Are you curious about investing in Norwegian startups?

As part of Startup Norway, Angel Challenge helps investors learn startup investing by doing it. Because the term ‘angel investor’ is used in different ways, people ask us what investing in startups involves, and what is required. This article is designed to provide some answers. 

Everyone has heard about investing in public companies. Less often, you hear about people investing in startup companies. These are ‘angel investors.

Who are angel investors?

Angel investors place their own capital and competence in early-stage companies in return for share or equity. This usually means an initial commitment between NOK 50,000 – 250,000. To diversify risk, more investments into a portfolio of companies often follow. There is a greater risk investing in a startups compared to public or exchange listed companies, but also a higher potential reward.

In Norway, we have a growing, dynamic angel investor community. Angel investors work actively to help grow the companies they invest in, often holding a position on the board.

Investing in startups requires a long term view. There is no guarantee of financial payback. The excitement, successes and even failures of bringing a product or service to market are part of the investor journey.

Sometimes investors have started one or more of their own companies and they understand the highs and lows. They work alongside companies they invest in, bringing expertise and experience to the team. The entrepreneurial spirit is part of their DNA.

Other times, investors come from family offices or advisory firms. One thing investors have in common, is competence and a network that can be used to help startups succeed and secure a better return on investment. This is the idea of ‘smart money.’

How to find good investment opportunities

There isn’t any one way to start. Sometimes the opportunity may come to you – a friend or connection that needs additional funding. Other times, you actively seek out high potential startups. Either way, gaining access to deal flow is essential for good investments.

One place to start looking for startup investment opportunities is through business incubators and accelerators. These organisations arrange events, such as demo days, to showcase up and coming startups.

Connect with other investors

You may already know startup investors or you may want to reach out. Business angels probably don’t list ‘Angel Investor’ on their LinkedIn profile, but they often have private investment companies.

Investors with similar interests, explore opportunities and new deals together. They may decide pool capital and resources, and invest together in a syndicate.

Go to startup events

There are hundreds of startup events each year. Some explore innovation in a particular high-tech industry while others are more general. Check whether the event is planned for entrepreneurs, investors or both.

Across Norway, startup, funding and investor organisations and communities work together to support each, and in turn their members and the public. Startup Norway’s Facebook page is one of many event listings and information sites.

Participate in workshops

Just like any skill, investors are continually exploring new methods and sharing knowledge about evaluating, growing, and at some stage, selling their businesses. Through hands-on workshops, investors meet, review deals and learn – at the same time. There is always a next step in managing deals and growing companies.

There is no guaranteed return on an investment, but taking courses and ‘learning by doing’ can improve your chance of success. At minimum you will come away knowing – ‘Is this for me?’

You can apply to join Angel Challenge at angelchallenge.com

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Meet the best Norwegian startup at Startup Extreme 2017: startupextreme.co

 

Join us on the #NordicMade Tour to San Francisco!

Join us on the #NordicMade Tour to LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco this March! Flight and accommodation are covered!

 

NordicMade Tour

The #NordicMade Tour is part of an initiative to promote the thriving Nordic startup scene and connect with successful startup ecosystem. Previous tour was to Pirate Summit in Cologne, and this time to one of the largest startup conference in the world.

 

With 15K attendees, four stages, and 250 speakers focusing on helping founders build, scale and fund the next startups, this is a great chance to listen to great speakers, meet like-minded founders, talk to investors, get inspired and present your startup in the US.

 

Application is now open for startups to apply to be one of 30 entrepreneurs to go to the LAUNCH Festival (March 2-4). Open for startups with a launched product in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

 

Deadline of application is Jan 23rd. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/launchf16

 

 

A Celebration of Innovation in Trondheim

In just one week the doors open to the Technoport 2015 innovation conference. Here are five reasons Norwegian entrepreneurs and investors should travel to Trondheim on 18 & 19 March:

Technoport 2015

1. Learn from the past, present and future of Silicon Valley

The impressive line-up of speakers is led by a trio of the brightest brains in and around Silicon Valley. Nolan Bushnell is known as the founding father of video games for his work in bringing Pong (the first ever video game) to market before founding the Atari Corporation. Pascal Finette somehow finds the time to share his entrepreneurial lessons through a daily email newsletter The Heretic, alongside heading up Singularity University’s Startup Lab. Finally, Samantha Quist is a self-taught software developer and Executive Director of Technovation, the global technology competition that challenges young girls to create mobile apps that solve problems in their communities.

