Increase your chances of success
Do you want to be challenged and pushed to increase your chances of success? Sting supports carefully selected teams to achieve their business goals faster and smarter.
At Sting, you are coached by some of Sweden’s leading entrepreneurs and former venture capitalists. You can get 300,000 SEK in seed funding from Propel Capital, office space at SUP46, THINGS or H2, access to Sweden’s best recruitment service for startups and Sting’s international network of investors and business contacts.
Sting is the leading accelerator and incubator in the Nordics. Since 2002, we have worked with over 200 companies, 68 percent of which are still active and growing. Every year we evaluate about 600 startups applying for our programs. Only the best 5 percent are accepted. Among them are Yubico, Videoplaza, Volumental, Sellpy, Sudio, Dreams and Karma.
At Sting, you will get personal coaches who have backgrounds as entrepreneurs. The coaches have all built successful companies, raised venture capital, and sold companies. In addition, several of the coaches are themselves active investors.
The coaches work closely with you and your team every week, and are always involved in where you are in important activities such as sales, marketing, product development, finance, recruitment, etc.
We believe in “fail fast, fail forward”. Dare to try things that do not work perfectly: Create a prototype (MVP), measure usage and compare to quickly move towards the operation and business models that work. Speed is the key. Our methods are best characterized as “lean” and iterative. The main methods and tools are “Lean Startup” and “Lean Canvas”.
Our coaching is always based on “pull” rather than “push”, i.e. it’s the coach’s task to help you find and decide what is the right way forward/focus/priorities etc, rather than telling you what s/he thinks you should do. You’re always in the driver’s seat!
- Business Development: Do we have the right business model or should we try a new customer focus, value proposition, pricing, methods for increasing retention, etc.?
- Sales and marketing: How do we set up our go-to-market strategy? How do we get better at selling? How can we shorten the sales cycle? How do we increase the conversion rate? How do we test a Facebook or Instagram campaign?
- Sales training: At Sting’s popular sales training you learn how all parts of the buying and selling process work and get to practice hands on. You gain insights into your own personal qualities to become better at customer and sales psychology. Sting’s sales training gives you the skills needed to become a successful seller:
– Book, plan, implement and follow up sales visits
– Successfully argue for your product/service
– Notice purchase signals, respond to objections and close deals
- Product development: How do we choose which features are most important to add development time to? How do we test this? Can we use existing libraries and open source, or do we need to develop from scratch?
- Key metrics: What are the most important goals and metrics for the company? Why? How do we sync long-term goals with short-term?
- Process: How do we create an efficient process forward in everything we do to keep the highest possible pace?
- Financing: How will we finance the company’s development? How do we find investors? What is our company worth if we are to receive funding? How much should we try to raise, and when?
- Team and individual development: What additions to the team are most important? How should we find them? How do we need to develop ourselves to increase the company’s speed?
- Order and structure: Do we have a stock register, shareholder agreement, balance sheet, bookkeeping etc?
- Expert coaching: In addition to the dedicated coaches at Sting, you also get access to other experts who help you and your team in several areas: CTO coaching, pitch training, sales training, digital marketing, social media, UX /design, SEO, IP strategy, etc.
We help you create the best conditions possible for raising capital. Several of Sting’s coaches have a background as venture capitalists and private investors, and have supported the vast majority of the 200+ Sting companies in their capital acquisitions. In total, Sting companies have raised more than 3 billion SEK in investments and another 1 billion SEK in soft financing (loans and grants).
- Propel Capital: Sting companies can receive an investment of 300,000 SEK from Propel Capital (Accelerate companies are guaranteed investment) and get access to the 40 business angels’ skills and networks.
- STING Business Angels: Opportunity to present your company to Sting’s other business angel network, which also includes about 40 private tech investors.
- ALMI Innovation Loans: Sting manages ALMI Innovation Loans, which provides 300,000-600,000 SEK in mortgage loans or similar.
