TECHNOPORT 2015 Tech City conference guide
NORWAY’S FRESHEST STARTUPS DIGS and Spark* bring you the companies, the people, and the products
AWAKENING YOUR INNER GRÜNDER Get inspired by some of the city’s entrepreneurial spirits
#1 MAR/APR 15
Contributors Kristine Fredriksen is Project Manager for Spark*, a mentor service and seed-fund for students with business ideas. She is also in her final year at the NTNU School of Entrepreneurship, where she currently is working on a startup in cooperation with the Red Cross. Kristine was previously general manager for Student Media in Trondheim, including the newspaper Under Dusken and ibok, Norway’s largest online bookstore for students.
Astrid Christine Johnsen completed her Masters in Architecture at NTNU last spring. In addition to architecture, she has developed a personal interest for graphic design and is currently working with several freelance projects in both fields.
Are you developing technology for a greener future?
David Nikel is a freelance journalist, web publisher and communications consultant who runs the Life in Norway blog and curates the Norway Weekly newsletter. David write about travel, tech startups & business across Scandinavia for a wide range of media and organisations. David won ‘Startup Writer of the Year’ at Nordic Startup Awards 2014 and has been published in Norwegian magazine and The Telegraph, amongst others.
Innovation Norway offers funding to pilot and demonstration projects for new technology and solutions that improve the environment. We fund development, engineering, building, commissioning and testing. Relevant projects include renewable energy, efficient resource management, clean technology, environmentally friendly products, production processes and systems. The grant scheme is open to all enterprises throughout Norway.
Read more at www.innovasjonnorge.no/miljotek, or contact us by phoning (+47) 22 00 25 00 for further referral to your local office.
is co-founder of DIGS, Trondheim’s first innovation platform and coworking space. Arnstein is also CEO of the design-driven innovation firm, SKIFT. He holds a Msc in industrial design engineering from NTNU and works predominately with startup business development and industrial projects geared to solve global challenges.
We give local ideas global opportunities
is the Municipal Director for Culture and Business in Trondheim municipality. Morten was previously Director of Communications in the province of Sør-Trøndelag. Morten has a long-standing relationship to business sectors in and around the region of Trondheim, and formerly educated at Copenhagen Business School and BI.
Welcome to Tech List
The Conference: 24 hours of innovation, you don’t want to miss
On the Greater Region of Trondheim Anita Krohn Traaseth
Break into the UK
How we became Kahoot! Johan Brand
Technoport, how it all began... Morten Wolden
In today’s tech network, London’s allure remains stronger than ever Wil Lee-Wright, Jaya Thomlison
Tech List’s tips on expanding your horizons
Your in-depth and personal guide to Technoport 2015
Top tech list of Mid-Norway DIGS
Speaker profiles List of world-renowned speakers and local icons
The Low-Risk Paradigm: A Norwegian entrepreneurial compromise
Thor Richard Isaksen
Technoport 2015, is a single-track conference with a main evening event and partner events
Hottest local start-ups
The Live-Crowdfunding Experience
Peace, Love and Entrepreneurship
28 Consumer technology, made in Trondheim David Nikel
30 TECH LIST #1
Where Technology Meets Brains: The Greater Region of Trondheim
Neuroscientists and Noble Laureates May-Britt and Edvard Moser. (Photo: Geir Mogen/NTNU).
Who would have thought that far up in the north, in a small town on the outskirts of the map, you would find scientists and researchers that are so rocking they literally shake up the world? We are, of course, talking about the Moser couple and their recent incredible achievement – The Nobel Prize in Medicine! It’s here you’ll find impressive research conducted by people with both unique skill and talent. This is a trend that has been going on for decades in the Greater Region of Trondheim, also known as Norway’s Technology Capital. It is here that new ideas are fostered, leading to innovations, new technologies and positive impacts that reach beyond these borders! The brain force from Trondheim contributes to immense wealth and growth on all scales, from local to global. The world isn’t ‘out there’, it’s ‘in here’ - your most unique tool, the brain.
Quick facts on the Greater Region of Trondheim:
• 276,000 residents • 37,000 students • 5,000 scientists • 528 technology companies with 10,300 employees, increasing by 100 companies and more than 1,000 employees since 2009 • More than 300 companies have materialised from this cradle of knowledge over the last 40 years • 82 new companies have emerged from NTNU during the last decade
Trondheim has received Norway’s first Nobel Prize in Medicine through the accomplishments of the Moser couple, revealing secrets of the brain that can change the course of human life. They are among other great minds changing the world from several disciplines: ocean surveillance technology that warns against future tsunamis; graphics and apps for your mobile phone and touch pads; technical aids that are smaller, faster and more accurate. Every day people in this region proudly contribute towards improved health and a better world through their research in medicine and development, green technology and food production and high-technology.
Whether you are a student, researcher, scientist, entrepreneur, inventor or someone who enjoys stimulating communities - the Greater Region of Trondheim welcomes you here to work in the heart of technology, to take on the world in a giant leap.
Trondheimsregionen is a business development motor; founded as a collaboration between ten municipalities in the province of Sør-Trøndelag. Learn more at: www.trondheimsregionen.no
Welcome to Tech List Get acquainted with some of Trondheim’s up and coming startups and newest innovations via Mid-Norway’s first English-language publication on technology, innovation and business in Trondheim, Tech List.
Tech List thelist.is/techlist
Anita Krohn Traaseth CEO of Innovation Norway, on the Greater Region of Trondheim
a division of The List Media AS
Contacts and information Located at DIGS, Olavtryggvasons gate 30 7011 Trondheim, Norway Publishing: +47 472 76 680
I have accumulated many good experiences over the years. After eighteen years in the technology industry, including fours years in Det Norske Veritas and as former head of the commercialising company, Simula Research Laboratories, one quickly becomes acquainted with the significance of the greater region of Trondheim, for its valuable industrial and technological history.
Editorial: +47 451 35 877 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder: Wil Lee-Wright email@example.com Editor & Co-Founder:
The technology and knowledge sectors in Trondheim are financially rock solid, not to mention very future-oriented. There are so many exciting businesses who chose to establish themselves in this region, precisely for these reasons. The greater region of Trondheim has many key industries on the technology side of things. It is the combination of this exact breadth, multi-disciplinary activity and extent of international relations that make it attractive, strong and international [*see page 6 for tips on forming business links outside of Norway].
Jaya Thomlison firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director & Co-Founder: Andrew Natt email@example.com Consultant & Co-Founder: Ida Bondø Lee-Wright firstname.lastname@example.org Listings & Advertising Manager: Aleksander Schei email@example.com
In terms of technology, Trondheim is indeed a world leader. It is within these areas that the greater region of Trondheim should place weight and enhance outputs moving forward. In this respect, Trondheim differentiates us internationally and provides legitimacy to take on world-leading positions, attracting interest and expertise from around the world [*see page 11 for Technoport’s international conference, 24-hours of not-to-be missed innovation].
