Last night saw the first in the series of national finales of Nordic Startup Awards, with the Norwegian Final being arranged by Startup Norway and Oslo Business Region.
Gathering more than 200 attendees at Gamle Museet in central Oslo, the evening was a celebration of an ecosystem that has been the little brother in the Nordic region, but which over the last year has shown tremendous progress, with the fastest growth in number of investments.
“We have never had more nominations of good candidates than this year – it shows us that the Norwegian startup scene is getting stronger and more active. Last year we saw Norway take home 3 prizes at the Nordic Final, and we hope to be able to take home at least as many at this year´s Nordic Finale in Reykjavik” says Maja Adriaensen, CEO of Startup Norway.
The winners in the Norwegian Nordic Startup Awards Final was chosen by a Jury, with the public voting also playing a significant role.
The winners were a mix of well-known names and some names probably new to the general public.
Photo credit: Noor Dawod Photography
Aaaand the winner is…
Best Bootstrapped: Socius
The first Award of the night went to media startup Socius. Despite no funding they have managed to grow a strong international team, and their customers include publishers Conde Nast and Axel Springer.
Best Exponential Startup: nLink
With their Mobile Drilling Robots they are revolutionising the construction industry, allowing manual labour to perform 5-10 times faster.
Best Social Tech Startup: No Isolation
Social tech startup No Isolation have gained much attention and praise for their avatar robots, aimed at solving the problem with isolation for kids with long term illnesses.
Best IoT Startup: Unacast
Unacast is the blood veins in the body of IoT and connects all sensors in the world to each other and to digital domains.
Since their launch in 2014 they have signed some of the world´s largest proximity companies.
CTO Hero of The Year: Christian Hager
Might be most famous for being the CTO and co-founder of Nabobil, where he has helped build the AirBnB for cars. Nabobil has fast become a favorite in Norway, where the sharing-society is getting a strong position.
He is currently the CTO of 3 startups, and the CEO of one.
Startup Media of The Year: Joacim Lund
As an established commentator in Aftenposten, Joacim Lund has for long time been an important critical voice in the age of increased digitalisation.
Best Accelerator Program: Angel Challenge
Not originally meant as a accelerator program, the founders soon after launch found out that the intensive 8 week-program functioned exactly as that, by supporting investors to accelerate with startup investments. As per today, 40 companies and 52 business angels have been part of their program.
Best Investment Company: Northzone
With offices both in Norway, Sweden and UK, Nothzone has become a well-known name in the Nordics. Last year saw them do 35 investments/follow-ons, of which 9 were new companies.
Notable investments include Spotify, Trustpilot, Avito, Lastminute, Pricerunner, Nextgentel, and Stepstone.
Best Business Angel: Kim Daniel Arthur
An angel investor since 2011, Kim Daniel is one of the more established angel investor in Norway. A succesful serial entrepreneur(EA Games acquired his company Playfish for 2.4billion NOK in 2009) he is not only investing in startups, but he is also commited to help build a stronger startup ecosystem, and is among the initiators behind FLOW
Best Office Space: FLOW
This Tromsø- and Ofoten-based coworking space is an exciting addition to the ecosystem in Northern Norway, and a good proof things are also happening other places than in Oslo.
As a partner in the total innovation ecosystem they do a great job in supporting and coordinating efforts to connect the Northern startup community with that in the rest of the Nordics.
Best Newcomer: No Isolation
Things have gone in rocket speed for social tech startup No Isolation.
In under a year they have managed to close their first 5million NOK funding round, launched their beta phase of avatar robots, and they are now also the winners of 2 Nordic Startup Awards.
Founder of The year: Are Traasdahl
Well-famous now for many as the founder of Tapad, the company acquired this February by Telenor for $3 billion, Are is a serial-entrepreneur with a background in sales and marketing.
Startup of The Year: Xeneta
With their ambition of disrupting the sea logistics industry, by bringing big data analytics into it, Xeneta have become a favorite both among media, investors and in the general public. Last year they raised a $5,3 million Series A funding from its previous backers Creandum, Point Nine Capital, and Alden, alongside new investor Alliance Venture, bringing the total raised to $8.5 million.
People´s Choice Award: VIO
People´s Choice goes to the Startup with the most public votes. So maybe not a surprise then, that VIO was the winner of this Award. Started as a student-project at NTNU, they have grown to become popular both among publishers and an audience of young tech oriented people.
Learn more about the criteria for the different categories.
About Nordic Startup Awards
Nordic Startup Awards is a series of events happening in the Nordic countries, aimed at promoting and celebrating the startup ecosystems in the Nordic region.
This is the 4th year it is arranged, and it´s also the edition yet which have engaged the most people, with more than 700 nominations and 18,000 votes.
Photo credit: Noor Dawod Photography