February 2015


Since the start of 2015, Silicon Vikings' network across Silicon Valley, the Nordics, and the Baltics has grown by 1119 people.  


Locally in Silicon Valley, 550 people attended our events over the past four weeks and (1) were inspired by women entrepreneurs who were radically disrupting the status quo, (2) learned about the history of how public investment in research created the elements that came together to form Silicon Valley and received insights from Silicon Valley innovation thought leaders such as Steven Chu (Stanford Professor, Nobel Laureate & former US Secretary of Energy) and Jeannette Wing (current Corporate VP of Microsoft Research & former assistant director at the National Science Foundation), among others, (3) were amazed at the quality of startups coming out of Helsinki's StartupSauna program...and even more impressed by the quality of the questions coming from Silicon Vikings' audience, and (4) learned about the problem of Global Antibiotic Resistance and the groundbreaking research coming out of Sweden's Uppsala University on the topic.  


2015 is definitely off to a great start...but this is just the beginning!  We will continue to build momentum and increase both the depth and the diversity of our events throughout 2015.  If you are not actively participating and attending events to tap into the network, you are missing out on valuable opportunities to learn, gain inspiration, and network with the very impressive people who make up Silicon Vikings' network.





Charlotte Danielsson

Executive Director


email:  charlotte.danielsson@siliconvikings.com


social media:  https://koik.me/siliconvikings


Silicon Vikings Event Highlights Jan-Feb 2015
Silicon Vikings Event Highlights Jan-Feb 2015

 by Fredy-Edwin Esse (@fredesse)

The start of the year has been a busy one in the Estonian startup scene where TransferWise has made the biggest headlines with a lot of other positives news coming in as well.


At the end of January, Estonian founded and London-based money transfer startup TransferWise raised $58 million in a Series C round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz with participation also from previous backers Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel's Valar Venture, Index Ventures, IA Ventures and Seedcamp.


At the time TransferWise said it will be using the funds to fuel its global expansion and a few weeks later they came true to their word. The company finally announced a full launch in the U.S. with a brand new office in New York. TransferWise customers are now able to exchange currency from U.S. dollar to any number of its supported nearly 300 currencies.


It is speculated now that with the recent series C round TransferWise has entered the so-called 'Unicorn'club with a rumoured $1 billion-plus valuation. The latest press release seemed to be strategically timed, coming hours before one of its biggest competitors, WorldRemit, announced a $100 million investment round.


In other news Twilio announced on February 18 that they're opening a product development office in Tallinn, creating 50 new jobs in the Estonian capital. It is a big step for the San Francisco based startup, considering they employ around 300 people at the moment. Tallinn will be the company's second office in Europe after London.


Twilio vice president of engineering, Ott Kaukver, said that opening an office in Tallinn is crucial to keep pace with their growing international client base. "This makes it essential to have a development arm in Estonia to satisfy the needs of our clients,"said ex-Skype executive Kaukver who joined Twilio in 2013.


Last week Plumbr, a software performance error tool that automatically detects the root causes of Java performance issues, announced that it has raised $700,000 in funding, adding Jaan Tallinn, one of the founders of Skype and Kazaa, as an investor. Plumbr already had ex-Skype executive Sten Tamkivi onboard, who, with angel investor Matt Arnold and another Estonian startup Fortumo, also participated in the round.


Though the company is relatively small with only 17 employees and a little over 100 customers, those customers are big names like NASA, NATO, Dell, HBO, Experian and EMC. Plumbr is going to use this new round of investments to go international and open a sales office on the east coast of the U.S. Since launching in 2011, Plumbr has attracted a total of $1.8 million of investment.


One of Estonia's brightest young companies at the moment is the taxi booking application Taxify. After being active mainly in the Baltics and Finland, Taxify, with the help of a €1.4 million investment round in December, launched their service in Amsterdam in collaboration with Aemstel Taxi.


Lately there has been some great news about Estonia that should sway foreign entrepreneurs to seriously consider Estonia as a possible hub for their current or future startup. According to the latest economic freedom index published by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington D.C. based think-tank, Estonia has the eighth freest economy in the world and second freest in Europe after Switzerland.


On top of that the Estonian Parliament introduced a new law that eases restrictions for foreigners running a startup and helps companies raise money. The new law allows board members from other countries to participate in board meetings with the help of communication tools. Startups also now have the right to issue convertible bonds to raise money easily and faster. The new law takes effect on July 1st, 2015.



If you are in joining our Tallinn Node, please REGISTER HERE (no cost).




Our Stockholm Node held an event on February 3rd discussing the findings of a multigenerational study of 1,784 employees from organizations across 12 countries and 6 industries, which discovered some surprising truths about Millennials: 


  • Millennials' career goals are not much different from other generations
  • Millennials do not seek constant acclaim
  • Millennials are not digital addicts who want to do everything online
  • Millennials' decision making style does not depend on others
  • Millennials' are not more likely to jump ship if a job doesn't fufill their passions



Bill is an award-winning designer and inventor with several US patents issued and pending. An expert in design methodology, he uses creative problem solving to arrive at unexpected solutions. He's currently focused on establishing IBM Watson as an essential worldwide brand. He previously managed the creative development of exhibitions and digital experiences that are enjoyed by millions of visitors per year, including creation of the 6,000 square-foot IBM exhibit at Disney World. Bill lives in New York City, where he is an MBA candidate in the class of 2016 at NYU. @Grady_IV



If you are interested in joining our Stockholm Node, please REGISTER HERE (no cost).




The launch event for Silicon Vikings Vilnius Node will be held on March 5th at 6pm.  

Civitta and SORAINEN are proud to invite the Lithuanian startup community to the inaugural launch event of Silicon Vikings Vilnius. This new initiative will facilitate the discussion on startups in Silicon Valley by running a series of events involving speakers from Silicon Valley, local and foreign entrepreneurs that have experience from Silicon Valley and everyone interested.


Featured speakers: 


- US Ambassador to Lithuania--Anne E. Derse

- Richard Horning, Chairman at Silicon Vikings

- Jeff Burton, Co-founder of Electronic Arts

- Danielius Stasiulis, Head of Startup Division at Civitta 

- Representatives from SORAINEN. 

If you are interested in joining the Vilnius Node, please REGISTER HERE (no cost). 


Silicon Vikings is a 20,000+ network headquartered in Silicon Valley with nodes throughout the Nordic and Baltic regions in Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Riga.  Our nodes in Reykjavik and Vilnius will open this year...and we are contemplating opening nodes in Gothenburg and London as well.  We offer events at each local node plus our new NODEconnections series will provide real-time collaborative events between Silicon Valley and the Nordic and Baltic nodes.

If you are interested in joining any of Silicon Vikings' Nodes, please click on the link below to register (no cost):

We are continuing to climb.....@siliconvikings made #14 on the list of Top 100 #twitter users in Palo Alto in Jan 2015!