On Tuesday, a Nordic delegation of startups, investors and ecosystem organisations, rang the Nasdaq bell in New York City. This was part of the second #NordicMade delegation to New York. Helga Valfess, CEO of NSA Ventures gave a speech for the occation, and announced Rising North – a €1.5m fund to finance projects that work towards the internationalisation of the Nordic Startup Scene.

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I would like to begin by thanking NASDAQ for hosting us here today.

We are here as delegation from the Nordic startup scene and we are truly excited to be here at NASDAQ and in New York City, one of the most vibrant and successful startup ecosystems in the world. 

In the Nordics we work hard, we are extremely loyal to our company and our cause and we love technology. It is therefore no surprise that the Nordics have produced a string of very successful technology companies.  Spotify, Skype, Supercell, Zendesk and Unity have all come from the Nordics.  

In fact over the last five years, the Nordics, which account for only 4% of the European population, have produced over 25% of all European exits.  If we look at this past decade, 1 in 10 technology companies globally valued at 1 billion dollars or more have come from the Nordics. 

In the Nordics, collaboration is an important part of our culture. The five Nordic countries not only share the midnight sun, but we work together, across countries and across organizations to support entrepreneurs building the next generation of billion dollar companies. 

Today, it is my honor to launch an initiative called the Rising North. The Rising North is a €1.5 million fund to support the internationalization of the Nordic startup ecosystem, to be allocated over the next three years to joint Nordic projects to accelerate the region.

Finally I would like to thank NASDAQ for building a bridge between the Nordics and America.  This truly Iinternational exchange has provided the capital to bring so many great Nordic companies to the global market.