Today we learned that 500 Startups are shooting down their activities in Norway, Sean Percival leaves, and the rest of the team is moving to Sweden. They are one of the leading venture companies in the world and has invested more than 1.6 billion in approximately 1,400 companies.
– Sweden has a much greater appetite for risk, and they are much better at marketing, commercialization, and internationalization, says Sean Percival.
– When I tried to raise money for our 15 million USD fund in Norway, there were very few who understood how venture capital works. They did not understand the mechanisms and they did not understand how they got the money back.
For every conversation I had, I started on the minus side, and had to spend time just to get to the starting line, and then I have to continue to get them to invest, he said.
It is tragic that 500 Startups not got underway in Norway. What Sean says, pinpoint our problems related to culture and lack climate for cooperation across national borders inside Scandinavia.
What worries me most is that Norway can have branding issues in the environment in Silicon Valley. It’s like a little duck pond and rumors going fast. This for sure a downturn and emphasizes once again the importance of tax incentives for investors in Norway. I assume that key politicians realize the seriousness now. As entrepreneurs, we must also put pressure on the government.
Norway must have conditions that are competitive and that can secure that startup projects have an opportunity to get financing. I think it’s unreasonable that we give a lot of grants from Innovation Norway, only for the next turn see the company flag out to get investors.
Also, we must all demand that our politicians have a vision for this country? The last thing we need is more commissions and committees. We need action!
Source: Shifter.no, Lucas H. Weldeghebriel
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