Last week we visited Vienna for Pioneers Festival. The program was packed with future technology, startup pitches and experience sharing. Limited to 2,500 people the festival was just the right size. For two full days the Hofburg Imperial Palace was buzzing and served as a great venue for housing both great speaker sessions and a tech salon showcasing tech startups. It was a truly great couple of days, catching up with old friends and connecting with new ones. Here is a recap of the things that took place.
Oslo Innovation week kicked off with Startup Weekend Oslo as an official pre event this past weekend, and the official opening monday at DogA.
Oslo Innovation Week (OIW) is the largest innovation convention in Europe. It is a significant meeting place to discuss opportunities and practices for growth and innovation every year. Oslo Innovation Week is managed by Oslo Business Region (previously Oslo Teknopol). Project owners are The City of Oslo, Akershus County Council and Innovation Norway. Oslo Innovation Week coordinates and markets the overall program, but the schedule is a selection of individually organised events that are of innovative relevance.
One of these events was the Norwegian Investment Forum that took place at Forskningsparken tuesday 14th of october. The forum aims at “presents the most interesting blend of promising startups” and ”offer an exclusive opportunity to meet the leading Norwegian and Nordic investors to share information and know-how about prospects, trends and key issues, and to make new business contacts.”
During the event Norway’s top start ups made their heartfelt pitches, mingled with VCs and everyone was was treated to pannel discussions involving some blue-chip names. In that regard, the 2014 Norwegian Investment Forum had something to offer for all stakeholders. Perhaps the cherry on the cake were the brilliant keynote speeches by Allan Young (of Runway) and Jonas Kjellberg (of Skype), that left Norway’s aspiring entrepreneurs with even more fire in their bellies.
During the after-party law firm Selmer gave out a special award, The Selmer Award to The Best Startup Company 2014. The winner was selected among the pitching companies at Norwegian Investment Forum. With many great startup pitches earlier in the day it was a close race, but Startup Summer alumni Edgefolio made the best case and was announced winner of this prestigious award.
“I’m humbled by this award. There were so many great startups today solving real-world problems, and that makes this award even more special. A huge thank you to the Edgefolio team, I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.” – Leopold Gasteen, Founder and CEO
The prize was to go to a “standout Start-up company that has made a significant impact in the past 12 months”. The judging criteria was that “the company must be in an early venture, stage, have the potential to go global and should communicate a clear and understandable business model in a professional manner”.
In a nutshell, Edgefolio is like angel-list, but for Hedge Funds. Their platform empowers investors with fresh and relevant data on managers, and gives manager the ability to market themselves in a scalable and compliant way. The by-products are increased efficiency in cap raising, and heightened transparency something the Industry dearly needs
Receiving awards is not a new thing for the talented entrepreneurs at Edgefolio. They already have a great track record as a promising norwegian startup. They won no less than two prizes at The Nordic Startup awards, the national newcomer award and the founder Leopold Gasteen won the founder of the year award.
Born out of Gründergarasjen in April 2013, where he was given free desk space and a monitor, Leopold went about validating what his closest friends and family were calling a “crazy idea”. It was at Gründergarasjen where Leopold met his CTO Harish Narayanan, who balanced out Leopold’s wild ambition with extraordinary development talent and an intensely thoughtful approach to problem solving.
Fast forward six months Edgefolio was established as an AS, and team of A-players was built around it. Since then, it has been a story of growth and traction. They have maintained the same thoughtful approach to the problems they are solving, and as a result have created a name for themselves in the industry.
Well it’s now 9 days until the next Startup Weekend, and we now have an awesome lineup of speakers, judges and mentors from Google, Telenor, Spond and Ardoq. We’re stoked to have them on board!
Nicolaj Broby Petersen is the co-founder of Dirtybit, the company behind the popular game Fun Run. With over 45 million downloads, the company has established itself as one of Norway’s most promising mobile start-ups. With big ambitions and passion for entrepreneurship, Nicolaj looks forward to share the story of Dirtybit at SWOslo. He will be speaking during friday evening.
