Nordic Startup Awards 2019 Regional Winners announced in Copenhagen

Regional winners of the 7th season of Nordic Startup Awards, Nordic edition of Global Startup Awards, the world’s largest independent startup ecosystem competition have just been announced in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

The Regional Grand Finale Day has been gathering some of the most important startup ecosystem players – investors, startups, corporates, and government representatives selected by the competition from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The actual announcement took place in the evening at the beautiful Østre Gasværk Theatre, in front of an impressive crowd of over 600 people watching the show, while the invite-only Nordic Ecosystem Summit, with 200 well selected guests, was organized throughout the day at Odd Fellow Palace, to gather all these great minds to discuss organisational, financial and legal challenges of scaling and market entry opportunities, followed by pre-planned matchmaking sessions. 

With over 3.300 nominations this year, 670 approved applicants competed this season from the 5 participating countries in 13 categories, and the applicants were supported by over 42.000 individual public votes, as part of the selection process.

We have been expanded to 6 more regions since we started our journey with the Nordic one back in 2012. One thing we have learned is that the Nordic region has a uniquely strong ecosystem for founders with global ambitions and a good understanding of the future of technology. We can say with certainty that the Nordic region can be a role model in many ways for the rest of the world.This makes our region even more important since it can function as a vessel and platform to connect the region to the rest of the world through the Global Startup Awards network.” – Kim Balle, CEO of Global Startup Awards and Managing Director of Nordic Startup Awards.

And finally, here comes the 2019 regional winners of Nordic Startup Awards, who will enter the global round of the competition next year.

Best Accelerator or Incubator Program: TheFactory (Norway)

TheFactory is the largest Nordic Fintech & Proptech Incubator and Accelerator, and the most exciting place to be for entrepreneurs in the Oslo Fintech & Proptech scene. At TheFactory they cooperate closely with the Nordic & Global Fintech & Proptech eco-system in order to create great opportunities across the borders for their startups. They have accelerated 54 startups, invested in 29 of them and finished recently their 6th cohort.

Best Fintech Startup: Brickshare (Denmark)

Brickshare is an online investment platform that makes it easy for anyone to invest in real estate. Brickshare has a license as manager of alternative investment funds, and they manage all the practical aspects of property purchase, rental, law and administration. All you have to do is choose which real estate funds you want to invest in. You are continually paid your share of the profits (which ultimately stems from the operation of the properties), and if the asset’s value has been increased, you get paid your share of the profit when you redeem your share and get paid your investment.

Best AI/Machine Learning Startup: Spacemaker (Norway)

Urban centres across the planet are becoming increasingly crowded. By 2050, 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities – an urban area the size of Paris will be developed every week. Yet developers are not making the most of available land to control for affordability and sustainability. Today’s methods are simply not capable of optimising for the multitude of regulatory, design and economic constraints.

Spacemaker’s mission is to help design sustainable and better cities to live in by using AI to dramatically improve decision support and collaboration in real estate development.

Our web based tool allows developers to pack volumes smarter and thus increase saleable area. By intelligently distributing volumes, the AI can also help dramatically improve living and environmental qualities across key factors such as sunlight, view, noise, daylight, outdoor areas etc. Furthermore, by optimizing concepts based on the most important premises from day 1, Spacemaker can help reduce both time and cost of project completion. And finally, the software can greatly reduce planning approval risks with granular, fact-based documentation.

Best Coworking Space: Mindpark (Sweden)

Mindpark is a number of creative coworking and event spaces located in the southern parts of Sweden. They are home to numerous small and big companies, great events and inspiring meetings.

Best Creative Industry Startup: Grib (Finland)

World’s First 3D Software for Spatial Computing. Grib app turns a mobile device into a universal controller. You can sketch complex objects without first having to learn cumbersome 3D software. All you need is a pen, paper, and your mobile device. Share, print, or export your models.

