Anne Lidgard

Director, Vinnova, Silicon Valley

Anne Lidgard is the Director of VINNOVA's Silicon Valley Office. VINNOVA is the Swedish Governmental Innovation Agency. Its mission is to develop Sweden’s innovation capacity for sustainable growth and for the benefit of society. It is a funding agency and operates through grants, with an annual budget of about 300 MUSD.

Dr Lidgard started her career in corporate R&D at AT&T Bell Labs and at Ericsson, working in Lightwave Communication and later also in Mobile Communication (Ericsson Mobile, Data phone development). She has also spent many years working with small companies in various positions, both in operations and as board member. More specifically, 1997-1999, she held a position as Director of European Sales for a US based wireless software company, Geoworks. In 1999, she became CEO of CellTribe, a business group within the area of Mobile Services, which she founded together with three other partners, and which lead to a number of new ventures in the field. Between 2002 and 2005, she was Partner at Deseven AB, a venture catalyst company, where she primarily worked as a business advisor for high tech growth companies.

She joined VINNOVA in January 2006, and was part of the management team from 2009 until August 2012 when she transferred to the US and was given the task to start up the VINNOVA office in Silicon Valley.

In 2013 she took the initiative together with the other Nordic bridge organizations to formalize a Nordic collaboration in Silicon Valley, and in the summer of 2014, Nordic Innovation House was inaugurated. Its objectives are to lower the thresholds for Nordic startups to access the ecosystem in Silicon Valley, by offering a soft landing co-working space and by connecting them to a “trusted network” of advisors, industry contacts, VCs and other people that may add value to the rapid development of the startups.

Anne Lidgard holds a MSc in Engineering Physics from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), and a PhD in Physics (Laser optics), also from KTH. She is Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.