New Report Showcases 50 Most Promising Nordic Cleantech Companies
Uncertain financial climate a concern but not a barrier to innovation in the region, applicants say
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – April 30, 2009 – The Cleantech Group™, LLC, founders of the cleantech sector and providers of leading global market research and financial services for the cleantech ecosystem, in partnership with Cleantech Scandinavia, the leading Nordic network of investors in cleantech, today released a first ever report identifying 50 leading cleantech companies in the Nordic market. The report, sponsored by leading Nordic VC firms BankInvest, Energy Capital Management, Eqvitec Partners, Northzone Ventures, and Sustainable Technologies Fund, identifies key representatives of Nordic excellence in Cleantech innovation,as well as outlining the driving sectors and key concerns facing this emerging region. The full publication can be downloaded from Cleantech Group’s and Cleantech Scandinavia’s websites free of charge.
Despite challenging economic conditions and inevitable market pullback, the companies selected as the 50 for this inaugural report demonstrated the potential and likelihood to achieve high growth and high market impact. Selected from 145 nominations, the final 50 companies were chosen from a range of seed/pre-revenue and growth companies from all Nordic countries, representing all cleantech segments.
The applicants all indicated a definite optimism for the future of the cleantech industry in the Nordic region with the relative immaturity of the market viewed as an opportunity to speed its development and capitalize on the number of start-up and growth companies. There is, however, a note of caution expressed over the relative high risk of investing in new businesses in such an uncertain market. However, whilst this was a concern for companies, it was not seen as the number one barrier that needed to be overcome in order to achieve success in this market. Indeed the majority of applicants highlighted operational excellence, personnel competence, strategic planning and customer relations as the steps most necessary to develop their market.
“Whilst the current economic climate has given rise to some valid concerns over the potential for investment into cleantech, there are promising signs that this relatively inexperienced market will flourish in the years to come,” said Magnus Agerström, Cleantech Scandinavia. “The companies taking part in this year’s report all demonstrate commitment to placing the Nordics at the forefront of innovation in the cleantech sector.”
From the applications received, nearly half came from Sweden (48%), with Denmark, Norway and Finland generating close to a fifth each (19%, 17% and 14% respectively). Iceland had the smallest proportion of entries, coming in at just 1%.
Sector breakdown – energy the bright light of the Nordics
The majority of applications (60%) came from energy related sectors. Other well represented categories included water purification and wastewater treatment, air purification and emission control technologies, as well as advanced materials such as bioplastics, biodegradable fibers and various nanotech-based materials.
“The findings of this report are certainly encouraging,” said Richard Youngman, MD, Cleantech Group, Europe. “The UK and Germany have to date been the most significant areas for Cleantech venture activity in Europe, but the Nordic countries, where sustainability, resource efficiency and environmental consciousness have been part of normal culture for much longer than most places in the world, show great promise to play a strong role in the future.”
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Cleantech Scandinavia is a membership network of investors and affiliated cleantech professionals designed to provide cleantech knowledge, contacts and investment opportunities; be a coordinating voice to promote the Nordic cleantech sector, and drive cleantech innovation and growth in the Nordic countries. Cleantech Scandinavia offers its members a series of networking and pitching events, business intelligence research and reports including Nordic cleantech deal flow statistics, and holds a database of investment opportunities in the region.