new solutions. This includes supporting and stimulating collaborations between companies, universities and other higher education institutions, public services, civil society and other actors. NIH has since 2014 become the home to 180 Nordic startups and welcomed over 5000 visitors, and it continues to give both small and large corporations from the Nordics the chance to get a head start in one of the world’s most vibrating innovation hubs.

The reason for having a joint place for innovation in Silicon Valley is to make the process of launching a business here less complicated for Nordic startups and help them to benefit from what the ecosystem has to offer in an efficient way. They provide a strong local community; connect members to key actors; offer mentorship and office space. Having a joint platform for collaboration also helps to raise awareness in the region about the Nordics and its advancements in high technology and entrepreneurship.

HRH Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel on a visit to the Nordic Innovation House
in Silicon Valley. Photo: kungahuset.se

NIH offers several programs at its Silicon Valley office to provide Nordic Startups with the right tools and latest insights to be successful in the region. Programs offered by NIH includes

  • REACH – an incubator program for Nordic research based tech projects with global ambitions
  • HEALTHTECH – a tailored program for Nordic healthtech-related startups and organizations, providing them with access to experts on the US healthcare market to investigate possbile go-to-market strategies for participants
  • Nordic Female Investors-Program – a three-day program where Nordic Female Angel Investors are offered expert insights on how Angel investing works, and how to evaluate and support startups
  • Future of Work Master Class – fostering a dialogue on how emerging technologies will affect the future workplace based on the latest insights and discoveries from Silicon Valley, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities that might follow

Another great initiative by the partner organizations of NIH is the exclusive accelerator program TINC (TechINCubator). It’s an opportunity for Nordic startups that have developed a minimum MVP, are starting to see customer growth and have a scalable business model to receive pitch training, mentoring, participate in workshops, and meet with potential customers, partners and investors during an intensive four weeks.

In addition optional program includes: lunch and learns, events, meetups and networking events. Image: Nordic Innovation House.

The gathered opinion of the more than 120 participating companies over the last 6 years is that TINC is a life changing experience. More than 75 percent of the companies made changes to their business model after the program and most of them experienced a substantial acceleration afterwards. TINC runs twice per year. To read more about the program click here.

Author: Hanna Isacsson, intern at the Office of Science and Innovation in Washington DC