Best Hardware Startup: Soundboks (Denmark)

SOUNDBOKS originally started as a quest to create the worlds loudest battery-powered speaker – but now, the company and its 60 employees is on a bigger mission – to empower communities and experiences that you never forget.

Best Health Tech Startup: NuvoAir (Sweden)

NuvoAir is a digital health start-up working at the intersection between healthcare and technology and changing the way healthcare is delivered. NuvoAir has developed the first bluetooth spirometer for diagnostics and monitoring for respiratory diseases. NuvoAir combines hardware, software and data to improve the lives of people suffering from respiratory conditions and to enable better and faster clinical decisions.

Best Newcomer: Good Monday (Denmark)

The first of its kind Work Space Management platform that finally makes running the office easy. Good Monday is an easy to use workspace management solution that brings together all your office activities and creates a productive work environment with happy employees.

Best Social Impact Startup: Intellectual Farms – iFarm (Finland)

iFarm creates and sells technology for automated vertical farms to grow greens, berries and vegetables. All year round.

The innovation of their project is to create a comprehensive solution for modern automated greenhouses, a digital database of parameters for the effective cultivation of different crops in a closed ecosystem with a fully automated microclimate.

Ecosystem Hero of the Year: Malin Frithiofsson (Sweden)

Malin is a social justice disruptor, business developer, columnist and public speaker. She is a Head of Community Management at Chalmers Ventures, leading post-investment activities for the portfolio with a focus on building an engaged community among our startups and the larger Gothenburg region ecosystem. She is also a Co-Founder of Alterity, a think tank with a vision to expand the narrative surrounding business, entrepreneurship and markets in order to encourage a more diverse group of people to take part in the economical benefits, thrilling innovation and co-creation that these fields offer. Moreover, Malin is also a steering committee member of Women in Tech Gothenburg, creating a community with the intention of connecting like-minded individuals, who believe in empowering women in the tech industry.

Founder of the Year: Kari Thor Runarsson (Iceland)

Kari is the founder of Authenteq, which is on a mission to revolutionize the identity verification and authentication business. He was named one of Europe’s Top Tech Innovators. 

Investor of the Year: byFounders (Denmark)

Founded by some of the most accomplished founders in the Nordics and Baltics, including the founders behind successes like Skype, Kahoot, Zendesk, Unity, Tradeshift, Sitecore and Vivino, byFounders is the “for founders by founders” early stage venture capital fund investing in the next generation of Nordic and Baltic founders with global ambitions.

Founder friendliness is at their core. Their portfolio companies enjoy strong operational guidance to accelerate value creation through the byFounders Collective’s vast, industry-spanning experience. With a strong presence in both the Nordics and Silicon Valley, the fund serves as a springboard for growth and global expansion.

Startup of the Year: Pleo Technologies (Denmark)

Pleo is an out-of-the-box business spending solution that offers smart payment cards for employees, enabling them to buy the things they need for work, while giving companies full control and visibility of all company spending.

Companies can distribute Pleo on-demand Prepaid Mastercard® virtual cards (for online purchases) and plastic cards (for in-store purchases) with flexible individual spending limits in just a couple of clicks. Connected to desktop and mobile apps, Pleo allows both employees and managers to track and manage all company expenses in real time.

Pleo catches receipts on the go, automatically categorizes expenses based on previous behaviour and eliminates the need to do manual expense reports. All captured data can be fed directly into the customer’s accounting system, significantly reducing the administrative complexities of the finance function.

Pleo was founded in Copenhagen in 2015 by fintech veterans Jeppe Rindom and Niccolo Perra, both early team members of the Danish startup success, Tradeshift, with years of experience building successful financial products. Pleo has 135 employees with offices in London and Copenhagen.

Pleo is a Seedcamp alumni, was shortlisted as one of Europe’s most innovative fintech startups by Money20/20, listed as one of hottest Nordic fintech startups by Business Insider, selected as one of the next Nordic Game Changers by Slush in 2016 and awarded Pioneer of The Year 2016 by the Pioneers Festival amongst more than 4.000 companies.

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