NordicBaltic.Tech, a partnership between PUBLIC Denmark and the Nordic Council of Ministers, has been tracking initiatives and responses to Covid-19 from the public sector and startup ecosystems in the Nordic-Baltic Region. Over the past months we have covered a range of initiatives by and for the startup community aimed at tackling the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. These initiatives focused on the most pressing issues at the time: getting healthcare to those in need, protecting the vulnerable and adjusting to living in lockdown.

Over the past weeks, the situation in the Nordics and Baltics has slowly been changing, with countries around the region gradually lifting lockdown restrictions and parts of daily life returning to normal. With these changes, priorities have been shifting, but this does not mean that the startup community no longer has a role to play. In fact, new initiatives have cropped up to tackle the aftermath of the last months and some startup initiatives have shifted their focus to supporting the community as business opens up again. We highlight some of the most exciting initiatives from the Nordic and Baltic region that are supporting startups in this new phase of the Covid-19 crisis.

Vinnova: Finding New Ways

There have been several initiatives providing funding for innovative solutions to tackle the immediate consequences of Covid-19, but this call for innovative ideas by Vinnova is specifically aimed at tackling the wider impacts of the crisis. And it is still open for applications! But startups wishing to participate must hurry, as those that wish to start their projects in July must apply by June 10th. Projects must involve the development of an innovative idea into full product, with a complete first solution being ready within 6-12 months. All projects should address new needs arising from the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, all projects must involve a “need owner”, meaning a player who benefits from the solution and will manage the results of the project. Participants can apply for a maximum of SEK 1 million per project, with the possibility of additional co-financing.

The Situation Room 

The Situation Room is an initiative started by Danish venture capital firm byFounders, which provides a series of virtual meet-ups focused on topics surrounding the Covid-19 crisis. Having covered the direct impacts of Covid-19, such as disruption of supply chains and being forced to work remotely, The Situation Room is now focusing on supporting founders through the economic aftermath of the crisis.  Upcoming meet-ups will focus on topics like the legality of changing deal terms (June 10th) and forecasting investor interest in the Nordics and Europe (June 17th). Designed to be interactive, the meet-up sessions will allow for a limited number of attendees. Startups and founders can sign up for sessions on the Situation Room website. All sessions are recorded, and with key content being shared afterward.  

Employment initiatives 

As mentioned in our articles on employment and welfare, the Covid-19 crisis has heavily impacted employment security, with many workers being temporarily or permanently out of work. The tech and startup sector has not been exempt from this phenomenon and as restrictions remain in place, it is likely that the crisis’ impact on employment is far from over. In response, several initiatives have cropped up, with the aim to support talent from the startup sector to find roles at companies that have grown during the past months. The recruitment startup Agile Search is providing a free service matching tech talent looking for work with companies that are hiring throughout Covid-19. The Recycling Nordic Tech Talent has a similar aim and provides a platform for companies and individuals looking for work to advertise themselves to each other.