Over 400 entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, venture capitalists and opinion leaders gathered last week in Stockholm, Sweden. They all gathered to celebrate 10 years for STING, one of the largest innovation groups promoting early stage companies in Sweden. The highlight of that event was the keynote speech by JVP’s Founder and Chairman, Erel Margalit.

Sweden has a vibrant economy. It is responsible for many of the world’s leading companies such as Ericson, H&M, IKEA and Skype. But when it comes to innovation, the Swedes believe they still have a lot to garner from Israel, whose high tech industry is second only to the US.

JVP has been front-and-center in Sweden’s high tech industry ever since JVP discovered and invested in Swedish company QlikTech. QlikTech, whose R&D center is based in Lund Sweden, revolutionizes business intelligence by delivering it in an intuitive web like manner. QlikTech originally reached out to JVP to give it 'an international touch' helping guide and expand it globally. Over the past 12 years, QlikTech has evolved into a global player, headquartered in the US with subsidiaries the world over. The company, now valued at over $2.7bn on NASDAQ following the highly successful IPO in 2010, generated over $320 million in 2012.

Crossing borders is what Israeli start ups know to do best. The great innovation of the Israeli spirit, together with the small local market forces every new start-up to think of a global market. ‘Mini multi-nationals,’ Margalit calls them.
During his two days visit, Margalit and JVP's VP Business Development and IR Fiona Darmon, met with leading figures in the Swedish high tech, business, cultural and social industry. In one of the meetings, Margalit was asked how Israel managed to attract so many international companies to establish R&D centers in Israel. “Israelis like to invent, and it is contagious,” Margalit replied.

In his Keynote speech, Margalit explained what makes a company successful. “It is not enough to invent, for example, great 3D technology,” Margalit said. “If the child does not smile, the company does not have a future. There is a need to connect with the technology people also artists, writers and authors. We need to understand we are in a midst of a cultural revolution that involves also technology.”