Terje Christensen, from Business Model User Group, Terje will be running a Business model workshop at 10.00 on saturday. Here you can learn how to use the Business Model Canvas
Martin Jensen, founder of Blink, will be runing a workshop at 15.00 on saturday titeled: How to nail your pitch! This session will help you master the sunday night presentation. Blink was the runner up at Startup Weekend Oslo october last year. After the weekend they got into betaFACTORY, an Oslo based accelerator. Martin have in the past year been pitching Blink at a number of national and international conferences.
Entrepreneur and investor
Alexander founded his first company Intergate with fellow math students at the University of Oslo. Later he co-founded The Growth Factory, a pan Scandinavian incubator and a seed fund, later acquired by the Møller Group (Katalysator) where he worked as Investment Director with focus on buy outs, before giving life to StartupLab. Alexander is very fond of skiing!
Early Stage VC at Wellington Partners
Linus joined Wellington Partners in 2014 with the Digital Media and Software team. His primary role is identifying investment opportunities and building relationships with the great entrepreneurs behind these companies. In addition to building a career in Venture Capital, Linus also founded TF Strategies, a Stockholm based consulting firm focusing on trend intelligence, market and external environment analysis, strategic direction, deal sourcing, screening and business analysis.
Entrepreneur and community builder, founder of Innovation House in San Francisco
Anne is an entrepreneur and community builder, and has led Innovation Norway’s San Francisco office since 2011, and founded Innovation House in the same city. She is an experienced member of the Board of Directors for startups, VCs and communities focusing on internationalization and global growth. She is passionate about helping companies scale their impact, and a believer in serendipity and the Pay-it-Forward culture.
Partner and Consultant at Brandlab
Monna is an serial entrepreneur that has been involved with starting and growing companies such as Scandiavia Online (SOL). She was involved in establishing internet in Norway as an advertising channel and internationalized Doctor Online. Monna launched Finn, founded design agency Misson and is currently partner and consultant at Brandlab.
Wilhelm Joys Andersen: Principal Software Engineer
Andreas Gilstad: Product Manager for Grouper at Telenor Digital and spare time entrepreneur
Svein Hermansen: Senior Language Specialist, Nordics at Google
Maja Adriansen: Founder of Startup Norway
Lars Klundby: Senior Analyst at Google
Silje Gabrielsen: UX & Design Director at Spond
Magnulf Pilskog: CEO and CO-founder of Ardoq
Martin Jensen: CEO and CO-founder at Blink
Terje Christensen: Founding partner at Odin Systemer
It will be organised at Startup Lab again, as with the previous Startup Weekend and Startup Summer.
The facilitator for this edition of Startup Weekend is Kathleen Fritzsche. Kathleen is fascinated by the startup community since attending her first Startup Weekend in 2010. In 2011, she co-founded StartUp Stuttgart, the main startup community in Southwest Germany. Meanwhile, Kathleen works for her own company Accelerate Stuttgart to foster entrepreneurship and to bring startup culture and innovation into public institutions. We are incredibly excited to have her on board!
Judges so far are Alexander Woxen and Linus Dahg. Alexander founded his first company Intergate with fellow math students at the University of Oslo. Later he co-founded The Growth Factory, a pan Scandinavian incubator and a seed fund, later acquired by the Møller Group (Katalysator) where he worked as Investment Director with focus on buy outs, before giving life to StartupLab. And SWO will have Wilhelm Joys Andersen as one of the mentors. Wilhelm used to make web browsers for a living. Today he runs a small development agency building some of the busiest sites in Norway. Oh, and he’s a W3C chair.
The organiser are working hard around the clock to give you the very best 54 hour of your life.
Watch this space for more info, or better yet, click and register at:
We are always in the lookout for not only exciting startups but also one that can open ways for collaborations with other countries, especially in the Nordics as a start. That’s why we are excited to hear about Workaway.