Designers: Andrew Natt, Arnstein Johannes Syltern Writers: Thor Richard Isaksen, David Nikel, Jaya Thomlison, Wil Lee-Wright Illustrators: Skurktur, Marianne Selberg Advisory board: Wil Lee-Wright, Paul Jostein Aune, Ida Bondø Lee-Wright, Gøril Forbord Printing: 100g 2000 Scandia White Grøset trykk AS, Bergesidevegen 362, 2265 Namnå Tel: 994 56 500
Trondheim indeed has a solid foundation. Though like any other technology sector, they face challenges, predominantly in ensuring possibilities for relevant entrepreneurship. Local initiatives like DIGS, a business development innovation platform for startups, has taken on the responsibility for creating a common meeting ground and arena for startups and businesses. They provide a rich-learning learning environment for entrepreneurs who are an important part of our future [*see page 8 for the DIGS curated selection of exciting companies]. It is in these types of environments entrepreneurs gain experience and have the ability to extend boundaries, where entrepreneurs can share experiences quickly and push one another to test products and solutions in the market.
www.groset.no Cover: Skurktur
Contributors: Anita Krohn Traaseth, Arnstein Syltern, Mats Mathisen, Kristine Fredriksen, Johan Brand, Morten Wolden, Marie Lauvås, Astrid Johnsen, Marianne Selberg
Trondheim’s quest for internationalising itself starts with communication. What comes to mind when you think of a ’tech capital’? Take a look inside and become acquainted.
Advertising: Please contact Aleksander Schei for prices, specifications and distribution +47 906 27 288
Welcome to Tech List, a new publication under The List Media. We sure had fun making this magazine, enjoy.
For editorial contributions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Anita Krohn Traaseth, thoughts in reflection to Impello Analyse 2014
Print: GRØSET™ IC E C O L A
TECH LIST #1
Break into the UK T
he success of a startup is often measured in their international growth. In today’s tech network, London’s allure remains as strong as ever. words: Wil Lee-Wright, Jaya Thomlinson Ever since the first Norse longboat beached on the Isle of Portland in the 8th Century, there has been a steady flow of Nordic institutions exporting their wares to the UK.
How we became Kahoot! Johan Brand, Co-Founder & CEO There is always a good story behind each startup. Kahoot! is an EdTech game-based learning tool with 27 million unique players around the world. They sit at NTNU, Oslo and London Like all good products and services, Kahoot! is the result of a team which expanded upon one another’s ideas and stood on the shoulders of the giants before them. Kahoot! was founded by these three world-leading, expert milieux collaborating on a common vision and passion, who had the guts to stick with it. The initial marriage for our company was seeded when project manager Emil Økstad from NTNU’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) played matchmaker. After meeting Emil at a conference, he connected me with developer Morten Versvik and Professor Alf Inge Wang from NTNU. Emil set the tone for an environment where ideas, prototypes and methodologies could develop, fail and pivot. This initiated the process that ultimately resulted in the Kahoot! we know today. Rewind back to 2006. Morten and Alf Inge had been researching and developing the core technological concepts that formed the basis of Kahoot! Meanwhile I was simultaneously working on methodologies based on the concept of Play, as a London-based entrepreneur.
TECH LIST #1
Back in the day the Vikings established permanent settlements all along the East coast of Britain, delivering a lasting change to the country’s language and infrastructure. The export of natural resources during the ‘Great Boom’ period in the mid 1800s arguably gave Norway its first economic boom, with the GDP per capita enjoying a 1.6 per cent annual growth, mainly due to British trade.
In 2009 Emil Økstad and TTO understood that their pioneer technology project needed to be matched with international knowledge on design and development, to achieve just that right blend of skills for success. It took about two years of development before the company Mobitroll (now Kahoot!) was founded by Morten Versvik.
Even during the Second World War, Norwegian industry continued to have a huge impact on the British market, with the exiled royal family and government uniting the nation’s merchant fleet into a single state-owned company, Nortraship. This fleet accounted for more than seven percent of total world tonnage during the war years, 90 percent of which avoided German U-boats and helped supply the Allied defence.
In 2010 my partner Jamie Broker and I founded the behavioural design company, We Are Human - London Ltd, to be able to incubate and develop projects like Mobitroll. It’s fair to say that the potential of what Mobitroll could become, inspired us. We needed an independent vehicle to be able to take risk and develop projects based on agile and people-centred principles. This was one of three core concepts that formed our initial pipeline and it’s by far been the most successful in terms of scale, to date.
Despite this historical impact – and not to mention how much energy is currently exported – Norwegian innovation has long flown under the radar in the UK. To the layman in London, Norwegian imports amount to a few Premier League footballers, some damn fine Ibsen plays and a handful of products that are actually Swedish. With the Scandinavian economy enjoying a relative boom, albeit with a recent wobble, and the UK still on the ropes after the financial crash of 2008, what continues to attract companies across the North Sea?
Kahoot! was initiated in Trondheim, but its success can be attributed to its early exchange of the international mindsets of its founding members based in both Norway and the UK.
“Modern day London has become the sharing capital of the world,” explains Muse Seymour, the UK Community Manager of Nimber, a social logistics company born out of Norway. “Norway is very entrepreneurial in the Tech Space: you can build something in Norway and it can go
Feature global. We couldn’t stop the service being used by people outside of Norway…. so we decided to develop our UK market and if we want to build a community we should be part of it. It’s disingenuous otherwise.” With a population of over eight million in London alone, the possible financial rewards for companies expanding to their largest, nearest (and dearest?) neighbour are clear. But the competition is fierce. “We are trying to become a ‘top-of-mind service’, but it is difficult,” says Muse. “There are lots of competitors, who often aren’t actual competitors but just the service people think of first. It is a challenge to get to the level of, say, Airbnb or Uber. And there is more competition in London than Norway.” Nimber is effectively a matchmaker; connecting people with other people who are willing to transport anything from tractors to pet birds. The delivery person gets a new experience and is compensated, while the customer gets to put a friendly face on the traditionally mundane world of logistics. In the UK, where there is an advanced transport network juxtaposed with a recently privatised and much maligned national mail service, the market seems ripe for innovation. When it comes to technology, London provides a comfortable hotbed for international startups. Increasingly regulated markets in San Francisco, New York and Germany have amplified the city’s attractiveness for companies competing in the peer-to-peer space. The sharing economy is based on making the most out of rentable assets and that may well mean following users to foreign lands. But does one actually have to move to the UK in order to start up there? In true Norwegian spirit, there is track record of technology born in Trondheim, which has gone on to create waves in the Big Smoke without moving or selling out. Kahoot!, detailed opposite, is an example of a Trondheim-born project which can be credited with some of the inspiration for the creation of a London based enterprise, We Are Human, who later co-founded the companies we know today as Kahoot! AS & Kahoot! EDU Ltd. In other cases it is research pioneered or developed in Trondheim, which has catalysed technological avalanches in the UK, not to mention the rest of the world. Tom Arnoy, co-founder of Zedge, the chart smashing mobile content platform (downloaded more than 100 million times), started his remarkable career trajectory by founding Trondheim-based internet venture Webway in 1999.
