7 Reasons Why Malmö is the Perfect City for your Startup!

7 Reasons Why Malmö is the Perfect City for your Startup

Malmö, the city that gave Zlatan Ibrahimović his start. Could it be yours? 

Zlatan Ibrahimović, one of  the world’s best footballers at the start of his career with Malmö FF. Photo: TT

Zlatan Ibrahimović, one of  the world’s best footballers at the start of his career with Malmö FF. Photo: TT

As Sweden’s third city and located in the shadow of its larger neighbour Copenhagen, you would be forgiven to think that Malmö may struggle to establish itself as a vibrant and innovative city. In the past, that may have been the case. But now, Malmö has a reputation that keeps on growing; a reputation as a young, vibrant city developing into a hub for innovation.

So why would Malmö be a great place to launch or grow your startup? Well, here’s just seven reasons of many why.

1. Location

Malmö lies less than 30 minutes east of Copenhagen, one of Europe’s most advanced capital cities. The city has used its proximity to Copenhagen to great effect, leveraging its location to elevate Malmö to new heights.

As a gateway to Northern and Central Europe, Malmö is perfectly placed for access to the European market. It boasts 2 international airports within 40 minutes journey with both Malmö (40 minutes) and Copenhagen (20 minutes) airports giving ease of movement across Europe and rest of the world.

With its proximity to the European continent and access to air, rail and sea transport, Malmö really is the place to be to get anywhere.

2. City of Growth

Malmö is a city on a wave of growth. The population of the city is young and growing, while the city is alive with ambition.

Malmö could be described to have had, in the past, a negative image within the media but that certainly is changing. The local newspapers are now filled with stories of new infrastructure projects beginning, new buildings opening, success of local startups and companies choosing to relocate to the city. This feel good factor is reflected in and amplified by international recognition of Malmö as a centre of innovation and a leading environmentally aware city.

It is a city that takes pride in its achievements, whether they be from its league winning football clubs or its world beating startups.

Photo by Joakim Lloyd Radoff

Photo by Joakim Lloyd Radoff

3. Lower Costs

Malmö has a much lower cost of living when compared to its neighbour Copenhagen or even Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. House prices and rents are more affordable which can be a welcome relief for bootstrapped startup founders looking to take those all important first step.

When it comes to business, the lower costs continue in Malmö. The cost of business is below that of many other startup hubs across Europe. For example, research has shown that the costs can be 19% lower in Malmö than in Berlin. A big savings for a startup.

4. A Strong Startup Culture

In 2013, Malmö was named by Forbes as the 4th most innovative city in the world (based upon the number of patent applications per 10,000 residents). It’s an accolade that really shows the strength of Malmö as a centre of innovation.

Startup facilities such as Minc and The Ground; offering support, mentoring, events, learning opportunities and accelerator programs, have propelled many startups to success.

But Malmö has something extra, something called The Malmö Model. 

“Malmö has been able to foster a culture of support and togetherness within its startup community. Knowledge sharing, support and mentoring are a standard here and it has elevated the startup scene here to great heights. It is something that has been called ‘The Malmö Model’,” says Joel Larsson, Managing Director of Fast Track Malmö.

Startups such as Min Doktor, TAT, Neo4j, Massive Entertainment and Polar Rose have not only built their success in Malmö but have also helped many others to take their first steps.

5. Centre of Education

Along with boasting 2 international airports within 40 minutes, Malmö can also lay claim to having 2 universities within a 12 minute radius of the city (well, at least by 2018). Malmö Högskola has been given full university status which will come into effect in 2018.

Lund University lies just 12 minutes north of Malmö and has been a centre of education since 1666. It is ranked 96 in the World University Rankings and is renowned as a centre for research and innovation.

Added to this, Copenhagen adds a further 7 universities/institutions to Malmö’s doorstep.

Malmö offers a young, educated population backed by world class centres for research and education. It is the perfect formula for startups in search of colleagues.

Lund University Library. Photo: Travel-monkey.com

Lund University Library. Photo: Travel-monkey.com

6. City of Languages

Sweden sits top of Education First’s English Proficiency Index with English being widely spoken by most of the population. For international startups, communication should not be an issue when starting in Malmö.

English is not the only international language the people of Malmö excel at. Malmö is a city of cultures and languages with statistics saying that the population of the city is made up of 170 nationalities who speak around 150 languages. According to Little Big Malmö (www.littlebigmalmo.com), Malmö incredibly currently sits 4th behind the giant cities of New York, London and Washington with the highest number of UN member nations represented within their city. The non-profit organisation is aiming to help Malmö to be the first city to have a citizen from all 193 UN member nations.

With business being such a global subject nowadays, having access to a pool of so many languages can only be a positive for startups.

7. Food

We can’t just focus on the practical business stuff and we all have to have to take lunch at some stage. So whether you’ve got 5 minutes or 50 minutes, 20 SEK (€2) or 200 SEK (€20), you’re in for a treat in Malmö.

The city has blossomed into a food destination with something to suit all tastes and budgets. New restaurants are popping up all the time with unique and exciting offerings. You won’t be disappointed with your choices here in Malmö, whether it’s a Michelin star restaurant or a falafel from Möllan (Malmö’s claims to be the place that has perfected the falafel).

Malmö Saluhall (food market) opened in November 2016. Photo: Maria Busck, www.mariabusck.com.

Malmö Saluhall (food market) opened in November 2016. Photo: Maria Busck, www.mariabusck.com.

Malmö; the growing city with a young, educated, innovative population with the ability to communicate with and access the whole globe, along with a startup community supports its reaching for the stars. So, I’m sure you can see why we think Malmö is perfect place to establish and grow your startup.


If Malmö sounds like the city for you and your startup to take the next step, you can apply for Fast Track Malmö's Spring Batch 2017 accelerator. With up to $50,000 initial investment per accepted startup and world class mentors, Fast Track can help you accelerate to great success. 



*Picture Credit: Thumbnail Image: Peter Lübeck, Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/peterlubeck/)

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