Winning a Nordic Startup Award has fast become the de facto standard for Nordic startups and entrepreneurs to aspire to.
Although all categories are treated as equal, the award for 'Best Startup of the Year' holds some extra gravitas, as the winner of this award for each Country is essentially the flag bearer for the next year as their Countries current big hope.
The Grand Finale of the awards takes place next week, so we will learn who took the prize for The Nordics 'Best Startup of the Year' then, but all national winners have now been announced, and I noticed an interesting correlation between them.
Bar one (Seriously in Finland, founded in 2013) they were all founded three years ago or more: Kahoot, 2011 (Norway), Falcon Social, 2010 (Denmark), Bokun, 2012 (Iceland) and Lifesum, 2008 (Sweden).
In the tech World we are obsessed with overnight successes, startups suddenly popping up out of nowhere to seemingly claim World domination, but the truth of the matter is that many of these have been plugging away for years, and their 'overnight success' has many years of work behind it.
To me, there is something rewarding to see the winners of 'Startup of the Year' are those that have been slowly but surely working on building their companies, and receive deserved recognition for doing so.
The choice of the winners also demonstrated the strength in depth across verticals in the Nordics right now. Of course, the traditional strongholds of gaming (Seriously), enterprise SaaS (Falcon Social) and health (Lifesum) were all represented, but so were edtech (Kahoot!) and travel (bokun), two verticals that have seen more funding and activity in the Nordics in the last twelve months or so.
All of the national winners would be worthy of the ultimate prize of the Nordics 'Best Startup of the Year' and we can be proud to be represented by any of the candidates.
I'm honoured to have won 'Best Startup Journalist' for Denmark, you can help me win the award at the Grand Finale for the Nordic 'Best Startup Journalist' by voting for me here.