Going back in time (again), the influence of Trondheim invention is witnessed by Torleif Maseng’s work on Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), the digital mobile phone system which predates and laid the groundwork for 3G and 4G. The preposterous, yet entirely logical and correct statistic is that the technology Torleif helped develop, is now used by 6 billion people worldwide. Six. Billion. And yet some Trondheim technology companies relocate when their connection with NTNU expires (Dirty Bit), others expand worldwide but retain headquarters in Trondheim (NORDIC Semiconductor) and some big players even move in the opposite direction (ARM). Norwegian enterprise has traditionally reached over the sea to access bigger markets – the waterways seen as opportunity highways rather than obstacles. The sharing economy, however, is a unique marketplace because theoretically the company does not need to be in the vicinity of either customer or service provider. Digital communications are the waterways of this century, and Trondheim is a veritable port of technology interaction. But the sharing economy is built on trust and reputation, and one should not underestimate the importance of synchronicity and that of actors who bring the right people together. London is one of those actors, but so is Trondheim. The question is: is your company breaking out, or breaking in?
Clockwise from top left: Jamie Broker and Johan Brand, Kahoot!; Trampery Old Street; Kahoot!’s EdTech; Sandra Jóhannesdóttir and Muse Seymour, Nimber. Opp: Johan Brand, Kahoot!
Expanding your horizons Start by understanding the two benefits to a move: 1. Break into a new market to sell your product 2. Break into a new environment to enhance the credibility of your product. And then sell it somewhere else.
1. Never underestimate the ’glue’
Sometimes it is all about going to a new place and meeting the right person, at the right time, who connects you with someone that was your missing link. These people are your glue, and they are very much an important part of your story.
2. Bring out the best of both cultures
There is considerable value in deconstructing yourself, your business and your product in a new country. It is often the combination of cultural qualities from multi-lateral alliances that create the winning recipe.
3. Build your dream team
Experts often attribute the quality of a team to their success. By expanding your horizons, you are engaging on a fact-finding hunt for network. This may end up connecting you with an office neighbour you did not know back home, but this experience built your dream team.
4. Learn to sell yourself in new ways
It might just be the case that you are more interesting outside of your home town. That’s ok. Reflect while you are abroad and learn what works.
5. Understand your needs
Not all entry points are specific to sales. Sometimes it takes being a Norwegian company, partially situated in England, but selling to the U.S. market, that is the golden ticket to sales.
TECH LIST #1
This relatively unknown mobile tech company in Trondheim is in fact one of the world’s first choice apps for personal customisation of mobile phones. From ringtones and wallpapers to game recommendations, Zedge has impressive statistics, including between 100 - 500 million downloads and a steady top 15 ranking on Google Play in the U.S. for the last three years running.
This super high-tech company led by serial entrepreneur Alf-Egil Bogen, has developed an advanced multisensor, Xethru, which can detect your heart rate from a distance and even see through walls. Just sayin’…
Searis Although they’re not a start-up with a specific product or service in the pipeline, we’re a huge fan of these software-focussed cybernetics guys (and girl). They work within a broad range of projects, ranging from disruptive tech for the fish farming industry to app projects with the ministry of fisheries, making it easier for smaller fishing boats to record their catch.
brings you their top tech list of mid-Norway DIGS is an innovation platform located in Trondheim, built on exchanges between members and partners who unite entrepreneurs, ‘makers’ and ‘doers’ from varied sectors. DIGS supports startup activities by providing an office environment and space for local public activities, stimulating a culture of collaboration, sustainability and mutual innovation through shared knowledge and experience. We participate in entrepreneurship networks across Norway, Europe and internationally and aim to strengthen ties, stimulate local community and boost business development in and around the region of Trondheim. www.digs.no
TECH LIST #1
AssiTech Their product Assistep is a revolutionary device to help elderly people safely walk up and down stairs later into their life. It has obvious positive benefits for both aging persons and general society, who want to see our grandparents’ generation live comfortably at home for longer.
Smart 113 is an app that makes your precise location visible to the Emergency Services instantly, and therefore help them find you faster. The reason we really like this is because it is a quite simple solution that increases the chances of saving lives.
Amok is developing a unique hammock for outdoorsy people that need flexibility. This sleeping device is comfortable, durable and can be attached to different surfaces, be it in a tree or on a mountain face. This lifestyle product stands out in the tech heavy start-ups and business world of Trondheim. It helps that they just got nominated in the ‘brand new’ category at ISPO (the world’s biggest winter-sport equipment fair).
Headspin Communication Not a scalable product or service company, but definitely a very cool communications & advertising firm that has even won a handful of prizes in Cannes, Hamburg and the U.S. for some of their fantastic work. Headspin grew from 2 employees to 40 in just a few years. With a portfolio ranging from 3D, web-design and development, applications, graphic design, branding to film and more – Headspin is a fitting name because their communications work is dizzying.
DirtyBit Though we were sad to loose them to Bergen, DirtyBit was very much born in Trondheim. They are the makers of mobile games like: FunRun, FunRun2, Dino Dash and Drop The Box. These games have reached the top of the Apple Store charts, with more than 60 million users around the world.
FourC IoT is one of the hottest buzzwords at the moment, and everyone is expecting the market of IoT to explode. FourC is developing, and soon ready to launch, a back office system that is customised to handle the communication between internet connected devices.
TECH LIST #1
Volden NYSKAPINGENS DAG
Technoport, how it all began… Morten Wolden, City of Trondheim
KREATOR - Innovation that inspires Are you in the mood to inspire? We aim to blend hi-end technology with playfulness. Our goal is to show students that possibilities for innovation is many and not at all difficult to achieve. All you need is curiosity, willingness and a little bit of craziness. Kreator 2015 is held 19th of March at Gløshaugen, NTNU. Kreator is an interactive technology fair held annually by Start NTNU and is meant to be an alternative to traditional career fairs. The theme of Kreator is innovation, and the goal is to bring out the creative qualities in students. At Kreator companies, entrepreneurs, student start-ups and other organizations are invited to bring their innovative products, so that students can try them and be inspired by them. The main event of Kreator is a technological treasure hunt, where each company provides a task for the students to complete. The best students are awarded for their creativity. Previous awards consisted of travels worth of 20 000NOK, MacBooks and much more. In addition the Kreator team has collaborated with Technoport in order to host an industry leading keynote speaker. Previous keynote speakers include Steve Wozniak, Bjørn Kjos and Thomas Alsgaard. If you have a project you would like to show the young and prosper students NTNU, do not hesitate to contact us! We hope to see you there!
