• MEET THE 14 STARTUPS CHOSEN FOR THE TRONDHEIM PROGRAM September 20, 2017 10:24 am
    MEET THE 21 STARTUPS IN THE OSLO SPRING PROGRAM
    Matt Smith
  • Norways New Wave: Hardware September 17, 2017 7:55 pm
    NorWare – From the humble cheese slice to the wooden ski, Norwegian inventors have brought the world many great things. Today, with hardware startups like No Isolation and PodBike reaching international success, Norway's inventors are back and Hardware looks like the new wave!A question I receive a lot is, “what will Norway be known for”? The Swedes are renowned for consumer tech, with Spotify and King, whilst the Danes hold expertise in Foodtech and SaaS thanks to Just East and Podio. Leaving the Fins and Icelanders with gaming, boasting a stream of companies that include Supercell and QuizUp respectively. So where is Norway placed in all of this?Well, in my previous article; Why Norway? Why Now! We established that Norway’s startup ecosystem has been booming over the last 5-years. One emerging trend that has been driving this growth is Hardware. The companies listed below have featured more so than any other vertical in international headlines this year.BlueEyeRobotics; An underwater drone for subsea exploration. Proving to be a game changer for underwater conservation worldwide.PodBike; A human-powered road legal e-bike with electric assist, with NOK 50M+ in pre-sales.FlowMotion; Smartphone stabiliser for on the move videography, raised $1.3M on Kickstarter.  No Isolation; A smart robot that reduces loneliness and isolation amongst children suffering from long-term illnesses. Trialing with many medical organisations.ReMarkable, A revolutionary paper-like digital notepad, as of May reached $12M in presales.Huddly; Have reinvented the camera, to disrupt the remote office video conferencing space. Are also 1 of the only 9 Norwegian startups to raise a $10M+ round this year.One thing they all have in common, they are all hardware (hardware, software, services) companies founded and led by innovative Norwegian inventors. An interesting characteristic of the Norwegian market, but why?To understand what place the inventor hold’s within Norwegian society. One only needs to watch a Norwegian Christmas classic ‘Flåklypa’; a story about an inventor named Reodor Felgen who builds a race car in his workshed ‘Snekkerbu’, to realise this is a nation inspired by invention. It seems that almost every household has a Smørebu’ (Ski Shed/ Man Cave), harboring a proud hobbyist inventor. But what good is a country of introverted hobbyist inventors? One such organisation that has professionalised and accelerated this once hidden private activity, is Creator MakerSpace in Stavanger. A co-working space unlike any, containing topline 3D printers, industrial molding machines and CAD modeling software that would not be out of place in Snøhetta (The architects behind the Oslo opera house). With many of the companies listed above starting out as passion projects, it seems that in the case of this Nordic country, tradition and culture is the mother of all invention.So thanks to these hardware pioneers (listed above) proving there is global appetite for Norwegian invention. With the help of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter making passion projects marketable, Hardware just might be Norway's thing! Thanks for reading, thanks Andreas for your cultural influence, more to come.    