What caught our attention was this pitch:
20 entrepreneurs get together for a week in a beautiful remote house north of Barcelona, to focus on their project, get feedback and new perspectives.
A camp for entrepreneurs, Workaway is the brainchild of Danish entrepreneur Nikolaj Astrup Madsen. Workaway has been organised several times.
A great number of participants have come from various parts of the world, such as US, Ireland, Italy, Denmark and Sweden, and as far as India and the Philippines. Sessions and feedbacks has been more valuable with diverse participants.
But as we talked to Nikolaj, so far there has been no participants from Norway yet. Having especially neighbouring countries would also open opportunities for close collaborations, something that we greatly encourage. So we’re calling all Norwegian entrepreneurs out there to go out and camp with fellow entrepreneurs.
There is still time to register for the next session, held in October.
Startup Summer has started last week in Forskningparken and is now entering the second week. We have 25 participants working on 9 exciting startups. Each day started with pitching exercises to different target audience, then a masterclass and mentoring in different topics.
Speakers that has shared their expertise and experiences were Benjamin Sommer, Leo Gasteen, Thomas Kjemperud, Satya Witoelar, Guillaume Leygues and Panayiotis Lipiridis. The participants also had to practice pitching and get coaching in presenting in front of investors. The first week ended in a fun race for the team to go to several startups ecosystem in Oslo.
The quality of startups that participates is improving each year, which is an encouraging sign for the startup ecosystem in Norway. And the background of the participants are quite cosmopolitan, with participants and speakers that have come from countries outside of Norway, such as Denmark, Sweden, Albania, USA and Indonesia, and organizers all the way from Spain and Australia.
Here’s what one startup has to say about Startup Summer:
“We envisioned and validate the solution in our everyday lives. It’s Startup Summer that is connecting, and assisting us to validate it all. From the very investors and startups in the market, directly to us.Shing.systems is receiving a fresh bath of valuable info every single day!”
This week the participants will receive further masterclasses and workshops and will have an incredible opportunity to present their startup in front of selected investors.
An upcoming event for startups this months is Startup Summer!
What is Startup Summer?
Startup Summer is an intensive 2 week accelerator program for early stage startups to kickstart their business. It is aimed at young entrepreneurs that has started or wants to start a business. They bring in great ideas, a kickass team and lots of energy and will get the chance to validate their concept and understand the customer’s problems, learn through masterclasses and connect with other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Tomorrow at StartupLab in Forskningparken is where the exciting, inspiring, and crazy fun Startup Weekend will happen. 54 hours of frenzy in creating your own startup with fellow aspiring enterpreneurs.
SWO IX features Ingrid Ødegaard, who will talk about the butterfly effect that grew the number of daily appear.in users; Jose Iglesias, who oversees all UP Global activities in Europe; and Peter Inselseth Jørgensen, founder and CEO of EduKarma, who will also coach at the event.
We have been a bit busy after the Nordics Startup Awards that we haven’t updated the blog with the winners, but suffice to say that it went with a bang! Hosted by Daniel Mann from Google Ground Budapest, we got covered by BBC, attended by 400+ people, and ended literally with a fanfare with a fun samba band guiding the attendees from Edderkoppen Theater to the after party event at MESH.
Here’s what Blink, feat.fm, Kahoot!, mCash, StartupLab, Founders Fund, Dirtybit and Erling Løken Andersen think on being nominated!
“We’re so lucky to be nominated, and It’s great to see that The Nordic Startup Awards and the community welcomes more social and consumer faced startups! It’s not easy being from the cold North, but the Nordic Startup awards are an honor and a warm welcome and into the community.»
Voting will remain open for ALL SHORTLISTED nominees all the way to the Grand Final – so even if you are not a National Winner, you will STILL be able to win People’s Choice on the 22nd of May in Oslo.
The national winners from Norway will be announced on Thursday may 22nd, same day as the grand finale. The announcement will be made at the pre event hosted by Whitebull.
This pre event is invitation only. If you have not received your invitation yet you can request one here.