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How Sweden became an innovation frontrunner

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Innovation driven co-working spaces pop up in Stockholm -- list of top spaces

Buzzing, creative and energetic co-working spaces have always been a part of Stockholm’s scene for startups. But now, an innovative new kind of shared office is emerging in the city. In just over one year an impressive eight new co-working spaces have opened in Stockholm. One of the newest examples is THINGS, the first hub specialized in hardware, which opened in the end of March.

Another of the recent examples is the innovation house Epicenter, which is situated in Urban Escape Stockholm, an entire block of 130 000 m2 in the heart of the capital where “innovation, knowledge and creativity are setting the scene”.

At 5,000 metres squared, the workplace aims to become a house of invention where business leaders and entrepreneurs can work, collaborate and socialise. The project is a collaboration between innovations advisers Result, tech event SIME and property developer AMF Fastigheter.

“Basically, you can get access to the offices everywhere,” said Caroline Forsling, director of urban development and marketing at AMF. “But at Urban Escape, you can get a piece of the future, and Epicenter is a good example of that.”

She adds that the development of innovative co-working spaces in Stockholm also can be seen in London, Berlin and New York. The ambition with Epicenter is to help today’s startups to become tomorrow’s major corporations.

Epicenter gained international attention for one unique feature: To access the building all members are equipped with a new kind of key card, a tiny microchip — embedded in their hand.

Startups at Epicenter include e-commerse platform Tictail, Youtube network Splay, game developer Star Stable and crowdfunding-firm FundedByMe.

Another co-working space that has innovated is Open Lab. It’s described as a creative centre for academics and researchers with the aim of solving society’s challenges in a new way. By offering courses, workshops and flexible workspaces, they want to provide guidance on how to develop proposals.

“Openlab is a meeting place where academia, public organisations, businesses and non-profit organizations are given the opportunity to work with innovations that benefit the Stockholm region,” said Ivar Björkman, head of the office.

Startup network SUP46, backed up by venture capital firms and accelerator partners, proved an instant hit when it was launched last year and quickly attracted some of the city's most exciting and innovative start-ups.

Jessica Stark, CEO and co-founder, explained that the organisation's vision is to make Stockholm the number one start-up city in the world.

"Members are carefully selected – scalable startups with global ambitions, mainly in the areas of internet, mobile, media and gaming," Stark said. "Only the most exciting and innovative companies are accepted as members."

Other vibrant co-working spaces include Knackeriet (headed by start-up prodigy Ted Valentin), The Entrepreneur’s Church (Entreprenörskyrkan; uniquely set up in an old church building) and Impact Hub Stockholm (one of the city’s first co-working spaces).

Here is our selection of co-working spaces in Stockholm:

  • THINGS: Stockholm hub and coworkingspace for hardware startups, www.thingstockholm.com
  • The Castle: Coworking space for startups next to the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, www.facebook.com/thecastlesthlm
  • Epicenter: Stockholms new house of Innovation. A vital part of the Urban Escape block in the business district of Stockholm, epicenterstockholm.com
  • Open Lab: Creative center at KTH Technical University open for different disciplines and professions.
  • Entrepreneurs Church: Tech co-working space in a former chapel, www.entreprenorskyrkan.se
  • D82: Tech co-working space in the business district, www.d82.se
  • Impact Hub: Tech coworking space, and launch pad for purpose-driven ventures, www.impacthub.se
  • SUP46: A hub for for startups in the Business district, www.sup46.com
  • Knackeriet: Coworking space for web, design and business, www.knackeriet.se
  • Coffice: Café and coworking space , coffice.coop
  • Café&Co: Café, coworking space and networking, www.cafeco.se

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This article was sponsored by Stockholm Business Region.

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Last Updated (Thursday, 02 April 2015 02:17)


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