- Knowledge of the investment market: How it works and what players are available.
- Financing: We will help you become “investor ready” and develop a financing strategy and plan. You get support throughout the whole financing process; to find and attract the right type of financing for your company, at the right stage.
- Pitch training: You get hands-on training from our pitch experts in how to present your company to investors in a winning and trustworthy way.
- Investment Network: We help to introduce you to investors who match your startup profile. You can access Sting’s international investment network. Sting has strong relationships with over 50 VC companies in 11 countries.
- Events: Sting organizes several events each year with the purpose of matching startups and investors. Even as an alumni company you can participate in networking meetings and get help with intros to investors in Sting’s network.
- Credibility: Being a Sting company provides credibility and a quality stamp in discussions with investors.
Sting can help to significantly improve your preconditions to raise funds, but we can never give any guarantees. It is the team behind the startup company that must convince potential financiers that an investment will provide a good return.
A startup’s success often depends on the strength of the team. But it is a challenge to engage talented people and attract them to a startup when you cannot offer as high salaries as in established companies. Sting’s creative talent management coach specializes in startups, and supports and is involved in over 100 recruitments to Sting companies each year. This support includes:
- Job description and right profile: What kind of teammate you are looking for? Which skills should be prioritized right now?
- Write the job pitch (job ad in startup style) and publish in relevant channels: What creative methods can I use to attract people with the right skills to my startup?
- Find and attract the right candidates: Here you will have access to Sting’s candidate database (1100+ people) and other relevant recruitment networks.
- Screen applications, make selections and hold interviews
- Make decisions and write employment agreements
- Join a Startup: Sting organizes the match-making event series “Join a Startup” where we each year with bring together 60 selected startups with more than 300 hand-picked candidates.
Network and community
When you are accepted to Sting, you will have access to a very large network of business contacts, both Swedish and international, which Sting has built since 2002. We also arrange a number of networking and pitch events, both in Sweden and around the world, with the purpose to build and strengthen the Sting companies’ own networks of contacts. Sting has also initiated and been part of building some of Stockholm’s most dynamic startup hubs like SUP46, THINGS and H2.
- Office space at SUP46, THINGS or H2: During your first four to six months, you get free office space at one of the hubs.
- Customers and partners: Sting has a very large business network and valuable contacts that can create business for you.
- Sting Day: Each year, Sting organizes Sweden’s most exclusive networking event for about 400 selected entrepreneurs and investors. Here you will have a unique opportunity to meet representatives from the majority of the major investors in Europe, both VCs and business angels.
- Ignite Sweden: Event that connects startups with established companies, to help them find customers and partners or launch pilot projects.
- International events: Sting also organizes networking events and investor meetings around the world. We have previously arranged trips to Berlin, London, Paris, Munich, Boston, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
- Partners and exclusive offers: Sting has several large companies as partners that can provide you with technical and commercial verification skills. You also get benefits and exclusive offers worth over 1 million SEK and free advice from our corporate partners.
- Other entrepreneurs: You work close to other startups that can inspire and share experiences.
- Membership of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), founded by Techstars
Marketing, PR and Communication
With clever and effective marketing, you can early on talk about your business and product to generate demand and leads. Sting has two communication coaches who also for many years have built personal relationships with Sweden’s tech media and relevant journalists.
- Market plan: You will get help to create a basic marketing plan. Why should we communicate (what’s the purpose)? When, through which channels, and with what message should we reach out to our different audiences? What’s our identity when communicating?
- Digital marketing: What channels should we use? How do we create content? How do we work best with influencer marketing? SEO/SEM? How do we measure results?
- Social media: Where is our target audience? How do we create a social media strategy? How do we create campaigns on Facebook, Linkedin, etc.
- PR and journalist contacts: You get access to Sting’s established relationships with tech media, help writing press releases, pitch to reporters and spread news via Mynewsdesk and Sting’s other digital channels.
> Check which of Sting’s startup programs best suits your team