Working as Municipal Director for Culture and Business in the City of Trondheim is an active job. In a city so full of life, brimming with activity, the sheer numbers of alluring events could easily lead to a triple-booked calender. Without a doubt, this is a position of luxury. The mere intensity of interesting forums, community groups, and development projects across the region, is enough to sustain and inspire anyone in my position. The month of March brings us Kosmorama film festival, NTNU’s Future Camp for young entrepreneurial leaders, and plenty more. Probably the most interesting event from an international perspective, is of course, our innovation and entrepreneurship conference, Technoport 2015: Awakening the Entrepreneurial Mindset.Technoport is a member-based collaboration, which today functions as an arena for funnelling resources into innovation, the commercialising of research and technology, while also acting as a testing ground for creative ideas in new business development. The shift in roles, from simply being an annual conference towards being a functioning member-based organisation linked to multiple communities, has been an interesting path. It is now attractive to many, including our valuable student population. With a new conference approaching, what better time to reflect on its roots? I have enjoyed partaking in Technoport over the past nine years – from its conceptual phase, to realising it in practice. At the time of founding I was the Director of Communications with the provincial government of Sør-Trøndelag. From a starting point, our initial vision was to raise awareness on the technology capital of Trondheim and its fantastic research and technology sectors. Our aim was to position ourselves in Norway as a meeting place; a birthplace for emerging technology. Early on, this was an annual event that focused on exhibitions in a convention-style framework. NTNU and Sintef were by far, the strongest engines. It was heavily financed by the regional and national business worlds, in addition to the province, the city and regional funding agencies. Since then, Technoport has been in constant evolution. This has been a positive development over time, especially in recent years. I perceive Technoport as having a clear ambition to help to strengthen Trondheim in its national position as technology capital, and thereby strengthen our international position as a technology and innovation hub. The most significant change in the past years relate to Technoport’s new role in linking up with startup activities, and their defining position as contributors to creating spaces where ‘bottom-up’ groups can meet established innovation actors. They create a setting where startups meet academia, public funding agencies and industry. I feel quite confident that Technoport will, to an even greater extent, develop itself into a ‘place’, an arena for building an innovation culture spanning the entire province. Through this, we are inspiring and professionalising current and future innovators and entrepreneurs. This role of international positioning has always existed in Technoport. We need, Trondheim needs, to share experiences derived from the very best. We need a catalyst for telling the world about all the wonderful trouble we are getting into. This is Technoport.
TECHNOPORT 2015 “Awakening the Entrepreneurial Mindset” 18th & 19th March 2015 KUNNSKAPSSENTERET
The Conference: It’s 24 hours of innovation, you don’t want to miss Technoport 2015 brings together challengers, creators and investors from around the world to Kunnskapssenteret for two action-packed days. Think about emerging trends and new ways of doing things, meet and share to build your network, experiment with new approaches and take action on what you learn. Listen to inspiring talks from successful innovators. Watch innovation happen before your very eyes at our renowned Live Crowdfunding Experience. Meet with other doers, ask questions, be inspired. TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
TECH LIST #1
Speaker Profiles Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell is a technology pioneer, entrepreneur, engineer and bestselling author. Often cited as, ’the father of the video game industry’, he was responsible for bringing, the first ever video game, Pong, to market. Nolan introduced America to the home of video game consoles and founded Atari Corporation. Over the past four decades Bushnell has been a prolific entrepreneur, founding numerous companies, including: Catalyst Technologies, the first technology incubator; Etak, the first in-car navigation system; Androbot, a personal robotics company; and ByVideo, the first online ordering system. Today, Nolan is passionate about enhancing and improving educational processes by integrating the latest in brain science. He is founder and CEO, of what he claims to soon be his hottest project to date, the educational gaming company, Brainrush.
“The godfather of video games”
Koyo Kouoh - Imagine
Artistic Director, RAW
“Boundary Breaking International Artist”
Cameroonian by birth and Senegalese by heart, Koyo Kouoh is the Founding Artistic Director of the RAW Material Company. Based in Dakar, RAW is a center for art, knowledge and society, working to foster appreciation and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa. Koyo also maintains a dynamic international curatorial activity. Her discursive programs, exhibitions and publications have included contemporary artists, thinkers, photographers, writers, activists, non-artists, designers, collectors, politicians, architects, curators and chefs.
tra th pren e y eu ea r of r”
Louise Helliksen - The Kick Inside Head of Innovation, EVRY
Louise works as Head of Innovation at EVRY, one of the largest IT companies in the Nordic region. Originally from Trondheim, she is responsible for the implementation and execution of EVRY’s strategic model for innovation. Her main tasks are to create the best suitable internal frameworks for innovation, as well as external communication, partnerships and customer relationships. Her talk will look at how the entrepreneurial mindset can be a key ingredient to drive innovation inside the corporate world.
Samatha Quist - Blood, SWOT & Tears
Executive Director, Technovation
A self-taught software developer, California-based Samantha Quist is passionate about expanding access to technology education to speed the pace of innovation globally.
“Bigging up girls fr om coast to coast” 12
TECH LIST #1
After stints as a Product Marketing Manager at Google, founder of Copywriter Central, and Marketing Director of big data startup Gnip, Samatha now works as Executive Director of Technovation, the global technology competition that challenges teenage girls to create mobile apps that solve problems in their communities. TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
Speaker Profiles Angela Lamont
Director of Lunar Mission One Angela is a BAFTA award-winning British television and radio host of science and technology programmes, who now works as a Director of the Lunar Mission One project, the most inspirational moon mission since the Apollo landings. Anyone can become involved in Lunar Mission One – man, woman or child – anywhere in the world. The project aims to land near the lunar South pole and drill to a depth of up to 100 metres on a search for answers about the origins of the moon and the earth, afterwards making that research available to all. This serious science project had a serious need for funding, which Angela and her colleagues decided to approach in a rather different way – crowdfunding. By the end of the campaign late last year over $1 million USD was pledged to make this mission a reality.
Tobias Stone - Blood, SWOT & Tears
Partner, Eye Focus Accelerator
Tobias Stone is co-founder of EyeFocus Accelerator in Berlin, the world’s first accelerator for startups focused on eye-care. As a dynamic networker with a keen interest in building networks, Tobias advises startups and leading accelerators, while conducting academic research into innovation and accelerators. He is a graduate of UCL and Oxford University, and a Collaborative Research Fellow and Doctoral candidate at the University of Huddersfield.
“Visionary Accelera tor
Geir Førre – Appetite for Construction
SVP & General Manager, Silicon Labs
“Norway’s to tech A-Lis p ter”
Geir Førre is one of Norway’s most successful high tech entrepreneurs, with more than 20 years of experience from the global semiconductor industry as a serial-entrepreneur, executive & CEO. His experience spans research, development, marketing, finance and management. In 1996 he founded Chipcon, a company that became market leader in low power RF solutions and served as the President and CEO until its 1.3 billion NOK acquisition by Texas Instruments Inc. in 2006. He later founded Energy Micro, where he served as the President and CEO from its beginning in 2007 until July 2013 when the company was acquired by Silicon Laboratories Inc. for 1 billion NOK.
