• How the biggest Swedish startup platform was created – Interview with Anders Hassis, the co-founder of Swedish Startup Space

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    The global startup scene has literally exploded the last years and people of all backgrounds want to take part in it. I’m not an exception, in fact, I wouldn’t meet Anders Hassis if I wasn’t a keen follower of the startup community.

    Anders is an entrepreneur and a developer who co-founded Swedish Startup Space in February 2013. The website works as a platform for startups that want to discover other companies, market themselves or share experiences with other startups. Let’s have a look at what Anders has to say about the startup scene and how his own company was established.

    Anders, there’s a description of “startup” on your website. It says: ”A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup”. Your company was established one year ago and the Guardian writes about you. You fit in pretty well in your own description of a startup! How come you started a platform for startups?

    We believe that there wasn’t a good platform for this in Sweden. At that time, the big newspapers were not covering any news from the ”startup” tech companies unless it was Klarna or Spotify. However, a lot of the newspapers are now waking up and launching pods, special editions focusing on startup and digital media. So, exciting things are certainly happening in Sweden now!

    Your team consists of an interesting mix of people, including yourself, James from Australia, Pär who has a background as a photographer and Einar who studied engineering physics. How was your team consolidated and how do you work together? How has your time been since February 2013?

    Pär and I have been working together for many years, doing mostly freelancing as well as our own projects. I got to know James a few years back and he asked me in January last year if I would be interested in starting this with him. I reckoned it was a great idea so we started building. Along the road, we realized that neither of us are very good designers. Since I’ve been working with Pär for a long time, I knew he would be interested in a new exciting project! We’ve known Einar for many years as well, and he’s been running a successful startup in Uppsala with some other people. That being said, he certainly has the qualifications and the interest of these kind of things! And that is actually what it’s all about, passion for tech and interesting ideas.

    The startup scene is growing really fast and is well appreciated among young people in particular. Why do you think the startup scene has grown so fast during the last years?

    I would say a lot of things just started happening at once. Tyler Crowley started the STHLM Tech Meetup around the same time as we started and it’s grown from ~70 participants to around ~700 if I remember correct. In addition to that, the bigger media are getting interested and there are some interesting deals being made in Sweden as well, which brings international interest to the area.

    I follow a blog called TechinAsia and the Asian startup scene is growing fast for sure. Which startup scene is the most interesting you think and how will the global startup scene be like in the coming years?

    I really enjoy being a part of the Stockholm and Uppsala scene, there are a lot of great people around. We are really trying to engage other parts of Sweden as well, we have a few people down in Gothenburg that is doing a great job covering that region for us. It’s always harder not being located in a place you are trying to cover, sort of.

    You focus on the Swedish startup scene and Swedish companies. Though, your company has grown fast, with attention from international media and you have contact with some of the biggest Swedish startups. Do you have any plans going global and expand your website in the coming future?

    We are definitely looking to expand, but unfortunately I can’t go into any specifics at this point.

    Do you have a great business idea, or just want to know more about Swedish Startup Space? Feel free to visit their website and drop them a message!

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