Sweden has a stellar reputation for innovation. The country is number one on the European Commission’s innovation index and the birthplace of world-famous companies like IKEA, Spotify, Ericsson and Volvo. Every day, new companies pop up: Stockholm’s vibrant start-up scene produces more “unicorn” start-ups than any other European city.
For international students studying in Sweden, this is a golden opportunity. After graduation, why not launch your career at one of these 11 Swedish start-ups?
Afraid you won’t get the job because you don’t speak Swedish? Don’t worry, because Swedes are good at English. As in REALLY good. Year after year, the country tops rankings for English proficiency among non-native speakers. So there’s nothing standing between you and that hip Swedish start-up career now!
Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/imagebank.sweden.se
If you’re into technology and innovation, you could be working at start-ups like:
This start-up is changing the future of medicine. Cellink is one of the first companies in the world to successfully use 3D printers and bio-ink to print human skin, ears and even organ tissue. The start-up also prints tumor models to develop new cancer treatments. Today, Cellink works with over 450 labs across the world.
Late for class? Just grab one of Voi’s electric kick scooters to arrive on time! Voi offers eco-friendly kick scooters that can be picked up and left anywhere by its users. So far, you can travel with Voi scooters through the streets of Lund, Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
It looks like a human, smiles like a human and talks like a human, so it must be… a robot? Furhat Robotics has developed a social robot with human-like expressions and emotions. The start-up’s cool robot heads are designed to help out business and organisations. Eager to meet one? Head to Frankfurt Airport, where Furhat is the airport’s new traffic assistant.
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
More into fashion and design? Why not start your career at:
Just Marie Kondo-cleaned out your closet but daunted by the task of selling those pants that no longer fit? That’s where Sellpy comes in. The start-up sends you one of its funky blue bags, you fill it and send it back, they sell your second-hand clothes. Together, you split the profit. Backed by big names like H&M, Sellpy had a turnover of over SEK 88 million last year.
Maybe you want to try something new. Maybe you want to become more fashionable. Maybe you care about the climate. Either way, Klädoteket is for you. The start-up offers a “library” of clothes you can rent for up to a month and then return, ready to try out a new outfit. And if it’s love at first sight between you and your rented outfit, you can choose to keep it for good.
Wearing a cycling helmet is no one’s favorite thing. There’s the sweatiness, the messy hair, the lugging around... So how do you stay safe on your bike? Enter, the Hövding! Developed by a Malmö-based start-up, the Hövding is an airbag helmet. It looks just like a regular scarf, but when unusual movement is detected, the airbag unfolds around your head. Bonus points for being safety-certified by the European Union!
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
Perhaps your mission in life is to help others. These start-ups should be right up your alley:
Arriving in a foreign country can be confusing and lonely. Welcome! makes that transition easier. The start-up offers an online platform to help individuals who are new to Sweden meet locals. Together, you eat lunch, play sports and even network professionally. Since its founding, Welcome! has helped integrate hundreds of newcomers into Swedish society. Welcome home!
Addtruly harnesses e-shopping to make the world a better place. Through digital fundraising tools, the start-up encourages customers to donate to charity to offset their online purchase. Addtruly also matches companies with NGO partners so employees can volunteer during working hours. Less boring meetings, more time to save polar bears.
Photo: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se
Or why not join a company that promotes sustainability and fights climate change:
“Sustainable food for the people” is what Grönska is all about. The start-up offers locally-grown vegetables and herbs to the residents of Stockholm. LED lighting and a special watering system allow Grönska to skip pesticides and make the best use of limited urban space. Today, the company even helps grocery stores grow their own produce on the spot.
Every year, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is thrown into the bin across the world. Karma tackles this waste by offering restaurants and grocery stores an online platform to sell their left-over food. As a customer, you can then pick up everything from cinnamon rolls to vegan salads – at a reduced price! Karma is available in major Swedish cities and is now expanding to London.
In Sweden, communal laundry rooms are a big deal. Now, Gothenburg-based start-up Mimbly has developed a special filter for you to protect the environment while doing laundry. After each laundry cycle, Mimbly filters the left-over water. The next time you wash your dirty socks, that filtered water is reused, saving both water and energy. On top of that, Mimbly prevents microplastics from being flushed down the drain, saving our oceans too.
Still not convinced you should launch your global career in Sweden after graduating?
Consider the helpful fact that as a non-EU student, you can apply to extend your residence permit for up to 6 months to look for work after graduating. Once you’ve found a job, you can apply for a work permit.
Welcome to Sweden – the study destination that will kick-start your global career.
About the author:
Study in Sweden is the official resource for information on higher education in Sweden. Interested in doing your master’s or bachelor’s abroad? Sweden offers more than 1,000 degree programs taught entirely in English. Check out their website to find out how you can come study in Sweden. Study in Sweden is run by the Swedish Institute, a public agency tasked with promoting Sweden abroad.
Header image: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se