Steffen Wellinger Peace, Love and Entrepreneurship Associate professor NTNU
Steffen Wellinger is an architect and Associate Professor at NTNU. He mentors the student initiated ‘Live Projects’. Live Projects in Norway and the global south, trigger social entrepreneurship, learning and a new professional culture of hands-on production, applied user insight and working in challenging contexts. As leader of workpage Live Studio in TRANSark center (Center for transformative learning in architecture education) he is responsible for research and development and Live activities for students of Architecture and Fine Arts at NTNU. Steffen is partner in the firm Bjørke Arkitektur. TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
“Bringing architec ture to life” TECH LIST #1
18th March 2015
Technoport 2015 a single-track conference with all six main sessions held @ Trondheim Kunnskapssenteret.
Partner Event From . startup to Industry
Entrepreneurial State of Mind
Change needs champions. Introducing our keynote speakers.
Nolan Bushnell / Angela Lamont
Peace, Love & Entrepreneurship Can entrepreneurship save the
Pascal Finette / Anne KjĂŚr Reichart / Steffen Wellinger
Blood, SWOT & Tears Toby Stone / Samantha Quist / Paul Iske
TECH LIST #1
Entrepreneurship is hard. Here we help you find your own way.
Koyo Kouoh / Gaute Godager, Federik Ottesen / Jeff Skinner
The Live Crowdfunding Experience
A fireside chat about the art of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in the arts.
Four startups pitch for your cash, followed by the conference party. Doors open 1830.
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
19th March 2015
The evening session, Live Crowdfunding Experience and conference party @ Studentersamfundet.
Appetite for Construction
Two friends and rivals share the story of Norway’s microcontroller industry
Alf Egil Bogen, Geir Førre
The Kick Inside
Adopting the entrepreneurial mindset to Innovate within large companies
Louise Heliksen, Jeff Skinner, Ville Kairaho, Martin Kupp
Back to school @ Realfagsbygget, Gløshaugen Kreator, Exhibition, Dialogue Conference, Smart Cities Conference, Workshop International Sales, The Dream Commitment
Comfort Hotel Park Prinsens Gate 4A, 7012 Trondheim
er bru Elgestet
CONFERENCE Kunnskapssenteret Olav Kyrres gate 14, 7030 Trondheim
LIVE CROWDFUNDING Studentersamfundet Elgesetergate 1, 7030 Trondheim
PARTNER EVENTS Realfagbygget Høgskoleringen 5, 7034 Trondheim
NÆRINGSFORENINGEN I TRONDHEIMSREGIONEN
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
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Session Preview T E C H N O P O R T brings you:
THE LIVE CROWDFUNDING
The four startups from TrĂ¸ndelag are pre-selected through an application process.
In addition to presenting their campaigns online the four teams will pitch live at Samfundet along with music and other entertainment.
After the pitches, the audience can commit to buying shares using the online platform at FundedByMe.com.
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A panel of esteemed judges gives their verdict, X-Factor style, before the live totals are announced.
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
Session Preview WHAT IS IT?
Join us at Studentersamfundet on March 18th for a spectacular evening showcase, where four lucky startups will have the chance to sell themselves...as if your shares depended on it. Present, pitch, invest. Do you want to play investor for an evening? Meet up and buy some shares.
Business simulator software to supplement the teaching of economics http://hubro.education TELEMOTIX
An in-car computer detecting your driving style to aid lower insurance premiums www.telemotix.com VEPAK
A machine to automate the filling of 40-litre firewood bags www.vepak.no ADS
PEACE, LOVE & ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEDNESDAY MARCH 18TH 13:50 @ KUNNSKAPPSENTERET When combining a focus on people, planet and profit, social entrepreneurs fuel themselves for impressive impact. Three incredible speakers from around the globe explore this topic in our Peace, Love & Entrepreneurship session. Pascal Finette joins us from Silicon Valley, where he helps young entrepreneurs make a difference through the Singularity University’s Startup Lab program. “When you look at what makes a social entrepreneur do what they do, it’s always that drive for impact, a sense for wanting to create something bigger than themselves, and a deep connection to the issue at hand, be it human trafficking, autism, or whatever it is.” Anne Kjær Reichert founded the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab after studying the concept at Harvard. The lab focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social changes, towards global peace. Anne, like few others, combines the best of academia, business-thinking and social activism to make sustainability profitable. “Triple bottom line thinking is crucial. Unfortunately a lot of time social entrepreneurs are so keen to make an impact that we forget the financial viability of what we are doing.” Our international guests are joined by Steffen Wellinger from NTNU’s Live Studio, which enables design and architecture students to connect with and support social entrepreneurship here in Norway.
A software solution to enable personalised TV advertising
THE LIVE CROWDFUNDING EXPERIENCE WEDNESDAY MARCH 18TH 20.00 - 22.00 @STUDENTERSAMFUNDET, TRONDHEIM
Tickets to the free crowdfunding event: technoport.hoopla.no/sales/crowd/ Tickets to the Technoport conference: www.technoport.no
TECHNOPORT CONFERENCE 2015 PROGRAMME WWW.TECHNOPORT.NO
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5 1 0 2 e c n e r e f SmartCity Con mfundet ntersa e d u t S @ h t 9 March 1 Norway Trondheim,
To register: http://smartcity.hoopla.no/sales/smartcity/ Trondheim kommune in partnership with Siemens and Bellona welcome you to the first SmartCity Conference in Trondheim, Norway â€“ where you can be part of shaping the future of our sustainable cities. SmartCity Conference 2015 will explore themes of future leadership and directions in smart governance, energy, building, technology and infrastructure. Join us on March 19th at Studentersamfundet and meet with politicians, business leaders and scholars, each sharing their unique perspectives on the necessary measures in making Smart Cities a reality.
For more information visit: technoport.no
SmartCity is a concept promoting the use of smart technology in urban development, addressing global challenges.
The Low Risk Paradigm: A Norwegian entrepreneurial compromise Words: Thor Richard Isaksen
ome say that diligence, the art of preparation and reducing risk, is a core Norwegian trait. As a society, we Norwegians have relied on diligence since the first peoples settled on our rugged and perilous shores. Even the Vikings proved very meticulous in their fairly violent endeavors abroad. Supported by state of the art ship technology, ultra light protective gear, advanced combat tactics and very, very, sharp axes, they were nothing if not painstakingly thorough. Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying that diligence is the mother of good luck. And as a prophetic adage, Franklinâ€™s words could not have been more fitting. The land provided these diligent settlers with hydropower, petroleum and fish in abundance. Entrepreneurial success, however, heavily relies on both diligence and luck. But it is diametrically incompatible with risk aversion, which is such an inherent quality in most Norwegians. So we came up with a compromise. Our very own entrepreneurial mindset. Tech List looked at three local risk takers and analysed their approach. Turn overleaf for the outcome.