    Matt Smith
  • MEET THE 3 FINALIST STARTUPS OF THE STAVANGER PROGRAM September 5, 2017 11:37 am
    MEET THE 10 STARTUPS IN THE NORDLAND PROGRAM
    Matt Smith
  • WHY NORWAY? WHY NOW! September 3, 2017 6:57 pm
    Norway – A country of never ending sunsets, the birthplace of skiing, and recently named the happiest place on earth, but one to take them all – on track to be the fasted growing startup ecosystem in the Nordics.Until 5-10 years ago, Norway rarely featured as a player in the European, or even Nordic startup ecosystem. Fast forward to today, with investments totalling $196.3 million in 2016 representing a +160% increase from 2015, in a few short years, the once dormant ecosystem is proving to have been somewhat of a sleeping giant (or troll) overtaking most of its Scandinavian neighbours as the fastest growing Nordic ecosystem in 2016, second only to their age old winter sports rival and Nordic tech idol Sweden.Now the interesting thing is that the catalyst in this recent growth is no coincidence. It has been driven by an entrepreneurial revolution, recognised and supported by a collaborative effort from the government; through Innovation Norway, have proven invaluable in supporting early stage startups in financial, educational and technical support. Corporates; such as DNB launching NXT accelerator to find the next Fintech success, Telenor are doing the same within the mobile marketing arena and soon more corporates will follow their lead. Even the Royal House is heavily engaged with HRH Crown Prince Haakon becoming an active spokesperson for the Norwegian ecosystem, opening Startup Extreme, and Slush conferences last year.Oslo based co-working spaces like MESH, StartupLab, 657, Gründergarasjen, Y3o, and Bitraf have paved the way for a new breed of ecosystem supporters such as Oslo House of Innovation, Katapult Accelerator and FinTech Factory. And this is by no means Oslo centric, with innovation hubs emerging country-wide such as; Innovation Dock in Stavanger, Impact Hub in Bergen, Flow in Trømso, and Work Work in Trondheim - to name a few. And the best part, this momentum shows no sign of stopping with 30+ new innovation initiatives, incubators and accelerators planned to open in 2017 across the country. Placing Norway on the International radar as a blossoming innovation hub, attracting international interest and investment.This unique support network does not only stop with Startups. We often get so consumed in making startups ‘investor ready’, when in fact, we should be doing equally as much work into making investors ready! The company that I work for does just that. Angel Challenge caters to the other side of the table focusing on educating first-time angel investors attempting to channel some of Norway’s vast financial resources into fuelling startups. To date, 200 investors and 200 startups have been through 11 investment programs, in four cities, with more than $5M that has been invested in 16 startups since 2015. Other organisations such as StartupLab have raised the Founders Fund to support some of their 200+ companies that have taken up an office in their co-working space.But, let’s be honest, in our world of startup, where success is associated with a 1 horned four legged mythical beast, and an ecosystem or, 'unicorn farm' as I like to call it, is only as good as the number of live stock it holds, where does Norway stand in all this? Whilst Norway is better known for whale sighting’s in the fjords, than its startup success stories. In 2016, the country held 44 scaleups that collectively raised $600 million. Adding this to the supportive environment that the Norwegian ecosystem provides early-stage startups, it is not too farfetched to predict unicorn sighting’s in the near future 😉 thanks for reading, more to come, Matt.  Sources:Investment Figures from TheNordicWeb.com - a great source for facts, figures and articles on pan-Nordic investment activity.  
    Matt Smith
  • Alumni Angel Challenge Bergen etablert med suksess August 23, 2017 12:38 pm
    Alumni Angel Challenge Bergen is established and had the first meeting August 22. 
    Knut Wien
  • MEET THE 10 STARTUPS CHOSEN FOR THE NORDLAND PROGRAM August 11, 2017 1:18 pm
    MEET THE 10 STARTUPS IN THE NORDLAND PROGRAM
    Matt Smith
  • Lifekeys wins AC Bergen @ Startup Extreme June 22, 2017 9:23 pm
    Lifekeys wins AC Bergen
    Knut Wien
  • Come join the Angel Challenge Bergen 2017 Finalists @ Startup Extreme June 1, 2017 1:29 pm
    Over the past 2 months, 20 Angel Investors have worked closely together with 6 startups screening, mentoring, and evaluating them to decide which one to invest 1 million NOK in.The investors will make their decision after one last final pitch at Startup Extreme in Bergen on June 13th.Come to Startup Extreme and support them :)THE FINALIST STARTUPS Lifekeys Tekslo Seafood Innovatum Lifting WA Convasti Boa Tech Boa-TechOur software solution increases retail sales by empowering staff to monitor and track sales activity via a smart watch device.WAWA is a CV for IT people. Position your company towards highly demanded professionals on wa.works, and instantly know which one of them is best suited for your tasks and challenges.Tekslo SeafoodTekslo Seafood are harvesting seaweed sustainably and ecologically from the outermost “skjaergaard” outside Bergen , Norway. Just as our ancestor did.We have launched a product series named Sjøsaker™ which consist of high-quality seaweed products which will be sold globally.LifeKeysLifekeys provides online mental health services through online consultations with qualified psychologist and an evidence-based programInnovatum LiftingThe INOshackle™ is a more cost effective, safer and time efficient Subsea shackle that is already in operation.This makes the choice easy for our customers!ConvastiConvasti is the smart and easy way to get rid of your waste, using only your phone. All you need to do is take pictures of what you want to get rid of and independent drivers will give you offers to do the whole job for you. Manual sorting and reuse give us a better environment for the future. 
