The capital of Sweden is by many acclaimed to be the second best hub globally after Silicon Valley, mostly because of its 7 unicorns. It is especially impressive when you take into consideration the population of the city itself (less than 1M in the municipality and 2,4M in the metropolitan area).
This gives Stockholm the highest per capita number of unicorns outside of Silicon Valley. These success stories, together with the capital created and being re-invested and people with skills and experience, have helped to establish and mature startup ecosystem.
However, there are some other factors that may have played their role. Sweden has a long lasting tradition of engineering and design companies, which include companies like Saab, Volvo, Electrolux and Ericsson among the others.
It is worth pointing out that 18% of the workforce works in tech and this number is rising. Higher education is relatively inexpensive and that, along with a good number of universities and technical colleges, assures a high volume of tech graduates entering the market every year.
Swedes possess high proficiency in English which helps them scale outside of the local market (there is only around 10 mln inhabitants in the country).
Learn more about Stockholm and other hubs in the Startup Hubs Report.