When The Exchange wrote about Sweden’s startup scene at the end of last month, we said we’d revisit the Nordics this week. Well, a promise is a promise.
But after spending hours watching YC’s Winter 2023 Demo Day pitches this week, we also couldn’t help but try to connect the dots: Are Scandinavian startups making waves at Y Combinator? Turns out, not really. And that’s actually interesting.
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Two: That’s the number of startups in YC’s latest batch with offices in Denmark, Norway or Sweden, according to data from the accelerator itself. And yet, these three countries create more than their fair share of startups compared to their larger European peers.
If you add up the fact that rival accelerators 500 Startups and Techstars have given up on their Stockholm programs, a pattern starts to emerge. Could it be that Scandinavian startups just don’t need international accelerators, thank you very much?
A number disconnect
That there were so few Scandinavian startups in YC’s latest batch could be casual. YC often insists it invests in founders, not ideas; presumably, this also implies that it doesn’t give a lot of thought to office locations. As a result, the number of startups from a specific country can vary quite a bit from batch to batch.