2. Learn the ins and outs of crowdfunding – live

Last year four startups raised NOK 700,000 at Norway’s first ever live equity crowdfunding event. This year, Technoport is doing it all again with four more startups raring to go. You’ll also hear from Angela Lamont, former British TV star and now Director of the groundbreaking Lunar Mission One space exploration project. She will explain how innovative research projects can be crowdfunded and the unexpected benefits of doing so.

3. Learn from Norway’s hidden success stories

Geir Førre and Alf-Egil Bogen are two of Norway’s most successful entrepreneurs, making their names not with mobile apps or social networks, but rather the technology that powers our connected world.

They graduated from the same class at NTNU, and went from friends to competitors as both started microchip companies. At Technoport 2015, they come together on stage for the first time to share their stories and lessons learned.

4. Learn how a conference can be gamified

Technoport 2015 isn’t just a conference to talk about innovation, they want to innovate themselves. Last year’s Live Crowdfunding Experiment was a first for Norway. This year, the experiment is all about gamification. Can a conference be gamified? Come along, download the app, and find out! Read more about the plans.

5. Learn about Norway’s technology capital

The Trondheim region is home to 554 technology companies employing over 10,000 people, generating more than NOK 14.4bn (USD $1.9bn) in revenues. Last year, Trondheim’s reputation as a centre for technology-led research and innovation was cemented as NTNU researchers won a Nobel Prize. Students and researchers from NTNU, HiST and SINTEF will be coming to Technoport 2015 to learn how to turn world-leading research into world-leading businesses.

For more details on Technoport 2015 or to register at a reduced rate for entrepreneurs, simply click here.

Technoport 2014

We’re competitive players in a world of poker – Part 2

Our guest blogger this week is Erik Paalsrud continuing the story of the first 100 days of CosyTech. You can read part 1 here.

We continue our story….

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Our next step was to apply for Inven2Start. A competition designed to evolve an idea into a product. The prize was 130 000 NOK in start capital. Application was done and sent only a sharp hour after our Web Summit confirmation. The “JFDI” spirit was born. Just Fucking Do It.
We got in touch with Dogetek, a startup in Trondheim who delivers web solutions. We asked if they were interested in coming along on our journey, to help us build a web platform which we needed to manage the NFC tags. Much cool.
Lucky for us, they were!

Continue reading “We’re competitive players in a world of poker – Part 2”

We’re competitive players in a world of poker – Part 1

Our guest blogger this week is Erik Paalsrud from CosyTech.

cosytechfolk

CosyTech. Who the **** is CosyTech? We’ve been through a rough and intense 3 months, and we’ve never really had the time to stop and look back – nor time to explain or tell what has happened to us. We’d like to use this opportunity to express some of our thoughts by telling the story of how we came to be, what we’ve been through and what we’ve felt.

We started CosyTech briefly 3 months ago. 105 days ago, to be exact. This is not my first attempt on a venture, nor will it be the last – that’s for sure.

Continue reading “We’re competitive players in a world of poker – Part 1”

10 days until the 10th Startup Weekend on Oct 10th!

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!

 
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Speakers
 
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.
 
Judges
 
Alexander Woxen

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!
 
 Linus Dahg
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.
 
Anne Worsoe
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.


Monna Nordhagen
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.
 
Mentors
 
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 
We are excited. See you all on the next #SWO!

 

 

Save the Date: October 10th -12th!

The tenth edition of Startup Weekend Oslo is coming soon, and this time Startup Weekend is kicking off the Oslo Innovation Week. 

 

 

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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:

 

Camping with Entrepreneurs

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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

Check workawaycamp.com for more info.

 

 

 

9 Startups in One Cool Startup Summer

UPDATE: You can signup and attend Startup Summer demoday! Signup here: Sign up for Startup Summer demoday here: https://startupsummer-demoday14.eventbrite.com

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

Startup Summer 2014

An upcoming event for startups this months is Startup Summer!
Photo: Patricia Almeida
Photo: Patricia Almeida
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.

Startup Weekend Oslo IX kicks off tomorrow!

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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.

Continue reading “Startup Weekend Oslo IX kicks off tomorrow!”