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Case 1: Intrapreneurial chess The SINTEF Multiphase Flow lab case
“I remember that the process was tiring. We did a lot of analysis of the laboratory equipment, the market, the technology readiness, market outlooks and so forth. We wanted to leave as little as possible to chance.”
ay Britt Myhr was CEO at SINTEF Petroleum when they decided to invest in SINTEF’s aging Multiphase Flow Laboratory. Today she is a professional petroleum consultant, chairwomen for a regional business cluster and board member for several publicly traded companies.
bluntly - it saved everyone a fortune.
She looks back on the hefty expansion project, on what later has been called the single most important Norwegian innovation in the last 35 years; the Multiphase Flow Laboratory in Tiller, Trondheim.
market response to the new test facility was difficult to predict and there were no upfront commitments from clients to use as boardroom leverage.
The laboratory consisted of 1000 metres of steel pipe culminating in a 58-metre high concrete tower. Inside the pipes, the scientists would run a combination of oil and gas (also known as multiphase flow), to see how it behaved, simulating the flow in pipes from subsea wells to the production platforms.
In the old days one usually put a production facility on top of each field. The research in this lab allowed the oil companies to carry untreated oil and gas in one and the same pipeline over long distances directly to existing platforms on neighbouring fields, or all the way to shore. To put it
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However, in 2006 the lab was falling apart and it was quickly loosing its relevance. “The pipelines were all rusty and it wasn’t really that relevant to our clients any more. They needed to simulate deeper, colder and harsher conditions than we could offer. Some people even felt that the lab’s time had passed and it should be dismantled,” May Britt explains.
But the lab was still staffed with top qualified people, so May Britt and her colleagues sat down to discuss what to do with it. They had several suggestions on possible expansions and retrofitting that would restore the Tiller facilities to it to its former glory, but the suggested expansion was not cheap. Having almost been shut down once before, in 1996, the lab was once again facing closure.
Feature Left: May Britt Myhr. Right: SINTEF’s Multiphase Flow Laboratory
A budget predicament “We knew what we wanted to do, but could we bet most of our budget on it? SINTEF had been a pioneer for enabling subsea technologies. We wanted to consolidate and strengthen that position. Furthermore, we assumed that our clients - typically big international oil and gas companies - would need lots of new experimental data to accurately plan new subsea developments in increasingly challenging surroundings.”
The cons, however, were a given. The cost involved would probably make this one of SINTEF’s largest investments ever. The market response to the new test facility was difficult to predict and there were no upfront commitments from clients to use as boardroom leverage. May Britt and her colleagues sat down again and probed the evidence. They even involved potential clients in the process to try to ensure that the expansion
would meet their tough demands. ‘
“After crunching the numbers, and a long deliberation we agreed. We felt we got the answers needed to make a decision. We did not just go for a full modernization; we also wanted a significant expansion at a full cost of around 85 million kroner.”
But still, the economic risk was no trivial matter. And the predictions about the future of the market were just that - predictions. They realized that they had to grow the market themselves.
“We decided to use spare capacity to do research out of our own pocket. The results could easily be used for demonstrations, and even sold as database packages to clients. In this way we could grow interest and hopefully increase the revenue flow at the same time.”
Board games Now it was up to the boards. They needed three different boardroom decisions to go in their favour. The team was getting tired after a demanding process and optimism was not at its highest. “We were hoping,” May Britt remembers. “I don’t
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Feature think everyone believed that we would get all three boardroom nods. Paperwork, reports, projections, analysis and estimates had taken their toll.” But the case May Britt and her colleges had been making about the promising subsea market came through, and they got their 85 million kroner worth of boardroom nods.
“I remember when we watched the first live experiment during the lab’s opening ceremony. The buildings were packed with people from the oil and gas industry. Old and new customers. Many of them giving speeches about the lab’s remarkable past, and their hopes for an equally remarkable future for the Multiphase Flow Laboratory. It was such an amazing feeling.”
Today, the lab is one of the crown jewels in the SINTEF-group and is a shoe-in for commercial rewards. “I don’t think anyone in SINTEF regarded themselves as entrepreneurs or even intrapreneurs. We just wanted to solve new problems for our clients. But then again, maybe that is how many entrepreneurs operate.”
Clockwise from left: Research leader Tor Erling Unander shows the small model of the multiphase facility; model of the Multiphase Laboratory; the Medium-Scale Three-Phase Flow Loop simulator
Case 2: Hedging your bets The Falanx Case “I think that there is a difference between people from Norway and those from California in terms of the way they feel and interpret personal risk in entrepreneurship. In Norway, the experience of personal risk is far greater than any real risk we are exposed to. In California, this is the other way around.”
orgar Ljosland is a serial entrepreneur. He has been part of several notorious startups in Trondheim. For serial entrepreneurs, dealing with risk is just part of the job. For a select few, however, it gets to be much more than that.
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Borgar founded a company called Falanx. Together with four fellow NTNU students they started developing chips for mobile graphics. By 2005 they had built a small but steadily expanding business, when they started hearing rumours that the microprocessor producer ARM was looking to acquire new graphic technology.
“It is important to understand just how big ARM is. ARM is for smart phones, what Intel is for computers. Just with a larger market share,” Ljosland explains. “Our product was perfect for ARM but we were not the only player in the market. So we knew we had to race to get there first and outperform.”
At that point in time ARM had a 90% market share for microprocessors in mobile phones and the market was growing rapidly. If ARM wanted to buy Falanx, their technology could be en route to becoming the global standard.
All or nothing If Borgar and his colleagues lost the race, and ARM decided to buy one of their competitors, the student entrepreneurs would have had to call it quits. ARM was simply too big. It was David versus a dozen Goliaths, world domination or
â€œWe followed our product
from adolescence, through puberty and into adulthood.
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“Suddenly we were acquired by the most significant semiconductor company on the planet.
We won the race. We got our king of the world moment.
bankruptcy. If competition was out of the question, maybe peaceful co-existence would be preferable? At the time, Falanx had 21 employees, a customer base and several owners, all with big stakes in the outcome of the negotiations.
“So while negotiating with ARM about a possible sale, we started a new product development process. We opened a back door. We hedged our bets, no doubt about it,” recalls Borgar.
The ‘backdoor’ was a graphic card on a stick that could significantly improve the graphical experience for mobile phone users. If successful, it promised to make mobile phones a viable platform for premium game developers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft.The new patent was called FXI, short for ‘a FalanX Invention’.
Borgar travelled to California and put together a team of experienced executives from the semiconductor and gaming industry. Together, they hosted several workshops with game developers and memory card producers to get a head start. Meanwhile:
“After a long and rather dramatic negotiation we finally agreed to terms with ARM. Suddenly we were acquired by the most significant semiconductor company on the planet. We won the race. We got our king of the world moment.”
