Through the Swedish Insitute Visitors Program, and thanks to a nomination by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Georgia, Immanuel Otterski, and corporate member gatc L.P., got the opportunity to spend 8 September days in Sweden. Fascinated by the international mindset amongst entrepreneurs,the traditional food and the humble but opinionated Swedes Immanuel and gatc L.P. are now more excited than ever to reach Scandinavian companies looking west.
As a german-founded company helping businesses to a physical presence in the United States naturally gatc’s first clients were from Germany. The company has grown over the years and now has clients from many European countries and they keep expanding. A couple of years ago they started looking towards Scandinavia and joined the SACC-GA network.
— We depend on our network. We don’t just pick up the phone, call a company in Europe and ask if they want to expand to the US, Immanuel Otterski, gatc L.P.
A Scandinavian prescence
With SACC-GA as their only Scandinavian contact Immanuel saw an opportunity when Executive Director Sara Persson asked to nominate him for the Swedish Institute’s Visitors Program. An opportunity to start building a network in Scandinavia and reach new companies who want to enter the US market.
— If you want to reach a new market you need to build and increase your network, and then maintain it, he states.
With a smile Immanuel says that it was sure not going to happen but then the accept came, the dates aligned perfectly with a work trip to Germany and since he had personally never been to Sweden it seemed an exciting opportunity.
The 8 days in Stockholm, themed ”Tech and Digitalisation”, contained visits to start-up incubators, e.g. SUB 46, Stockholm Tech Fest and knowledgeable guest speakers. The program also promoted Swedish culture and food. Meatballs and lingonberries, kroppkakor, toast skagen and even moose carpaccio was on the menu.
The delegation consisted of 25 people from all over the world, who didn’t know each other, and Immanuel expresses how fascinating it was to see how this diverse group could engage in interesting conversation without arguments on politics or religion.
— It’s wonderful to see that there is still room for open and healthy discussion without stereotyping.
Sweden and the Swedes
When it comes to Swedish culture and the swedes themselves it seems that the cashless coffee shops, the functional ”ecosystem” between university, state and entrepreneurs and the food has inspired Immanuel. He mentions how everyone was fluent in english, something that removes many hurdles in communicating with other countries, and that even the smallest start-up looks to the world beyond the borders of Sweden.
— I could tell that whatever they do, they do it because they want to branch out and go international at some point.
Author: Sara von Sydow