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Gothenburg: hub for startups and investors

GoWest – Nordic Venture Capital Forum has attracted great interest, and over two days, on February 7th-8th, hundreds of startups and investors participated in the event, which took place at Eriksbergshallen. GoWest is one of the leading venture capital forums in the Nordics, and with record-high participant numbers this year, the forum continues to strengthen West Sweden’s position as the obvious meeting place for investors and startups.

GoWest was held on February 7-8, 2024, at Eriksberhshallen. Photo: Alexsandra Flinck

On February 7th-8th, the event venue Eriksbergshallen in Gothenburg was filled with startups and investors as GoWest – Nordic Venture Capital Forum took place. GoWest is Gothenburg’s and West Sweden’s annual venture capital conference with the goal of attracting national and international investors to see Gothenburg as a natural and efficient meeting place where they can find exciting investment opportunities. The forum promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in the region and facilitates networking, providing companies with the opportunity to accelerate their development journey.

“Gothenburg is great! You have industry, innovations and universities which are good for research and development. Hopefully we can do many things together!” says Sallar Faridi, Senior Director at Plug and Play, during the inauguration speech.

Meet – Connect – Invest 

The event stepped up this year and welcomed around 900 people, more than double the previous year! Compared to 2023, the number of participating investors increased from 170 to about 250, and around
1 400 investment meetings were pre-booked. GoWest generates significant interest among international media, and among others, journalists from CNBC, Forbes, and the Swedish website Realtid were present.

The Founder Stage offered startups the chance to pitch their ideas to investors and receive immediate feedback. Photo: Alexsandra Flinck

GoWest doesn’t just provide a platform for investors and startups to meet; it also offers a unique opportunity for prominent businesses and individuals to share their insights and experiences. This year’s event placed extra emphasis on Climate Tech, and participants had the opportunity to engage in a diverse range of stage programs across two stages, featuring world-class speakers, panel discussions, and opportunities for startups to pitch live for investors.

“In the later stages of venture capital, you can prove that your product works. In the early stages you can only show that your team works. Show us that you have all the elements in the team to make the technology or the product work. We’re investing in the team before we invest in the technology” says Erki Mölder, Managing Partner at Verge HealthTech Fund.

The Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co is a main partner of GoWest and works to strengthen and develop Gothenburg’s competitiveness and attractiveness. GoWest provides a context for innovation and entrepreneurship, which are important aspects in creating a vibrant and attractive city. The ability to start a company in the Gothenburg Region and continue to develop and grow it here is crucial.

On February 6th, the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, in collaboration with Business Region Göteborg, GoWest, and GU Ventures, organized a City Reception at Börsen for 250 investors. They were welcomed to Gothenburg by Jonas Attenius (S), Chair of the City Executive Board. The reception was held as part of the GoWest Investor Day. Read more about it here.