Something I believe to be a very important reason behind the thriving start-up scene in Stockholm is the pride, inspiration and courage that the well-known success stories provide, with household names like Spotify and Skype acting as role models. It inspires people to take a chance, fail and dare to try again.
Of course, the governmental investment in the school system, leading to a strong well-educated workforce, is another beneficial starting condition. Sweden also has a history of adapting quickly to tech advances, and according to Internetstiftelsen’s report “Swedes on the Internet 2018,” 98% of the Swedish population has Internet access at home, and 8 out of 10 use BankID, an electronic personal identification system.
Essential to many entrepreneurs and start-ups is access to capital, knowledge, innovation and the global market. Since many start-ups today have the ambition to go global right away, global networking services is an absolute necessity already in the starting phase. I am both happy and proud to be part of a company that provides these assets to bolster innovative start-ups. One example of this is how we worked with Yepzon Group, a Finnish company developing wearable technologies and smart-clothing applications. Orange Business has provided Yepzon with a reliable IoT communications infrastructure, global presence and an attractive business, which is key in supporting global growth.
We also have Orange Fab: an amazing platform that is connecting start-ups to corporations for strategic investment and partnership opportunities. Here in Sweden, we are members of the THINGS Enterprise Circle together with around twenty other medium-large companies, like SAAB, Siemens and Vattenfall. THINGS works as a great hub for hardware and industry-oriented entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups and focuses on IoT, automation, robotics, 3D scanning/printing and energy – all areas where Orange Business has long experience that we are happy to share.
I have just personally become a member of THINGS, and I am very excited to inspire and be inspired by all those ambitious start-ups with great ideas that, with the right resources, have the potential to turn into the next big thing. What do you think that will be?
Simon Ranyard is Managing Director for Nordics, UK and Ireland at Orange Business and is based in London, England. With 20 years' experience in ICT in sales functions, Simon is driving a revenue growth plan by focusing on the innovative services that Orange can bring to its customers and on continuously improving the way we work with them.
In his spare time, Simon is a keen cricket fan and enjoys supporting youth development in the game.