    Matt Smith
  • Picterus wins 1 million NOK in Angel Challenge Oslo Spring 2017 May 16, 2017 8:26 pm
    Congratulations to Picterus for winning the Angel Challenge Oslo spring 2017 finale!  Picterus has developed an app that can diagnose jaundice in newborns, allowing parents to safely monitor jaundice from home. http://www.picterus.com
    Knut Wien
  • MEET THE 20 STARTUPS CHOSEN FOR THE STAVANGER PROGRAM March 29, 2017 11:54 am
    MEET THE 21 STARTUPS IN THE OSLO SPRING PROGRAM
    Matt Smith
  • When is your startup ready for Angel Challenge? March 27, 2017 10:34 am
    You are ready as soon as you start thinking about growing your business with investors. 
    Knut Wien
  • MiniPro Produces First Batch of ´Baby Food for Baby Fish´ February 15, 2017 7:24 pm
    MiniPro´s idea of producing ´baby food for baby fish´ has come a long way in just 8 months. Since winning Angel Challenge Bergen in June 2016, the company has raised MNOK 7,5 and received additional funding and support from Innovations Norway. Now the first batch of the new product is produced.
    Cynthia Kristensen
  • Are you curious about investing in Norwegian startups? January 25, 2017 1:12 pm
    As part of Startup Norway,  Angel Challenge helps investors learn startup investing by doing it. Because the term Ángel´investing 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.
    Cynthia Kristensen
  • RØST - Coffee Roaster wins Angel Challenge Oslo Fall 2016 December 10, 2016 9:59 pm
    RØST i a new line of Coffee Roasters for the professional Coffee maker market. 
    Knut Wien
  • Mitrol Energy wins AC Trondheim November 14, 2016 10:46 pm
      Mitrol Energy wins AC Trondheim 2016 - secures 2 million NOK investment Mitrol Energy creates solutions to capture waste-energy on ships. 
    Knut Wien
  • Investment selection - tips from a VC October 11, 2016 4:31 pm
    We had Jan-Erik Hareid from Alliance Venture to share his experiences in the session "How to pick a winner" at Angel Challenge. Here are some key takeaways.
    Maja Adriaensen
  • SmartPlants wins 1.3 Million NOK in Angel Challenge Stavanger October 7, 2016 9:18 am
    SmartPlants wins Angel Challenge Stavanger, receives 1,3 million NOK and might also apply for matching for another 1 Million NOK.
    Knut Wien
  • 5 steps to success with Angel Investing September 29, 2016 9:54 am
    We had a talk with Murat Aktihanoglu from ERA Accelerator in one of our sessions. Here are 5 take-aways on how to succeed as Angel Investor
    Hanne Rentsch Ersdal
  • Open Position: Investment Program Manager @ Angel Challenge September 9, 2016 9:09 am
    Do you have a passion for startups? Are you up for the challenge of activating angel investors in Norway? We may have the job for you!
    Maja Adriaensen
  • Angel Challenge winners can apply for additional 1 million NOK matching capital. September 5, 2016 11:50 am
    News: The winning startups of the upcoming Angel Challenge programs might apply to receive 1 million NOK matching capital. 
    Knut Wien
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