“We followed our product from adolescence, through puberty and into adulthood. From be-
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ing a close-knit team of 21, we were now over 400 people working on it,” explains Borgar, who details how the entire Falanx team followed their technology into ARM and stayed with the company for three years. At that point Borgar started to feel an itch: “Ours had become the dominat GPU in the post-PC era. What more was there to do?”
temperament that compelled me to act upon it.” Borgar believed that when they started up ‘fresh out of college’ the only real cost was the cost of opportunity. By now, he had met a girl and been married. The stakes were higher this time around. Nonetheless, he felt that FXI was a prospect worth pursuing, a risk worth taking.
Borgar talked to his board and was granted a twelve-month sabbatical. His plan was to go home and build a boat and do some fishing. But shortly afterwards he was approached by the owners of FXI, who had continued the product but whose business case had been slaughtered by the launch of the iPhone in the meantime. Still, they wanted him to meet with them in California. Borgar didn’t hesitate.
They restructured the company, adapted the product to a new concept for TV called Cotton Candy, which basically could transform a TV into a computer, enabling it to play games and stream HD-content. In many ways, this small device pioneered a new market, today dominated by Apple TV, Google Chromecast and the new Intel Compute Stick.
Biting the Apple that feeds you So, in the face of Steve Jobs’ juggernaut, why revisit the FXI case? Simply put, Borgar felt that the technology had potential far exceeding the scope of the original business plan. It was just a series of technical problems that needed to be addressed by skilled technologists.
During the ARM acquisition Borgar had lost 20 kg because he lacked the money to buy proper food. He slept at the office because he couldn’t pay his electricity bills. His family bought him food for Christmas. Yet that was all in the past and he didn’t pause to consider what happened the first time around: “I had strong gut feeling and the right
After several years of hard work, product launches, investment rounds and contract negotiations, they called it quits in 2014. After years of development they had made decent progress, though like many promising ventures before them, they ran of cash.
In retrospect, Borgar is not bitter. Today he stands firm in his convictions, both with regards to his team and the FXI technology; it was a risk worth taking.They could just as easily have made it. After all, they were professional problem-solvers.
“A very experienced investor once told me that when the shit hits the fan: a lawyer would search for opportunities to litigate; an MBA would try to cut costs; however, the engineer would start to innovate.”
Case 3: Like a rolling drone The Haukr Case “We haven’t discussed risk, but instead, endurance and ambition. It’s all about reaching that next milestone. When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. There is no real risk in that.”
nmanned aerial systems, popularly referred to as drones, are everywhere. People use them for surveying, construction, agriculture, video production, real estate sales, music video, spying on ones neighbours … the list goes on.
Today, entrepreneurs around the globe are looking into niche markets, effectively creating a massive global tech trend. The result? Drones have become incredibly affordable.
“Our first drone was a do-it-yourself kit that we ordered from the US. It was very inexpensive and this allowed us get going. We initially thought we’d be building our own, but that turned out to be crazy expensive for a group of students,” Reveals Karen Juul Skarbø, the chairwoman and head of marketing at Haukr, a small student startup developing a specialty drone called Staaker.
“We went to Boston University School of Management and needed to come up with a cool
business case for our school project. It turned out that one of our team members was really into drones. So we invented Staaker.” So what does this Staaker do? If you are considering going down a steep hillside on your bike, skies or snowboard, the drone follows your each and every move from the air and films your adventure, enabling your accession from zero to YouTube-hero overnight. The most obvious customers are exhibitionistic sports-nuts, a surprisingly large international market.
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“The thing is that many people were actually renting helicopters to film themselves, which is, needless to say, very expensive. So we thought up Staaker, wrote a business plan and presented it to a panel of American investors.”
The investors liked the idea. In fact, they liked it so much that said they would consider investing in the company there and then. Their only hesitation was whether it was technically achievable. “We had no idea! But when we returned to Trondheim we found two developers that wanted to try building it. So we decided to give it a shot and founded Haukr,” boasts Karen.
The Flight of the Bumblebee Two years later, Haukr has devised a functioning prototype. It is 3D-printed and the design is not entirely complete, but it works. They now have a proven concept. So from here on it is all about another printed product: the one that comes on green paper.
“We have the technology. We know there is a market. Now we need money. We want to keep it lean, bootstrapped and low risk. That’s why we’re leaning towards using a crowd-funding platform like Kickstarter, which enables us to presell units.” Haukr wants to avoid unnecessary risk and none of the members are prepared to bankroll the company. If the market doesn’t bite, they will shut down the project. Karen makes this very clear. They would rather crash and burn than get stuck on a bumpy road, heading nowhere.
Skarbø explains that none of the entrepreneurs in the company have their own families to provide for yet. They don’t drive expensive cars and they don’t own houses or pay mortgages. They really don’t have anything to lose.
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Foto: Thomas Eksrtøm
“I think that this is part
of the entrepreneurial mind-set. You don’t make one big life plan and stick with it. You make several and keep them open-ended.” – Karen. “I think that this is part of the entrepreneurial mind-set. You don’t make one big life plan and stick with it. You make several and keep them open-ended. Worst case scenario? I get a regular job. That doesn’t sound that terrible, right?”
Karen believes, as many others do, that most Norwegians are just too well situated to rationalize taking risk. At the University campus, she says, it isn’t much different.
“For most students in my field, it is about finishing your education and starting work at a consultancy firm in Oslo. Getting married, having kids all the while enjoying the outdoors during the weekend. This life is not for everyone. In my opinion, there can be such a thing as not taking enough risk. I don’t know, it could be a mind-set, or our very own entrepreneurial approach to life.”
COMPANIES WHO FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY WILL BE THE WINNERS OF TOMORROW. T hor Richard Isaksen is CEO of
Enova make investments in energy and climate solutions for Norwegian industry and business. Contact us at 08049 or see enova.no
Isaksen Communications and editor for Trondheim Tech blog. Read more of his work at trondheimtech.no
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Islero Morpho Solar Environmentally friendly and clean cooking through solar energy - read more at solgrillen.no
Islero.com is a a meeting point for analysts and investors at Oslo stock exchange and Oslo Axess
Actigrid Hubru Business Simulation Hubro Business Simulation makes economy classes unbelievably fun!
ActiGrid is an activity app that helps you meet active people and find sports activities nearby.
Vepak Assitech Assitechâ€™s Assistep is a mobile support device for use in stairs, to give older people increased security.
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Vepak makes packing of firewood easy and efficient.
Kahoot Getkahoot.com is a game-based classroom response system for schools, universities and businesses.
Vio Media Readvio.com is “Netflix for journalism” - Norwegian magazines and newspapers digitized and collected on a single platform.
Hottest Start ups
Ducky is a social entrepreneurship company launched under Startup weekend Trondheim. Ducky is a game inspired app for changing environmental behaviour for energy consumption.
Tiseit.com is finn.no meets Instagram - an app for sale and purchase.
Cosytech Cosytech develops an NFC solution that provides relevant information wherever you are through your smartphone. The team was awarded “Hardest working startup” at the Web Summit 2014 in Dublin.
Staaker - The Ultimate Super Awesome Goodvibe Movie Making Bragging Machine. It’s an super-simple-to-operate autonomous drone that follows and films you when you do your thing.
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C onsumer Technology Made in Trondheim We often hear Trondheim referred to as Norway’s technology capital, but what does this mean in practice? Tech startups and the maker movement are increasingly more visible, yet what lies behind the closed-doors of some of the region’s biggest technology companies? The List’s David Nikel met with the ARM Norway’s National Manager, Kjetil Sørensen, to bring one of Trondheim’s best hidden great success stories into plain daylight.
ARM technology will be inside it.
What is the continued motivation for investing in Trondheim?
What part of this process takes place here in Trondheim?
Hi Kjetil, can you tell me in layman’s terms what it is that ARM does?
ARM Norway delivers the graphics IP for the majority of ARM products. The strength of our Trondheim operation is the knowledge and expertise in graphics, enabling us to develop the graphics IP, both hardware and software, better than elsewhere in the world.
In many ways we’re a unique team. We’ve mainted a great relationship with NTNU, from a research perspective and also for access to the best, young engineering talent in Norway, both for individual projects and recruitment. We’re known as a centre of excellence in graphics not only within ARM but also in the wider industry as we recruit internationally. Some of our technical staff are leading names within their disciplines.
We develop architecture for the digital world. In practice, this means that we design microprocessors for our partners who then build the embedded systems within consumer products. Our products are IP-based such as instruction set architectures – descriptions and designs – for hardware and software.The way I explain it to my kids is that we act like the architects of a house. We produce the design blueprints and then sell those blueprints to the builders.
It sounds as if your designs are used within all sorts of everyday products. Can you give us some examples? Our architecture powers graphics for digital displays and the encoding and decoding of video displays. The most obvious examples are smartphones and tablets, where ARM is the market leader. You’ll also find our work inside the new Samsung Smart TVs. Looking into the future, you’ll see our architecture powering the graphical displays on smart refrigerators and the infotainment systems in some of the more advanced cars. Basically, wherever there is a digital display, there’s a good chance
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How did ARM end up in here in Trondheim? Back in 1998 four NTNU students met up and began working together on some graphics projects. In 2001 they formed Falanx, with a plan to produce a graphics card. The cost to build and produce this card was considered prohibitive because there was not much startup capital available back then, so they switched to a soft IP approach. Shortly afterwards, the demand for greater hardware accelerators for screens began to surge due in large part to smartphones. They came into it at the right time and soon there was a willingness to invest from Innovation Norway amongst others.The prototype was produced and they quickly attracted customers. At this point, ARM’s head office was looking to expend their CPU expertise into graphics, so they acquired Falanx in 2006. They rebranded Falanx as ARM Norway and to this day we remain the centre of excellence for graphics within ARM.
Does life at ARM Norway reflect the international make-up of Trondheim? ARM Norway employs 126 staff-members in Trondheim, half of them specifically moving here to work. We have a truly global team with members from China, India, Russia, southern and eastern Europe and the U.S. We are looking for a specific skill set in recruiting. if we can’t get that locally, we look abroad. We want the best people in the marketplace, wherever they are from.
What impact do you think ARM’s presence has on Trondheim? Our brand is more recognisable than it was a few years ago, though we could do make more effort to interact with the local technology community. We have held a few talks at DIGS co-working space across the street from us, however my focus for 2015 is to become even more involved with the community.
Public Procurement of Innovation Better solutions for locating people outdoor and indoor To create new solutions requires the wise heads of students, entrepreneurs, new and established businesses, and researchers. Everyone who thinks they can play a part in helping to develop useable solutions is welcome, especially people who don’t usually work with health or welfare technologies. Trondheim municipality and partners invite you to create better solutions for locating people outdoor and indoor, solutions for people with needs for primary health care assistance, for example people with dementia, elderly people in general or others who can’t ”find the way home”. Solutions that will meet functional and safety requirements.
Many municipalities in Norway are going to conduct a Public Procurement of Innovation and welcome you to a Dialogue conference on Technoport’s last day: Thursday 19th of March, 1200-1600 Sal R8 Realfagbygget, Gløshaugen / NTNU (address: Høgskoleringen 1) Municipalities will convey their needs and possible technical solutions, and ask for input, ideas and other possible solutions that they have not yet considered. Trondheim municipality will explain the procurement process further at the event. The call for better location solutions for people will be public at Doffin / TED. Norway’s public sector faces challenges that require new and innovative solutions.
The Public Procurement of Innovation is conducted with support from the National Program for Supplier Development – www.leverandorutvikling.no
Starting an open innovation dialogue
How does the public sector ensure they are not left behind when it comes to buying technical solutions? Hilde Sætertrø, Project Manager for the National Programme for Supplier Development at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), believes an open approach to innovation is the answer. “Many Municipalities around Norway, including Trondheim, have a collective need to develop positioning solutions for locating people indoors and outdoors. For example, people with dementia because today’s solutions are not good enough. Together they want to challenge the market to make them create new solutions. They will discuss their needs with the suppliers, then the suppliers can develop a new product based on whatever technology platform is most appropriate.” This is just one example of a dialogue conference, a new take on a crowdsourcing event for the public procurement of innovation. People with varied skills and backgrounds come together to work on a problem, often highlighting new approaches or consideration and preventing groupthink. “This activity is vital for markets such as welfare technology, because the public sector is not knowledgeable enough to properly define their requirements. It’s great for suppliers to have an insight into the public sector needs and for many municipalities to come together to prove the demand,” continues Sætertrø. “We want to make sure the public sector stimulates innovation through procurement. In the years ahead of us, public sector needs and spending will create new markets, encouraging entrepreneurs to find solutions and start businesses. It’s important the public sector is aware of the possibilities and that they need new thoughts and ideas to achieve them.”
New times call for new thinking For TrønderEnergi, exciting times are ahead with new market parameters and large investments in renewable energy. Many of the solutions to the challenges of tomorrow will be created in the convergence between children and youths, students, entrepreneurs and our own professionals in the energy industry. That’s why we eagerly support local initiatives that stimulate innovation and new ideas.
Trondheim’s multicultural youth center for performing, producing or experiencing culture. World's greatest inventor festival in Trondheim. A tribute to the creators among us, both children and adults. A student organization dedicated to stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship among students.
Trondheim’s popular science center for the whole family.
Trondheim's first official co-working space a creative hub for entrepreneurs, innovators, students and anyone who wants to create.
Students helping students to develop good business ideas and create new jobs.